Apparently scientists around the world have made a renewed plea to governments for resources to watch out for asteroids that might just tumble into the same orbit as the Earth and, barring sending up Bruce Willis to launch a large nuclear device at the offending object, ultimately destory us all.
Well, I say to those in charge of such things, ignore them. If a collision between two worlds is what it takes to wipe the cancer of Twenty20 from the face of the globe, then I say “Bring it On”.
The regular reader of Reverse Sweep may see this a bit of an about-turn in attitude. Which would be a fair assessment. For RS has gone on record as saying he quite enjoys the reduced version of the game and has even been seen munching pies and downing the odd glass – well, recyclable plastic container – of beer at the Oval on such nights.
But now they have gone too far: on Cricinfo this morning it is reported that Australia, India and South Africa intend to pack even more cricket into an already overwhelmed calendar with a Twenty20 series based in outline on the southern hemisphere Tri-Nations rugby series. New Zealand might be somewhat miffed not to be invited to the party.
Gerald Majola, the chief executive of Cricket South Africa, seems confident of getting even more sponsorship at a time when other sports are raising doubts that the almost laughably enormous sums that can be earned for hitting, kicking, or striking various sorts of balls about will continue to be readily available. I’m struggling to remember where I read it, but I seem to recall Ernie Els expressing reservations over whether the PGA tours would have such deep pockets in light of the globabl financial downturn.
So maybe annihilation by the impact of two spheres hurtling through space is going a bit far. Perhaps we can rely on another form of crash to put paid to these futile – and meaningless – enterprises.
A large part of my enjoyment of football has been destroyed by the constant expansion of relatively meaningless European competition: who, apart perhaps from the most avid fans of the teams involved, gives a tired toss about the early league rounds of the Champions League and, from next year, the Uefa Europe League, which sounds more like aan open-all- hours corner shop then a football tournament? Not to mention the ridiculous rescheduling of television programmes to ensure that Five can squeeze at least four games into an evening.
A similar process is occurring with the expansion of Twenty20. It seems strange that Sky’s trailer for its programme of winter cricket is fronted by the Stanford 20/20, not by England’s miniature Test tour of India – or even the seven-match series of one-day internationals that precedes that.
It even snuck in a game of 20/20 club cricket on Sunday when they had nothing else to fill the airwaves. What saddos, apart from the families of those invovled, would seriously want to watch that nonsense?
I’d happily watch the lowest form of club cricket if I was passing through a park, but I do not want to see it on television, dressed up in costumes better suited to the circus and hyped up as something worthy of serious attention.
It is not.
So I say to the Association of Space Explorers, the body urging us to look out for threatening comets and the like: if it was good enough for the dinosaurs, it’s good enough for Twenty20.