Former Australian cricket Ian Chappell mentioned that the T20I format is swiftly becoming a format where the team winning the toss goes on to win the game. In the recently concluded T20 World Cup, almost every single team opted to bowl first and managed to come out victors in the majority of the games.
Each of the knockout games was won by the team chasing, partly down to the dew factor in the UAE. To ensure the shortest format continues to be interesting and maintains a balance between bat and ball, a survey needs to be conducted to find out the possible changes that can be implemented, as per Chappell.
“There needs to be a wide-reaching survey into the changes required to improve the T20 format. To make it even more popular than it is, tournaments have to include a way to ensure the game doesn’t become a matter of winning the toss. There seem to be two widely diverging views on T20 cricket.”
“There is the long-term cricket fan’s fear that the game will become an all-power event that favours muscle-bound six-hitting batters in matches of the sort that are too often won by the chasing team.
“Then there is the opinion of the not-so-discerning fan, who is unworried by the seeming lack of contest between bat and ball and can’t get enough of the mammoth six-hitting,” Chappell wrote in his column for ESPNcricinfo.
“Better bats and smaller boundaries is a serious slight on bowlers” – Ian Chappell
Ian Chappell felt that the modern game is influenced by the entertainment factor that comes with hitting big sixes. In order to enhance it further, the size of the grounds keep shrinking while a batsman’s willow keeps thickening, making it blatantly easier to smash those big maximums. This has reduced bowlers to mere machines, as elaborated by Chappell.
“Then there is the balance between sport and entertainment. In my opinion, the balance in T20 cricket needs to be somewhere in the vicinity of 60:40 sport to entertainment.
“At the moment it’s unbalanced and too much in favour of pure entertainment. The administrators need to find both the ideal balance between bat and ball and educate fans on cricket’s values.”
“It is fine when middled deliveries finish up in the stands but a bowler should be extremely angry if a blatant mis-hit still clears the ropes. This problem is not so pronounced on larger Australian grounds, but I’m not sure what genius produced the ludicrous mixture of better bats and smaller boundaries.
“This combination is reducing bowlers to virtual bowling machines. It is a serious slight on good bowlers and needs to be rectified immediately,” Chappell concluded.
The next year will see another T20 World Cup being conducted and the time to introduce changes is already ticking down.