Whither context

I read, enjoyed and shared on FB a wonderful piece (http://www.cricinfo.com/decadereview2009/content/story/439734.html) looking back at a decade in cricket. Rather personal, parts of it; and much I identified with. I ended spewing some more thoughts on it. Here goes.

I have very little against T20. I might not like it too much given the sheer quantity I am already faced with, but I know that
a) it’s the way the game has evolved, and we cant cling on to romantic ideals of cricket, and
b) it can actually be a fantastically absorbing game- its not as often a dumbing down of the game as a crunching up of the skills into a shorter time frame; with the requirement to hit the ground running, display your skills faster and more intensely. None of these are bad things per se.
Anyway, this is not so much about critiquing T20.

Good Test cricket is a wonderful thing to follow, of course. But for increasingly fewer people, backed by fewer boards (namely not our own), shown by broadcasters struggling to sustain it, sponsored by companies increasingly reluctant to do so. The crucial factor here is the importance given to it by the people who run the game. The number of Tests India has been playing is nothing short of absurd. Test cricket has much the better chance of showcasing two teams fighting for the upper hand, but the chance for it to do so is frighteningly under threat.

I expect to see a more than reasonable contest between two sides/ two players and that is perfectly justifiable demand. What is most unfortunate today is that I can’t expect to see a reasonable contest between bat & ball.

And lastly, what is the most relevant thing for me here (which connects with the title of the article as well) is the utter lack of context. One series segues into the next, bilateral gives way to tri series gives way to T20 gives way to domestic…oh, look there’s a Test match round the corner!
This is the crux of the matter- how much appetite for cricket am I expected to have? How many matches am I expected to watch without having the results and performances blur in my head? And how many fours and sixes and DLF maximums before they become meaningless?
(The answer my friend, is blowin’ in the wind).

Actually at one level I *hope* they become meaningless. I hope people tire of 400 runs in T20 games and 700 in ODIs. I hope people couldn’t be bothered. Maybe that will lead to some sort of shakedown.

But who am I kidding.

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