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T20 is disrupting the game’s balance, feels Ian Chappell

Former Australian batsman Ian Chappell has been a vocal critic of T20 cricket © Getty Images
Former Australian batsman Ian Chappell has been a vocal critic of T20 cricket © Getty Images

Sydney: Feb 1, 2014 

Former Australia captain Ian Chappell feels that Twenty20 cricket has made the game more batsmen-centric and more needs to be done to maintain a balance between the bat and the ball. According to him, if this continues it could lead to the demise of the sport.

Chappell in his column in the Daily Telegraph feels the organisers are putting more emphasis on big hitting and bringing entertainment through bowlers being battered all over the park.

“While sixes are becoming as common as cheerleaders at T20 matches, over 30 percent of the runs at Bellerive were registered via rope-clearing shots. This is more than 10 percent above the previous highest yearly average for international T20 matches. The number of games and the on-ground fireworks aren’t the only explosions occurring in T20 cricket,” Chappell said.

“T20 sixes are on the increase and while this may sound exciting for the patrons, the administrators need to ensure they retain the right balance between contest and entertainment.”

The former prolific batsman points out that this sort of imbalance between the bat and ball could have dire consequences for the sport.

“If they don’t get the balance right the consequences down the track could be dire and the game may eventually become unrecognisable as cricket,” quipped Chappell.

According to the Australian batting technique and proper shot selection is being neglected to score quick runs and that eventually that could lead to the sport becoming a poor amalgamation of cricket and baseball.

“Batting is an art but with the boundaries being reduced and bats improving at a rapid rate, there’s plenty of incentive for players to completely ignore technique and concentrate on raw power. If this trend continues, T20 will eventually become a poor impersonation of baseball,” Chappell said.

“There’s definitely a place for hitters who excel but some batting artistry must remain for the game to resemble cricket.”

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