Kirsten questions T20 use

2011-06-15 14:00

Singapore - Twenty20 cricket should be played less at international level to stop it diluting Test and one-day matches and more in domestic leagues to increase attendances, World Cup winning coach Gary Kirsten has said.

Kirsten, who stepped down as India coach to take charge of his native South Africa after leading the south Asians to 50-over World Cup success in April, was full of praise for the shortest form of the game but questioned it's use.

"I have always had a view that it is a great domestic product," Kirsten said in Singapore on Wednesday.

"Maybe you can look at the platform soccer works off, where they play mainly domestic soccer through the year and then they have a major tournament at a country level, maybe that's what Twenty20 can do.

"I think international cricket does really well with Test cricket and the 50-over format of the game and I feel Twenty20 cricket will dilute those products a little bit.

"I think it (Twenty20) is a great product, there are going to be teething problems as we go along as it's a new product to world viewership and world sporting entertainment, but it's done remarkably well over a short period of time."

Twenty20 cricket has been a big hit since its conception in 2003 in England but attempting to find space for it in an already crowded international calendar has proved difficult and extended tours to fit in matches have proved unpopular.

Kirsten, speaking on the sidelines of the Nomura Asia Equity Forum, believes something has to give.

"The future tours programme doesn't allow for that much Twenty20 cricket, they are trying to fit them in schedules and trying to find a space for them here or there," the former Test opening batsman said.

He said the International Cricket Council's only alternative would be to play more Twenty20 cricket at the expense of the 50-over game.

"You can't extend tours longer than six weeks and that has been an almost unwritten thing now that they want to keep tours as short as possible," he said.

The multi-billion dollar Indian Premier League (IPL) is the most successful domestic Twenty20 tournament.

Beginning in 2008 and featuring an auction for the world's best players to come and play for one of now 10 franchises, Kirsten believes it's success demonstrates his point that Twenty20 is a great domestic product.

"I know Australia are trying that now (creating a domestic Twenty20 league), England are trying that, South Africa have their own Twenty20 thing and there is great interest in it and it brings crowds to the game in the domestic format that other forms of the game don't.

"There is very little support for domestic four-day cricket and domestic 50-over cricket, so I think its great for the local game," said Kirsten.


  • StBad - 2011-06-15 14:19

    Disagree.. I think the faster version has increased the game's profile throughout the formats... it shows how diverse and varied a game like cricket really is.

  • Ben B - 2011-06-15 14:36

    Agree 100% with him. Every international T20 match feels to me like an opportunity missed to play a real international cricket match. For me personally the novelty has completely worn off.

      Alltainted - 2011-06-15 16:23

      Amen - couldn't agree more. T20 cricket is on as wallpaper for me while I work. The other two formats, particularly tests, are REAL cricket and entertainment.

  • jock van wyk - 2011-06-15 14:37

    T20 draws the crowds.pays the bills and is what the spectators want to see

      DeonL - 2011-06-15 15:17

      Not always, sometimes it is just as fun to see batters trying to survive a "green mamba" of a pitch or a turners paradise.

  • Uno_Beche - 2011-06-15 14:41

    I only started getting more interested in cricket after watching T20 - especially the Indian premier League. Kirsten needs to move on from classical music to a bit of pop (even T20 s hardly a rave!!!!!)

      mike - 2011-06-15 15:06

      you mean move from intelligence to moronic

      Bill - 2011-06-15 15:17

      I have seen men clubbing seals on the Alaskan Ice with more style and finesse that the shots played in T20 games.

      Ben - 2011-06-15 15:37

      Lets see if pop lasts hundreds of years like classical music....

  • markwmilligan - 2011-06-15 14:43

    I agree with Him. With advent of the IPL etc, i have seen enough T20 cricket to last me a life time. Bring on more Test Cricket and leave the other stuff for domestic.

  • Johan van Zyl - 2011-06-15 14:43

    T20 is just not cricket...

  • milky - 2011-06-15 14:46

    Agree with Jock but that's where it ends for me ! I am a lover of the traditional game of cricket and if I wanted to play baseball , that's what I'd do ! Traditional formats of cricket for me !!!!

  • Ollie - 2011-06-15 14:52

    I love T20 this is what made me start to watch cricket Also enjoy ODI's Test cricket is ok but don't watch all the time

  • S Bouttell - 2011-06-15 14:54

    Watching T20 is a bit like watching porn - it's all flash and big bangs, but no real substance. Okay once in a while, but to make a habit of it, is not good.

