The World T20 comes again to bring back the evening excitement. This time, the shortest format of the game will be held in India, cricket’s commercial hub. It is expected that the Indian edition of the tournament will be the most successful in terms of popularity which will be channelized into money than the last five editions. This format also squeezes the disparity between Test-playing nations and Associate and Affiliates nations as twenty overs game need hard hitting and strategy and athletic fielders. The most important thing about T20 cricket is that that has improved fielding of many countries.
New Zealand was the first country to host the inaugural T20 match in February 2005. It took two more years to host Wolrd T20 in South Africa. But, how was the World Cup of cricket shortest format was born? Let’s chek out the brief history which fills with twists.
Cricket Max of Skay Sports planned by late Martin Crowe was found popular among the fans during the deteriorating popularity of cricket.
England and Walse cricket board officials seek help from Sky Sports New Zealand. Martin Crowe pitched them about the success of the tournament. Later ECB marketing head Stuart Robertson persuaded Channel 4 to conduct a research cost 250000 euro. Robertson found cricket’s dwindling popularity only exist among the aged people and young generations turned their face off from Test and 50 overs cricket. So, Twenty over cricket was designed to bring back fans groups span from children to women to young people.
But BCCI was unlikely to accept this format. According to Sharad Pawar, that “T20 will dilute the importance of the game.” But, the real thing was that BCCI fear that it will dilute the money in domestic cricket and will not help their cause. On the other hand, BCCI secretary Niranjan Shah was heard to ask at the ICC Executive Board meeting, “Why not a ten-ten or five- five or one-one.”
Just because of the reluctance of cricket’s most powerful board BCCI the first international T20 match was first played two years after in Auckland, Eden Park, between New Zealand and Australia.
But things was not same in 2006 when a shameful incident forced BCCI to accept the game. In 2006, India and Pakistan boards jointly bided for 2011 World Cup in the subcontinent. Two boards-Bangladesh and Sri Lanka- were also called in the meeting in New Delhi for the preparation to fill the form of bid on March 21, 22 at ICC Executive meeting in Dubai at ICC headquarter.
The things get comical as PCB’s current chairman Sharayar Khan recount the incident in his book Shadows Across The Playing Field (2009).
Khan revealed. “ To my horror, the BCCI had not completed the preparations for our joint bid which entitled fitting details and copious forms that ICC had sent to all the countries bidding for the World Cup. There was a consternation in the ranks when we-Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, and Pakistan-pointed out that our joint bid was bound to hit the rocks because India had not remotely completed the data provided by the ICC. Sharad Pawar was naturally upset to learn of this potential disaster and ordered his secretary Niranjan Shah to sit up all night with his South Asian colleagues to complete the data.”
Next morning PCB chairman saw a bleary-eyed Asif Altaf, chief executive of Khan at breakfast. He asked about the preparations. Altaf, visibly tired and upset, said, “I’m afraid the task could not be completed. We sat up with Niranjan Shah until 3 am but then effort collapsed because Indian board simply did not have the factual data. I am afraid our bid will be found to be a non-complaint in Dubai.”
The time has come for the ICC Executive Board meeting in Dubai on 20 and 21 March. Brazen BCCI sought more time for fill the form for bid when Australia and New Zealand submitted a good joint bid for World Cup Down Under.
But, BCCI whose office built on the bed of money offered Ray Mali of South Africa and Peter Chingoka of Zimbabwe the Afro-Asian game, which Pawar literally wanted to scrap, to continue. He also offered financial assistance to bankrupt West Indies cricket board. These tricks and freebies helped BCCI and its partner obtained the a month time.But, the business not ended here in the ICC executive board meeting, after a lackluster World Cup in West Indies, cricket had been losing its popularity and ICC suffered a huge financial loss. So, T20 was an option for ICC which got popularity in Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and England. These countries agreed to play the inaugural World T20 in South Africa, BCCI did not agree initially, though others countries deployed a trap for Indian board’s as they failed to fill the bid in time. ICC supported by other countries like Australia and England asked BCCI to choose between extensions of a month and play in World T20 or gave up the 2011 World Cup Down Under.
BCCI had no option but to accept the offer and play the 2007 World T20 and got the extension of a month for filling the bidding paper. India, lead by young MS Dhoni, without playing a single T20I flew to South Africa leaving stars like Sachin Tendulkar, Sourav Ganguly, and Rahul Dravid. At the same time, Pakistan after a little bit of hesitation agreed to send their team to World T20. And the rest is history as the two arch rivals -India and Pakistan-, who did not have any experience of T20 cricket and did not have domestic T20 competitions, reached the thrilling final at New Wanders, Johannesburg. Pakistan captain Misbah-ul-Haq’s erroneous scoop at the fine leg that was caught by S. Sreesanth changed the course of the history of cricket as India won the match by 5 runs in the last over bowled by Joginder Sharma and MS Dhoni lifted the Cup.
The blackmail strategy worked well as it has changed the demography of cricket which has been rapidly expanding across the globe because of the popularity of T20 cricket.
Now, after five editions of success World T20 comes in India as they got the taste of money through Indian Premier League. The T20 save cricket from financial bankruptcy and BCCI got another mega cricket event after 2011 World Cup to brim their purse.