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|The Evolution of Cricket: A Young, Techno-Savvy Game|
|Pitched By Cricket360 Editor|
|Friday, 20 February 2009|
Cricket as it is played now, the different versions of the game and the technological aids now used have made it well nigh unrecognisable as the sedate and slow paced game of old. This editorial does a special review of how a sea change has overcome cricket; how the white flannels have given way to trendy coloured uniforms, the 5 day game to the 3 hour game and two on field umpires given way to three and a plethora of technical equipment as well. Young following and seemingly endless cricket coverage have both ensured that cricket has evolved in the way that it has.
As a spectator sport which enjoys incessant cricket coverage, everything about cricket has become spectator friendly: the 5 day version was thought too long, it was chopped down to three hours. The white flannels were boring to watch, they were replaced with snazzy national colour outfits. The importance that the youth accords to sartorial considerations makes it necessary for designers to spend 18 months in developing new team jerseys as in the case of Team India’s brand new team jersey .
Umpires mistakes are too clearly seen for them to be ignored; enter the third umpire and error checking mechanisms like the Umpire Referral System and the Hotspot system. The current debated Umpire Referral System has its supporters but chief among its detractors is Sachin Tendulkar. His objection to the system is not that it is an embracing to new technology which is at variance with the tradition of the game, but perhaps that the system, which depends on the Hawkeye, has limited application, causes an interruption in play and could also undermine the authority of the on field umpires.
According to Sachin the hot spot is more definite because technology can rule with certainty if the bat made contact with the ball. Whichever is ultimately adopted, there can be no going back, only a going forward to embrace more technology that will add to the viewing experience that is cricket.
As for the evolution of the three hour version, or the Twenty20 game, even now that it is firmly entrenched, the traditionalists find it cringe-worthy. Fact is, we live in a fast food, even instant food world, and so must our cricket reflect it. It is the age of instant gratifications and no one, or few people now, want to wait five days to watch their team win or lose. They would rather have closure within the space of time that it takes to watch a good old Masala Bollywood flick.
Even the Indian Premier League is an indication of the change that has come over what was essentially a sport played by one nation against another rather than a commercially driven enterprise that buys and sells players like so many cattle.
That cricket has changed, that it has evolved are inescapable facts, whether that evolution and change is for the better is a matter of personal opinion, but who can deny that cricket today is more exciting than ever before!
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