Revamping T20 Cricket: The New Rules and Their Impact

T20 or Twenty 20 cricket has been a huge hit amongst fans and has revolutionized the world of cricket over the past couple of decades. Ever since it was introduced in 2003, it has given a new lease of life to many cricket associations through the franchise-based cricket model bringing in money that could sometimes fund a country for years. Indian Premier League, Big Bash League, Caribbean Premier League and others have changed the way cricket is followed and watched across the world. These T20 tournaments have not only helped bring more revenue but has also helped unleash new talent.

T20 was introduced to spice up the cricketing fraternity. With growing popularity, every governing body has tried to add more spice to their T20 tournaments, to make it more interesting and appealing for fans across the world. As a traditionalist who still loves watching test cricket, I found it very hard to take a liking to T20 and some of these new rules I believe can help revive the interest in other forms of cricket. Listing some of those rules that clicked with me and some that did not.

2 different team sheets: In IPL 2023, the captains can walk out with 2 different team sheets and can select a XI based on the outcome of the toss. This takes away the “Win toss, Win Match” trend in the IPL. This makes sense especially when the condition of the match is affected by the dew factor, making it easier for the team batting second to chase targets. Extending this rule to International cricket across all formats, especially One Day Cricket, would make a great difference. This rule would surely be a hit.

Impact Substitute: Each team can nominate a set of 5 players and choose to replace a player at different stages of the game like the end of the innings, the end of an over, the fall of a wicket, or when a player retires. Once the impact player is used, the substituted player can play no further part in the game even as a fielder. My take on this rule is that this takes away the benefit of having 2 different team sheets and also in many instances, an impact player who replaced a player who already got out, got a chance to bat again. This makes no sense. The T20 game is already spiced up and loaded in favour of batters. Interestingly, Big Bash League got rid of this change which was introduced in the name of “X-factor”. I believe this rule would be a great fit for test cricket, played over 5 days and with changing conditions, bringing this rule will increase the interest in Test cricket.

DRS for wides and no-balls: DRS or Decision Review System is now available for teams to review wides and no-balls. Earlier the teams were allowed to only review when someone is adjudged out or not out. The number of reviews has also been increased from 1 to 2. These changes make a lot of chance. T20 is a game of very fine margins and a wide ball or a no-ball can make a world of difference. But some more clarity on how to decide on the wide or no-ball especially when the batter moves around the crease would be very beneficial to the teams and the spectators. This rule should stay for sure.

DRS: Decision Review System aka Dhoni Review System
Image Courtesy: Wisden

I was also impressed with a couple of new changes that were brought in the Big Bash League(BBL) in Australia.

Power Surge: A separate 2-over powerplay that can be used by the batting team after the completion of one-half of the overs. This was a really interesting rule and kind of added uncertainty to the way the game was played. This rule was done away with. But I would prefer this to come back but for the power surge to be taken by the bowling team rather than the batting team to give it a little twist.

Bash Boost: This one once again makes the contest more interesting. The calculation is fairly simple whichever team has the higher score midway through the second innings gets a bonus point. This would make a good equation in the points table. A good contest will get additional points for the teams.

Some rules that would make test cricket and ODIs more interesting are something that I would like ICC – International Cricket Council to consider.

Hail Buchanan

Hail Buchanan!!!! I mean it. Not for this achievements with the aussie team but for his multi captain theory. Recently Sangakkara was banned for one match for slow over rate. So could Sachin also face the same fate if MI once again fail to complete their quota of overs in the time given. If there are multiple captains in the team, which captain will the referee punish. i suppose u cant puish more than one person. 😉 just got a quick thought on this. Should buchanan not be hailed for this??

Slow over rate punishment was introduced as slow over rate kills viewer interest. But i feel even this adds an interesting aspect to the Game of T20. The people on top should recognise the pressure that the teams are in when they play a High Voltage T20 and that too in franchise concept where crores are more important than scores. Time to wake up authorities. T20 can never have a dull aspect.

T20 and its after effects

“It’s raining sixes and fours at Panchkula – Tony Grieg”. This famous line was uttered by Tony Grieg during the ICL T20 tournament that was held recently. And it’s not true only with the ICL T20 but true for all the T20 tournaments. IPL has so far witnessed a minimum of 750 sixes and more than 1500 fours. This is a stunning figure. Sunil Gavaskar used to tell that his coach would ask him to go around the ground at least twice if hits the ball in the air during nets. But these days most balls are hit only in the air thanks to the shortest form of cricket.

The shots are being invented or rather being manufactured. The life of the bowlers has become even more difficult. T20 is more of a batsmen’s game. Nearly 450 runs were scored in the match between Super Kings and Kings XI in just 40 overs. So the run rate was more than 11 and over. Oops, this is really amazing. Boundary lengths were shortened for making T20 more interesting. But the balls are flying deep into the stands. Sometimes out of the stadium like the one Albie Morkel hit recently. Even the pattis(grandmas), aunties and girls of India have started sacrificing their MEGA serials for the sake of great action. This has put T20 above the test and ODI formats of the game in terms of viewership. And the support for T20 keeps increasing day by day. A chip over a short fine leg or a slog over mid-wicket draws a huge cheer than the one for the old-fashioned shots.

Will test cricket lose its charm because of this T20?? Will Hard Hitting be the mantra of cricket in future?? Will shots of players like Dravid, Sachin, Kallis, and Waugh which have been classical all life be remembered??