No one took it seriously initially but soon it became a rage. It swept everything else aside and has possibly changed the game forever. Its full impact has perhaps not yet been felt but there are clear indications that cricket's newest and shortest format has not just caught the public fancy like nothing else before it but is also poised to become a God sent opportunity for the game's marketing gurus.
If cricket still a sport played in not many countries captures the imagination worldwide it could well be because of Twenty20. Hardly anyone now talks of Test cricket while Fifty50 has taken a backseat. Cricket has gone Twenty20 in a big way and the audiences are lapping it up. Its appeal is simple.
It is all about fours and sixes and quick fall of wickets. It is short and sweet and runs about the same time as a movie. Indeed Bollywood has embraced Twenty20 as events in the IPL have shown. While the inaugural World Cup in South Africa in 2007 underlined its entertainment value the IPL expanded its scope and coined a new phrase - cricketainment.
Film stars, prominent industrialists and high profile business tycoons became the franchisees, mega bucks were the order of the day and the cheerleaders added their bit to make the event more colourful. It certainly was the happening event of the decade as far as cricket was concerned.In Image: Pakistan cricket team with second Twenty20 World Cup.
Text: Partab Ramchand
Images: Getty Images
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