The World Championship Twenty20 Cricket tournament
has just ended in South Africa
is a shortened form of an old game that can be very
long (five days) or one day 300 or so balls or pitches each team. Twenty20 is a game that can be finished within three and a half hours, is packed full of incident, and favors huge shots and athletic displays. It would have purists like my father rolling over in his grave, but it's exciting, attracts families to see it, and it makes pots of money.
What's more the most fanatical of all cricketing nations, India, has just won the tournament
: to universal acclaim and celebration. Some
are reading into the victory a sign that India is truly emerging as a confident world power, while others
fear that the success of the tournament and the embracing of the shortened form by one billion Indians, not to mention others around the world, will mean that the older, slower, infinitely more nuanced form of the game—the five-day Test Match—will disappear.
I doubt it. Twenty20 is like the arrival of Elvis Presley in 1956. It shook a whole world of music up, but people are still listening to Sinatra and Shostakovich. Like Presley, however, Twenty20 has the potential to open new markets to cricket, and show the world that a more diverse and color-blind sport it would be hard to find. Yes, cricket, that most traditional of games, finally goes rock 'n' roll!