The T10 league is a corny and shoddy attempt to help PCB and cricketers make money, leaving viewers with a trash form of cricket

Published: December 21, 2017
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T10 is a lacklustre attempt at making profits in the name of innovation. PHOTO: T10 LEAGUE FACEBOOK

There are three ingredients you need to create a T10 league and I can assure you quality cricket is not one of them. You simply need a willingness to spend excessive money pointlessly to create hype, grab a handful of celebrities to do a cheerleading job, and of course some cricket players looking to make some quick bucks. Kaboom! Now you have the formula to make another pointless league of your own such as the T10 cricket league.

Twenty20 was introduced to offer a power-packed source of entertainment while keeping cricket still somewhat connected to its roots. Although T20 is nowhere near the purest form of the game, it still tested a player’s resilience and a team’s game plan, therefore cricket lovers of various degrees accepted it as the new format.

On the other hand, T10 has essentially cut all cricket roots whatsoever. They might as well curve the bats to a baseball shape for the wild slogging that has been put on display.

I understand there are T10 fans out there. I also understand it’s the 21st century and shorter formats are the demand of the consumer market in this fast-paced world. Having said that, T10 cricket reminds me of an economic concept called the law of diminishing returns. When you excessively watch mindless slogging and sixes, it gets to a point where it doesn’t provide any source of entertainment.

Luke Ronch of Punjabi Legends and Shoaib Malik of Punjabi Legends during the semi final T10 League match between Pakhtoons and Punjabi Legends at Sharjah Cricket Stadium on December 17, 2017 in Sharjah, United Arab Emirates. Photo: Getty

The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) needs to understand that true cricket fans don’t fall for these T10 types of gimmicks. Therefore, they aren’t fooling anyone but themselves by backing a league that has no real significance. Cricket was made to be a contest between the bat and the ball. It wasn’t meant to be a run fest in the middle of the night.

Shahid Afridi of Pakhtoons celebrates after dismissing Rilee Rossouw of Maratha Arabians during the T10 League match between Maratha Arabians and Pakhtoons at Sharjah Cricket Stadium on December 14, 2017 in Sharjah, United Arab Emirates. Photo: Getty

I do applaud PCB for their facile attempt at being innovative, but unfortunately, this is not innovation. The T10 format has nothing new to bring to the table except taking an existing T20 format and cutting it to a ridiculous level. Since we are talking of innovation, how about changing the name of the event from T10 league to “masala cricket”?

It was a pleasure to watch all players involved in the T10 league promoting the league on Twitter like there is no tomorrow. I don’t blame them. If I were being offered a handsome cheque to come play a few rash shots in a T10 game, I would put my tweets in favour of the T10 league on a loop 24/7.

The best comment apparently came from Mohammed Amir. He claimed that T10 matches help prepare for T20. I love the logic. Consequently, a ‘T5’ format should help prepare for a T10 next season. Then, eventually, we can decide matches on the toss. That could have the potential to gain the most skills now, wouldn’t it?

The point I am trying to drive home is that PCB needs to see viewers as smart consumers and not fools. We expect quality products like the Pakistan Super League (PSL) and not a T10 frenzy that has plenty to offer to everyone involved except the viewers. The investors are making their profits, the players are showered with prizes of epic proportions, and the celebrities will have a beautiful, sponsored vacation trip, but what about the viewers? The viewer is nothing but an eyeball that will consume a trash form of cricket and plenty of advertisements.

Mohammad Irfan of Pakhtoons celebrates after dismissing Kamran Akmal of Maratha Arabians during the T10 League match between Maratha Arabians and Pakhtoons at Sharjah Cricket Stadium on December 14, 2017 in Sharjah, United Arab Emirates. Photo: Getty

PSL captured the entire Pakistani market with a storm because it had a purpose of existence. It resonated with each Pakistani and therefore we all embraced it as a part of ourselves. The T10, on the other hand, is a lacklustre attempt at making profits in the name of innovation. I may be a cricket fanatic but my time has a value on it as well. The quality of cricket on offer in T10 league is certainly not worth my time at least.

Hamza Junaid

Hamza Junaid

The author is an avid cricket follower and plays for a team called Gladiators based in New York. He tweets as @hamza_junaid1 (twitter.com/hamza_junaid1)

The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of The Express Tribune.

