In my hometown we faced the worst sort of April weather; sunny but cold, with a piercing wind and scudding clouds ripping across those wide East Anglian skies.

Yet I felt warmed as I watched thousands in love with cricket, cheering themselves hoarse, one eye on the big screen just in case the cameraman spotted their antics, another eye on the neighbouring seat, filled like every other in the stadium.

IPL was back again, Brett Lee was racing in to belie his three-and-a-half decades and his retirement and, first ball of the new season, an off stump was knocked askew and the bails were once again sailing head high.

The spectators, who greeted the toss as if they had just seen the winning goal in the Cup final, roared again. Even though the next ball went for four and the next for two more they were happy to suggest that the very arrival of a new IPL season was enough to bring new life. Cricket had been reborn all over the sub-continent.

Not in England funnily enough. Here it is shown on the minor channel of ITV4, which does not normally offer cricket, while the big TV cricket channels sit in a corner and ignore what is going on in India.

Ultimate test

Why? Don’t ask. Here Test cricket, so all the experts say, is still the ultimate examination, still the finest form of the game, while everything else is to be viewed in a minor key. Ridiculous, of course, but then it was a long, long time before musicians acknowledged the power of jazz in any form except what they dubbed the classics.

It may be just as long before there is a demand for Twenty20 cricket in this country because, I often think, we are too cerebral, too intent on maintaining our equilibrium, too polite to enjoy our sport as you guys in India do.

We should try it. Big hitting, quick, relentless running, power bowling: these are not crimes but only one side of a game that has in recent years been shown to be many-faceted, to find pleasure in more than one format.

The cricketers already recognise that Test batting can be enhanced by T20 techniques; the ball struck over the wicketkeeper, or uppercut above first slip. Bowlers have snatched the doosra from the shadows of short-run cricket and taken it into the Test arena. Give them the time to practise, to find new ways to exploit this trick and it will be a staple of the Test and not just a variation that is better in 20 overs than in 90-a-day.

Of course, and this has been said many times, we do not have the right weather, the dark evenings and the sudden dusk to make T20 cricket at night a natural.

Indoor cricket

One day all cricket will be played indoors — wait for the wail of discontent that arises from among the conservative watchers here when that is suggested — and that will be the time for cricket in England to embrace the shorter form.

Twenty years ago a friend of mine drew up an agenda for the future of cricket and included an item about names and numbers on players’ shirts.

“That is not even to be discussed,” shouted the chairman of his committee. “We don’t want stuff like that in this country, however popular it might be abroad.”

Life changes and those of us who advocate progress have the supreme pleasure of seeing the traditionalists try to catch up with us. IPL will do that all over again — whatever the weather.