So, seriously... why are you here? What
conceivable reason can there be for anyone who calls him/herself a sports fan
to be worrying about cricket when the NBA is experiencing its best season in
decades and we're a week away from the most competitive playoffs ever? We're
talking ten teams with at least 50 wins in the season. That's
unprecedented. Why aren't you out there picking All-NBA First Teams? Or making
a historical case for Chris Paul as MVP? (Or, if you must... a case for Kobe.)
If you're still reading this, it's quite clear that you have a problem, and you must do something about it very soon. What you're doing is not healthy. Okay, I don't want to make it any worse, so here's something to placate you for a little while: an article about the ICL and its popularity in Pakistan, and one of the only pieces I've seen regarding Twenty20 that doesn't sound like it was written by a 97-year-old codger ranting about change to his council-assigned visiting social worker.
Just check out this passage. It's almost infectious:
It was the night when Hasan Raza was blazing his way to 98 not out from 52 balls in Chandigarh. Coming in against the Mumbai Champs at 28 for 2, with two golden ducks behind him, he conjured up an innings from nothing almost. Perfectly pitched balls headed straight for the wicket were carved over square leg for six. Yorkers aimed at off stump were deflected for a boundary past wide third man. Replays showed Raza twisting the face of his bat, adjusting his footwork, even changing his mind, in the split-second after the ball left the bowler's hand.
Let's be honest about it. You would never see such a rabbit-out-of-the-hat innings in Test cricket, and even in ODI cricket you would have to go months, at least, before one came along. In Twenty20 cricket, by contrast, such magic tricks abound. There are rumblings that this is the dominant future of international cricket, and these rumblings are threatening to become an avalanche. The configuration of this game - skill and conflict compressed to the point where risk-taking simply overflows - is forcing it to happen.
Now go read the Dime, will ya?