Are new innovations to Cricket helpful for the audience?

September 18, 2022 | Shikhu Gyawali

Since its inception, cricket has undergone numerous adjustments and modifications. Since the sport's globalisation following World War II, international cricket has seen a significant transition. Since T20 cricket saw a substantial increase in viewership and audience engagement compared to other forms in the last 10-15 years, we have witnessed some dynamic and bizarre changes to the game.

Understanding cricket takes a lot of effort; it is not a simple game. Cricket has undergone innovation and change, making it even more difficult to understand the foundations. Since the introduction of T20 leagues around the world, unique or fresh ideas and logistics have been implemented to make one league more popular than others.

On the subject of gaming innovations, there will be two points of view. According to the first party, both sides will be able to make a comeback at any point during the game, making it more fascinating and watchable. On the other hand, it is deviating from the fundamentals and makes the beautiful game ludicrous for entertainment and viewing.

Cricket corporations have made several actions that have taken the sport out of its principles to increase viewership and audience engagement, and the cricket fraternity has not appreciated them. The England and Wales Cricket Board itself made some ridiculous decisions when they launched a 100-ball tournament called THE HUNDRED to make cricket more entertaining for the viewers and treated it as a family-friendly package. The Englishmen had a straightforward concept: games are more engaging when they are shorter. However, to make cricket more dynamic, the board altered some of the fundamental regulations.

There were significant changes to the fundamentals, such as twenty sets of five balls in the format and one bowler being able to bowl ten consecutive balls from one end. The ends would alter the following two sets (i.e equivalent to overs). The decision infuriated the game's detractors who wanted it to be true and unique, and some of the groups even boycotted the league. However, the general public appreciated the concept of entertainment and watched in decent numbers for the first two seasons. Despite having a T20 format already in existence, The Hundred generally can be considered a success project for England and Wales Cricket Board.

A similar adjustment was made to the Australian Big Bash League, allowing batting teams to unleash two powerplay overs for themselves. In a T20 match's regular powerplay, which lasts the first six overs, only two fielders are permitted to play outside the 30-yard circle. However, Cricket Australia changed that straightforward formula to make the necessary powerplay only last for the first four overs, with the option for the batting team to select an additional two overs based on their advantage.

The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has made the bold decision to include the term "impact player" in its new system of classification. With effect from this season, the impact player will permit each club to substitute one player from its starting XI during a T20 match. The Syed Mushtaq Ali T20 Trophy will be where the idea is first put into practice. The BCCI is also considering implementing the concept in the upcoming season of the Indian Premier League.

All of these considerations and choices are created to increase the game's intrigue and level of interaction. The game and those who invest in it stand to gain from it. People may enjoy it just as much as they enjoyed the basic changes in The Hundred.

I believe changes must emerge to keep up with the progress of time and the value of things. However, they shouldn't create the impression that the only other choice is for the fans to like them. Even if people appear to like them, major changes like those listed above shouldn't take away from how authentic the game is; cricket is already exquisite as it is. People will eventually want to return to the fundamentals and stop the modifications.

The opinions presented here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily relfect the opinions of LetzCricket.