  • KAMAL AHMAD Khan

    It Clearly Shows That the writer has No Cricketing sense Nor Love for Cricket. This is a Great Initiative by PCB & Pakistan and I would not be surprised That T10 would be included in the Olympics in Future years,Recommend

  • Amer Lodi

    Absolutely amateurish articleRecommend

  • M. S. Chaudhry

    The writer has some cricketing sense but you don’t have…trust me in this format street kids of Mozang Chungi can beat Pakistan team. Cricket will become a joke if this format is included in the Olympics. Imagine Congo beating Australia and winning gold medal. In longer formats true great cricketers find ways to come back which is impossible in shorter format. Coming back from edge of defeat to winning position is real beauty of cricket.Recommend

  • M Hammad Khan

    Writer has no logic,

    and law of diminishing return ? In actual you should use it in One day or T20,

    this t10 actually creates more entertainment in less time and hence provoke to see more.

    You have not seen IPL? where 2 months long league makes you boring with so much matches and so long duration and after every 10 months? Law of diminishing do apply there?Recommend

  • Faisal

    Apart from the opening sentence, the rest of the comment is crap. T10 if it is the new T20, should have been experimented in our own league.Recommend

  • Hamza Junaid

    Cricketing sense is needed for T10 matches? hahahah I thought ‘Hit out or Get out’ rule applies. #Streetcricket #Olympics2080Recommend

  • Hamza Junaid

    @M.S.Chaudhry Thank You for helping out mate. I hope T10 fans understand the beauty of comebacks and proper cricket. Just because I did not jump on the bandwagon to support T10 does not mean I don’t have love for the game.Recommend

  • Hamza Junaid

    Who said IPL is the benchmark? I don’t watch a single IPL match. Besides, this isn’t an analysis on a game loss or victory. Its an opinion based piece. You are free to watch T10 and support it as well. I have nothing against you or your choice of cricket. Enjoy.Recommend

  • Striver

    There is demand for T10 and therefore there has to be a supply to meet that demand. The law of diminishing returns does not apply in sports. If it did we would not have a thriving sports industry around the world.Recommend

  • Sami Haider

    I am a cricket lover and follow it. However, I felt lost during this event, couldn’t decide which team to support? Secondly, the teams should have had major representation from where the teams belonged to! This event could have managed it a better way.Recommend

  • Hamza Junaid

    @Striver fair enough. Yes, there was enough demand for it because Indian players were playing and Indian media was broadcasting it too. Law of diminishing returns does not apply to the sport but it applies to the concept of increasing everything in the batsman’s favor for more sixes and boundaries. I am an example of someone who lost interest because its too much of mindless slogging. its not entertaining. I was watching something else while the T10 was going on.Recommend

  • Hamza Junaid

    That is completely fine if you follow it. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion and watch whichever format they enjoy the most. I won’t know much about teams either I tried to keep my contact with T10s the minimum haha.Recommend

  • Hamza Junaid

    hahahaha! @Sufiyan you nailed it. I have nothing against the people watching T10 matches its their choice but to bring cricketing logic into a T10 discussion was the joke of the day for me. I agree with you that T10 is aimed at the market segment that actually lacks understanding about true form of cricket. They are in it for an hour long of slogging(entertainment for some) and from business perspective the investors are trying to cash in on this market.Recommend

  • Striver

    Thanks for your comment. I agree that mindless slogging is not cricket. Might as well play gullee-dunda.
    Agree also that Indian and Indian players are a factor in T10s success. But it is a business. Indian and Pakistani businessmen who happen to be cricket lovers have come together and invested in a concept that they think they will make money from. In time the format will grow in popularity.Recommend

  • Hamza Junaid

    Not a problem. Love hearing constructive feedback :)
    Your right, it sure is a business venture and nothing else. From a true cricket fan’s perspective its just sad that we have come down to this form of cricket.Recommend

  • Sane

    Why not T11, in which every player is given one ball to play. Match will decide in 10 minutes.Recommend

  • Hamza Junaid

    HAHA! I agree. Then we might make it to the coming Olympics! Best format ever.Recommend