The Recusant Cricket Club would be remiss in its duty if it did not take heed of cricketing developments in India. The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has set up the Indian Premier League – a franchise league playing Twenty20 cricket. The full story is at BBC On-Line here.
Everyone will have their own opinion about Twenty20 cricket. Personally, I abhor it and make no effort to listen to any matches that turn up on the radio. Not that they do very often, except in one minute reports during football programmes. So, I ignore the reports instead.
Cricket for me is about the four or five day game; county and Test level. The (international) one-day game is to be tolerated, but no more. It takes away the technique and makes the game a glorified slug-fest.
Thus, the idea of the county game being diminished by a franchise Twenty20 tournament is abhorrent to me. To make matters worse, it looks like the franchises would follow the awful practice of giving their teams names that have no relation to the area. In my own beloved rugby union, we have the Sale Sharks. I have heard that the north west is a hard area, but never of sharks prowling the area.
So, goodbye Gloucestershire, hello Gloucestershire Grim Reapers. Maybe they will play with scythes and not bats. Goodbye Middlesex, hello Middlesex Marauders. Presuming, of course, that the county association is not ditched altogether.
If the IPL is taken up in England, it will be the next biggest sell-out after the sale of all cricketing TV rights to Sky TV. For the sake of all that is good and holy and five days long, I urge readers to reject the IPL and all its off shoots.