Dr Nigel Camacho
A reader of Cascade
It has been very interesting hearing all the different perspectives
on the Stanford 20/20 Cricket Tournament currently underway
in Antigua, both positive and negative. However, whatever
side of the fence you sit on, the tournament has made its
mark and there will be tremendous interest in the finals this
Never has there been so much at stake (financially) in any
sporting event in this part of the world. Say what you like,
this cannot be a bad thing.
The purist argues that this shortened version of the game
is not the real thing and can ruin the techniques of many
a young player, so what? This is all about entertainment and
exposure, simple as that.
Test cricket has survived for more than 100 years and is here
to stay. There is no doubt this is the real thing and still
remains the most intriguing team sport played on this planet.
The problem with Test cricket is that, being five days long,
very few people can afford to see an entire match.
Test cricket is fast becoming a TV sport which people can
tune into when they have the opportunity (or the interest).
I myself am a Test cricket addict and will be the first to
admit that during a Test match there are periods of play that
carry very little entertainment value to the non-fan.
To the purist, like a chess game, this is poetry in motion;
to non-cricketing person, its akin to watching grass
One-day cricket has been around since the early 1970s and
it, too, is here to stay. It has much more action than Test
cricket especially in the dying stages of a close run chase.
Test cricket can also have its very exciting periods of play,
however, the chance of fireworks and action are tenfold more
in one-day cricket, hence its popularity amongst the non-traditional
This 20/20 cricket is all about fireworks from ball one. We,
the purist, are selfish, hence the reluctance to accept this
watered down version of the game. However, as
long as Stanford is here to put money where his mouth is,
20/20 is probably here to stay.
Regional administrators may argue if Stanford is so interested
in cricket, why doesnt he put some of that money into
Test cricket. The answer, unfortunately, is simple: just look
at the books of the WICB. Which businessman in his right mind
would want to invest his money in a losing cause.
Test cricket is expensive to run and, unless you are collecting
overseas TV revenue, you will always be in the red. Lets
face it, the West Indies team performances over the
past decade has not inspired much overseas interest, Brian
So Stanford has invested his money in a game that you can
go watch after work as evening entertainment, under lights.
Whats so wrong with that? Mr Stanford has gathered together
all the former greats, something the WICB has never done,
or cannot afford to do. He has put in place a top-of-the-line
TV production, 22 cameras, top commentary and a world-class
facility. Whats so wrong with that?
People will argue that he is a billionaire and has the money
to do so. However, you know what? He didnt have to and
he has. Hats off to him for trying.
The WICB is responsible for the development of young Test
cricketers, not Mr Stanford. What he has done, though, is
introduce the likes of young Kieron Powell (Nevis), Chesney
Hughes (Anguilla), William Perkins and Kieron Pollard (T&T),
all possible future stars of West Indies Test cricket.
Cricket is perhaps the greatest sport on the face of the earth,
the only sport where three different versions of the same
game are played at an international level.
The 20/20 game is approximately three hours in duration and
it compares closer to North American professional sports (baseball,
football, basketball and ice hockey).
In the modern world, the average persons leisure time
is much less than in the old days and, as such, very precious.
Simple equation: cricket (a Caribbean passion) plus money
(lots of it) plus three hours equals winner (success).
Without being chauvinistic, Test cricket is like a beautiful
woman in a lovely evening dress; 20/20 is this woman in a
bikini. Its bound to turn some heads as 20/20 is sexy
cricket. Well played, Mr Stanford. Good luck to you with this
very interesting venture.
Like the great pioneer before you, the late Kerry Packer,
may your actions change the face of cricket forever, for the
better, in this part of the world and beyond.