The world will see ten over cricket for the first time in a global tournament in the middle of December when the Dubai T10 takes place. This will be the fourth format of the game and the third shortened version since the introduction of fifty over cricket in the 1970’s.
The concern for the game is that it is being allowed to fragment even further with this new format. Cricket already has an identity problem with the three formats and now this latest development compounds this problem even further.
The main concern is that if a television network likes T10 cricket because it fits into their culture and scheduling then it can start becoming a threat to T20 cricket like we saw with the fifty over game.
The International Cricket Council (ICC) and Member countries had to work hard to protect the fifty over game from the threats of T20 cricket. Luckily, they have been successful by limiting T20 international cricket.
Fifty over cricket today remains strong with the 2015 Cricket World Cup in Australia attracting in access of a million spectators. Also, the recent India and Pakistan Champions Trophy final attracted a television audience of well over a billion people for the first time.
The cricketing world does not need more tournaments but in fact less cricket. The principle of supply and demand in cricketing terms is a major problem with fans, sponsors and broadcasters starting to lose interest. Just recently the T20 Global League, which was meant to be Cricket South Africa’s version of a global tournament, had to be postponed, and probably aborted, because they failed to secure a broadcast partner.
This proves that there are too many existing T20 tournaments and that the market is saturated. There is talk that only the Indian Premier League makes money and that even the Australian Big Bash lost $33,000 in its first five years. If cricket is going to add T10 cricket to an already congested schedule there will be some serious casualties.
The ICC has lost a great opportunity to protect the game of cricket and its values by approving the Dubai T10.