Australia’s T20 veteran Shane Watson believes that the Big Bash League (BBL) has ‘lost its way’ and the quality of cricket has dipped in comparison with the IPL, PSL.
“The one thing that the IPL and PSL do is make the quality of the cricket, the product, the number one priority. They know that if this is of the highest quality possible, then the longevity of the tournament and the commercial growth and success will look after itself,” Watson wrote in his T20 Stars blog.
“Don’t get me wrong they have all of the bells and whistles as well, however the glitz and glamour goes on before and after the matches but very rarely does the entertainment affect the players ability to perform at their best,” he explained.
“This is where the BBL has really lost its way,” he remarked.
“The quality of the cricket has been put on the back burner in the Big Bash and the entertainment gimmicks have been brought to the forefront.”
Lashing out at the organisers he wrote, “One of the gimmicks that I really feel takes away from the quality of the cricket product is the mic’ing up of players – up to 2 players from each team fielding are being mic’d up with a significant amount of the captains being one of the two players.”
“How in the world is a captain supposed to have his mind on the game when he is being interviewed regularly when he should be focusing on what is required for his team and his own performance, at that moment in time.”
“The batsmen are mic’d up too. It really feels like the players don’t only have to be the best cricketers they can be, they now have to combine this with being a great commentator too while playing!!!! There are enough distractions going around a game as it is to be playing at your best, let along having someone literally in your ear, all the time when you need to execute your skills under pressure.”
Watson also spoke about the fans perspective and wrote-
“It has, first of all, meant that the fans run out of puff.”
“Families only have a certain amount of money and time to come out to the games, so when it was 5 home games, I am sure they were much more open to coming along. Now with 7 home games, families are going to have to pick and choose their games more carefully,” he added.
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