  • Kdub - 2011-06-15 14:55

    Agree with Kirsten 100% T20 has been played to death already. The ODIs have capacity crowds anyway or close to it. think he has made an excellent point

  • BardofAvon - 2011-06-15 14:58

    T20 is cricket porn.

      StaalBurgher - 2011-06-15 15:10

      Too true

      DeonL - 2011-06-15 15:15

      I agree, we have 1 less test match against Australia due to T20's, they are raping Test cricket

  • thebroker - 2011-06-15 15:08

    T20, do we have a choice? If we stop watching, they'll stop playing.

  • Totman - 2011-06-15 15:09

    Thank you Gary!!!!! If anyone wants to get a quick fix with no substance, start watching baseball!!! Why does everyone wants to change the original game, at cost of the real lovers, just to move on to another sport that entertaining you for only a few hours. The real lovers than sits with a messed-up game and you, fly by night watcher, has already moved on. .....and no clever ones, do not tell me the game needs to evolved around the hip of the moment. This is people like you that makes the broadcasters happy, but we that live and support it with any means must suffer. Read again what Gary said. He is 100% correct.

  • StaalBurgher - 2011-06-15 15:10

    I did not read the article, only the headlines but YES YES YES. More Tests please. If I never see another T20 game I surely won't miss it. Leave it for the muppets in India to play and waste money.

  • Bill - 2011-06-15 15:15

    The IPL is an example of T20 overkill. And it is rapidly losing its audience, even the cricket mad Indian crowds stayed away this year. TV viewership numbers are way down, and spectator numbers were almost 25% down on last year. Suffice to say that people are getting tired of the inconsequential nature of a contrived game. I agree with Gary, reduce the amount of T20 at international level and focus on the real thing.

  • patrickb - 2011-06-15 15:20

    oooops........always regarded Gary very highly. GET USE TO 20/20. It will dominate in time to come. Check out the stadiums around the world when this format is played. The spectators are the ones to please, not the old fuddy duddy traditionalists who live in the 1950's. Cannot understand however why we play the "old boys" in this format. This is an excellent nursery to develop new talent.

      Totman - 2011-06-15 15:45

      Develop for baseball, yes! It can develop the players, but as Gary said on a certain level. The rest must be cricket. Just a lover of the game and young enough to play the game. Not to be classified as an old boy. Like games that need a bit of brains as well. Not like these pc games where you just shoot everyone to win as long as you only have a good eye and hand combination. Quick entertainment. Quick bugs. Quickly move on to another sport when it becomes more interesting and we, the real supporters, sits with the miss-formed sport.

      Ben - 2011-06-15 15:50

      Nursey...I think not. T20 is a slogfest with no style, form or grit. It's for the kids that's to lazy to try and understand. Who'd rather put a melon on their head and show their friend how much they can drink while their girlfriend is tanning next to him. Give me a man batting for 4hours+ in the blazing sun using every ounce of energy and wit to counter another man's attempts to expose his weaknesses and break his spirit. It's not called a test for no reason.

  • Ben - 2011-06-15 15:39

    T20 is boring. It feels rushed. As if players just go through the motions to get it over with. It does bring the Layman to the field ,yes... but just like ODI's and Tests only keeps their attention for a hour before the beer kicks in and they forget about the game. Give me a test any day... Nothing better than beer and Newlands just after New Years....

  • Ruffstuff - 2011-06-15 15:41

    I agree with Gary Kirsten - Baseball with a cricket bat and six stumps.

  • FIGHT4FAIRSA - 2011-06-15 19:08

    Too much cricket fullstop. However I like his point about using it for bolstering domestic cricket attendance however my concern is if that were the platform for blooding youngsters the level of test cricket is bound to suffer in the long run - we have yet to see the true effects of T20 on the longer version of the game. But it is pretty logical if the players stand to gain more from the shorter version naturally they're going to go where the money is. Already quality players are starting to quit test cricket to prolong their money making careers. T20 is not cricket the way us traditionalists know it but guess we may have to live with it. T20 is the best way for the ICC to grow the sport as a global sport though - 1. The Americans should understand it bit better 2. T20 is very much a lottery and if international teams get adequate coaching they would be in a better position to compete in addition to this point if the odd immigrant moves to say USA 1 or 2 players can make a difference in T20 cricket whereas they will be quickly exposed in the longer version of the game.

  • Babba x - 2011-06-15 19:40

    T20 and limited overs rules. test cricket sucks

  • Toxethh - 2011-06-15 20:17

    Why can T20 not be treated the same as Sevens Rugby? Pick a team purely for the T20's that can tour the world playing this form of the game. Introduce a World Series just like the 7's and leave the more traditional game alone. We do not see too many 7's players playing real rugby at international level.

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