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TO PLAY CRICKET IS EASY. TO UNDERSTAND THE GAME TAKES TIME.

THE CHANGING FACE OF CRICKET

Cricket has gone through several significant changes over the years.

The one day limited over game was introduced in England during the 1960’s to brighten up the game and generate public interest.

During the late 1970’s Kerry Packer forced significant changes by shifting the TV rights of Test Cricket from the ABC to Channel Nine. He also organised a commercial break during overs and at the dismissal of a batsman, plus he played a significant role in introducing the 50 over One Day International with coloured clothing. It was during this time that player salaries increased dramatically.

In very recent times the introduction of Twenty20 cricket has brought about further changes in which the game is played. The cricketing public is well aware of the financial impact that the Indian Premier League is making and its popularity is filtering throughout the world.

At present the public have the opportunity to watch four forms of the game; Twenty20, One Day 50 over cricket, the forgotten four day first class cricket, and the one which elite players consider their greatest challenge, Test Cricket.

Twenty20 is usually played over three hours and it allows for people to take their families for an outing of excitement and entertainment. It can sometimes be a spur of the moment decision to watch the game and know there will be a finish that is generally close.

One Day cricket requires a longer period of time, usually about seven hours. It is still enjoyed by many people who love to watch a contest.

The four day first class game plays a very important role in grooming the young players who aspire to playing Test Cricket. The crowds who watch first class cricket are very small and are usually made up of traditional cricket enthusiasts.

Test Cricket is the highest form of the game and certainly the one that most cricketers dream of playing. Every boy involved in backyard “Test” matches would pretend to be a famous Test cricketer of their day.

Every form of the game has an important role to play in our society and there is no doubt that all can be enjoyed in one way or another. Twenty20 is brilliant because of constant hitting, great fielding and close games. One Day cricket raised the level of fielding and allowed batters to take greater risks. Bowlers needed to work out strategies that would reduce the scoring rate of opposition batters. The first class game is interesting as it is where the up and coming player can be observed. Finally, there is Test Cricket, which as the name “Test” suggests, is where every part of a player’s physical and mental skills are put to their greatest test over the period of five days. Another aspect is that Test Cricket provides the greatest level of surprise and unpredictability.