"We were out voted 10-1in the recent ICC meeting in London..!!"
This is what BCCI secretary Niranjan Shah had to say on why exactly twenty20 is coming to India, later than any other country all over the world. The story started in February 2006 when ICC first proposed twenty20 cricket matches to cricket boards of other countries which was first experimented in England. Cricket was born in UK and it spread all over the world with the passing time, but somehow, Youth of England were running away to soccer matches rather than visiting a International test match. The biggest reason was that cricket is a lengthy game, whereas soccer lasted only 2 and half hours.
They decided to find a solution and came up with twenty20 cricket matches, in which they reduced overs per side to 20 and also forced strict penalties on the team who failed to bowl those 20 overs in speculated time. Here's more rules of Twenty20 matches. Result - cricket matches, which used to be played for a period of five days, squeezed into a 3 and half hour affair.
To Tell you frankly, I have seen quite a few twenty20 match, back in 2004 when it was first introduced and after disappointments, I did found some interest in it. And the day ESPN showed the semi final and Final match of that first ever twenty20 tournament in UK, I was trilled to say the least. They did the live telecast of the two semi-final matches and then the final match, played by the England's county teams. The day also included an hour show of music from some local band........ all in just one day.
That's the best thing with Twenty20 cricket. Its short and its quick. And its trilling as well as bat speaks loudly over the ball. But the at the moment you are starting to feel it will be just a batsmen's dominated game, think again. I have seen twenty20 matches where batsmen had to consolidate their batting when they lost 2 or 3 quick wickets as even the 20 overs seems longer than they usually sound.
So now when Twenty20 is inevitable, what are the steps Indian cricket board is taking to spread this new cricket game in India. Well, they have come up with a plan to stage a twenty20 cricket tournament in India, which will be played by local recognised teams in each state in India. According to BCCI plans for twenty20, these matches will also offer the local twenty20 teams to travel out of their states for the later stages of that twenty20 tournament in India and finally, the finals will be played around the May - June of 2007. As this first introduction will be played at a local stages in India, it will allow Indian cricket fans to visit the matches personally and as they are of very short durations, Indians can enjoy it just like they go for movies and come back talking about it.
Let me remind you that ICC has already awarded the first ever Twenty20 World Cup championship to South Africa and it will be played in September 2007. So if you don't get confused in the difference between Twenty20 and an ODI, be ready for more as the days goes on..!!