It is difficult to believe that T-20 Cricket has been around for less than fifteen years due to the appeal of the format and the amount of T-20 Cricket that is played today. There have been six (6) T-20 World Cups since 2007 compared to eleven (11) One -Day-International Wold Cups since 1975.
The audience for cricket, in general, has increased since the advent of this shorter and more exciting format and cricket has also become more lucrative for broadcasters. The format has also given birth to a new type of freelance cricketer who plies his trade in several T-20 Leagues across the world and earns handsomely while doing so.
Some of the main freelance T-20 players are West Indians; we will examine reasons why West Indians are perfectly suited for this format of the game.
One of the reasons why Caribbean players are ideally suited for the T-20 Format is because of their naturally attacking game. West Indians play an exciting brand of cricket – whether batting, bowling or fielding.
Caribbean batters are some of the most naturally powerful stroke makers in the world and instinctively hit the ball all over the park and score runs quickly.
This type of batting is precisely what is expected in T-20 cricket and is the main reason why West Indian batsmen such as Chris Gayle, Andre Russell, Evin Lewis and Kieron Pollard are in such high demand across the T-20 world where a high strike rate is one of the major determinants of success.
Our fielders and bowlers are also “in your face” type of characters that play with positive energy that exudes confidence; these are essential tenets in a fast-past T-20 game.
Also, West Indian cricketers are natural entertainers; they are some of the best dancers on a cricket field and knows how to entertain their audiences.
Players such as Dwayne Bravo (The champion), Andre Russell (Dre Russ), and Chris Gayle (The Universe Boss) have forged endearing entertainment personalities that people look forward to seeing all over the T-20 world.
Personalities like these are major contributors to the appeal and entertainment value provided by this format of the game and are helping to take the game to new audiences that were not necessarily attracted to One-Day-International and Test Cricket.
Another reason why West Indian cricketers are natural fits for T-20 cricket is due to the lack of earning opportunities in regional First-Class and List A Cricket.
The Caribbean Islands have small populations, a dwindling fan base and a lack of meaningful sponsorship for cricket due to the under-par performance of the West Indies team on the world stage over the past twenty years.
It is, therefore, a major challenge for a cricketer in the region to earn a decent living from playing First-Class cricket. The opportunity to make an income playing T-20 Cricket across the world is probably more appealing to West Indian players than any other of the Top eight cricketing nations who have more extensive populations and more opportunities for income in their own countries.
It is, therefore, no surprise that a West Indian is the highest run-scorer in the format (Chris Gayle) and highest wicket-taker (Dwayne Bravo).
Finally, T-20 cricket is here to stay and will continue to grow from strength to strength. It will probably be the only format that the West Indies team plays competitively soon if major changes are not made to the structure of Cricket in the region and sad to say I do not envision any significant changes soon!
Readers Bureau, Contributor
Edited by Jesus Chan
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