Currently, the Melbourne Renegades, based out of Etihad Stadium, are top of the ladder on percentage, just ahead of Melbourne Stars, based out of the MCG. On the subcontinent T20 is HUGE, with large salaries, and the world's best players coming over for the league.
So what are people saying about this new level of professional sport? It is a new paradigm born and so people and seeing the death of the old. Analysts' opinions are that the T20 concept will see the end of One Day Cricket, something itself that was revolutionary, thanks to Kerry Packer. The impact T20 will have on Test Cricket is still being debated.
One thing is certain, the birth of T20 has changed the view of professional sport. Last year the T20 clubs had a $1 million dollar salary cap for their 18 players. These figures are a mile away from the salaries of yesteryear and they bring a new level of endorsement and marketing.
Now you have considered all this, how would you classify this new paradigm of professional sport? Some ideas:
- Is it part of the entertainment industry? Fans at T20 games are entertained with dance music and interviews between balls, flame throwers for a six, and of course, dancing girls. The big hits are part of the attraction to entertain the masses.
- Is it for junior development? The new T20 format is fresh and appealing to an i-something generation of youth. T20 has targeted schools and clubs to help promote the sport and the skills of the game. It has been a successful vehicle for getting kids playing cricket.
- Is it part of the business of brand cricket? As an international sport, cricket takes on many of the greats, such as the football codes, for domination of the market. The new T20 game focuses on attracting a different demographic of fans and sponsors, as well as evolving their market share, just as One Day Cricket did.
The next fixture of the T20 Big Bash League hits town 18th December with Brisbane Heat taking on Perth Scorchers. On the 19th the Renegades battle Hurricanes, while 20th sees the Thunder versus the Strikers.
It is worth a look!