How 2007 T20 WC changed Indian cricket

Published - October 28, 2017 11:38 pm IST - Bengaluru

The game had the Johannesburg audience on their toes, and two teams – and countries – that have a long history of rivalry had only one equation in mind: 6 balls, 13 runs, 1 wicket. Three balls later, a scoop went awry, and India took home the maiden T20 World Cup in 2007. Did this one moment change cricket forever?

Ace Indian legspinner, Anil Kumble, cricket journalists Sharda Ugra and Gideon Haigh, and journalist Rajdeep Sardesai sat down amidst a packed crowd and deliberated in an attempt to find the answer.

Mr. Kumble, who was clearly the centre of the crowd’s attention, believed the victory was a “catalyst” and helped fast-track the processes that would eventually see the glitzy and controversy-ridden Indian Premier League (IPL) being launched a year later.

The victory came in the background of India’s humiliation in the ODI World Cup earlier that year, and at a time when the economy was booming, leading to an increased sense of confidence among the youth. “For millenials, this was an 1983 (India’s first World Cup win) moment, and as an open cavalcade marched through Mumbai, the captain, (Mahendra Singh) Dhoni was the ideal prototype (for T20 cricket),” said Mr. Sardesai.

Focus on results

The launch of the domestic T20 series has had a deep impact on the game. “We can now see that test matches are result-oriented, and very few matches end in draws as the way batsmen and bowlers play has changed. Captains hesitate to declare even when the chasing team needs 4 runs per over on the last day,” said Mr. Kumble.

However, can the three formats (the five-day test, the 50-over ODI and the 20-over T20) co-existence in an increasingly crowded cricket calender. “Co-existence is not going to be peaceful. These are transitional steps for cricket and we don’t know how the chips fall...(But) it is the goodwill from players to play the larger version of the game, instead of taking the renumerative route, that is sustaining test cricket,” said Mr. Haigh.

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