Kolkata, April 11: One reason why cricket's shortest format, the Twenty20, became popular is its time span. With time becoming a scarce commodity, a sport like cricket found it difficult to retain attention and T20 emerged as a viable format. An entire game of 40 overs plus the breaks is supposed to get over inside three and half hours but in the ongoing Indian Premier League (IPL) 2019, the practice has been found to be falling far too away from the theory.
With the games starting at 8 pm and the finish often stretching past midnight, the IPL 2019 has left several unhappy. A lot of former cricketers, including those who are associated with teams that are playing in the IPL, have expressed their concerns over matches taking far too long to get over. The former England captain Michael Vaughan was disappointed that the super over that took place between Delhi Capitals and Kolkata Knight Riders took 30 minutes to get over. "T20 is a great product .. but games are now taking over 4 hrs," he had tweeted.
Former Australia all-rounder and coach of Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) Tom Moody was also not impressed with this delay and even advised a drastic remedy. According to him, instead of imposing monetary fines, it will be more fruitful if deduction is made from the teams' net run-rate. In a tournament like the IPL where teams can make or break by the skin of teeth, such a penalty is something the franchises can't afford.
The main reason for which IPL games are dragging on is the captains' consuming time strategising in the middle. It is understandable that stakes are high in a fiercely competitive tournament like the IPL but nothing really is above the rules. The organisers need to come down heavily on the matter of adhering to the clock in IPL games. If the broadcasters are looking at the 8-11 time slot to get the maximum traction for IPL games, delay beyond that timeframe will see people losing interest gradually.
The introduction of the DRS in the IPL last year has also slowed things down. It is good to import technology to ensure that the game is as closest to being flawless but if such additions slow down the game and put it in a danger of losing public appeal, then the ultimate purpose is certainly not served. There are some injuries but these are undeniable parcels of the game and not much can be done about. Teams need to be beware of the clock.