Sun, Mar 04, 2018 - Page 10 News List

T20 leaves sport facing testing times

AFP, LONDON

“I don’t know how you become better at anything by doing less of it,” the former England fast-medium bowler added.

Fewer Championship matches are now played at the height of an English summer, so spinners, often critical to Test success in the sub-continent, lose out on the chance to bowl in helpful conditions.

“The reasons involved are sound,” Fraser said, while acknowledging the problem. “Twenty20 brings in a lot of income for the game and you want to get families involved by having those matches on during the school-holiday period.”

Elite rugby union and rugby sevens are now effectively two separate sports, such are their differing demands, with a similar split possible in cricket.

“It’s in danger of doing that,” said Pete Russell, the chief operating officer of the T20 Hero Caribbean Premier League [CPL], at this week’s player draft in London.

“We are one of eight T20 tournaments around the world now, and these guys have a lot of opportunities to make good money elsewhere,” Russell said.

Moreover, his colleague Damien O’Donohoe, the CPL’s chief executive, said there is a broader problem confronting all cricket and sport in general.

“In relation to the fans, their attention span is so short even for us trying to get people to watch a three-hour game is a big challenge, hence why we’ve been working so closely with the likes of Facebook and Twitter,” he said. “I think sport across the board has an issue with that — people’s attention is much shorter,” O’Donohoe said.

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