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T20 Changed Cricket Forever, Has the Year T20 Formatted Our Default Life Settings?

Twenty20 changed the way cricket was consumed, when it was introduced in the first decade of the 21st century.

Rajen Garabadu |June 23, 2020, 5:53 PM IST
A man wearing a protective face mask plays cricket near the U.N. buffer zone after Cyprus registered its first death from the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Nicosia, Cyprus March 22, 2020. REUTERS/Yiannis Kourtoglou

Twenty20 changed the way cricket was consumed, when it was introduced in the first decade of the 21st century.

It was a novel concept which required cricketers to adapt their skills to a fresh, breezy format. It worked because it suited shorter attention spells of audiences in the modern day world. It brought in new fans into the game while retaining much of the old. Test cricket continued to be watched mostly by the purists and the die-hard lovers of what was once viewed as the gentleman’s game. One-day international (ODI) matches has its own loyal audience. T20 cricket interested the ODI viewers as well appealed to the new audience who were equally or more fascinated with the entertainment quotient of the new format. The game was fun, what happened on the side-lines was the icing on the cake.

Let’s compare T20 cricket with the year 2020 which so far has been a life changer, with a much wider global impact. Cricket is played and watched in select nations across the world. COVID-19 has disrupted the way we live and work across the globe. Unlike T20 cricket, life after coronavirus has slowed down considerably. The frenetic pace in our everyday life has shifted gears downward.

Many of us have found new ways of working from home, new hobbies and even, a new way of looking at life. The pause button had always existed for us but never used. We were scared to do so, in case we lag behind or miss the bus. COVID-19 has made it possible to pause and think. It has triggered us to reflect on how we were living our lives and explore new ways of doing so. It has made us value the importance of many things we had taken for granted. It has helped us to be more self-reliant than we were. It has compelled us to make do with less. It has taught us to be grateful for small things in life. It has allowed us to forgive and forget the not-so pleasant experiences of the past. It has made us appreciate that there is no greater gift in the world than good health. It has stirred us to reach out to our friends and families more than we ever did.

Now that the world is slowly opening up albeit restrictions, life & work have gradually begun to change gears upward. But the big question in the current environment is: once the virus is behind us, will we go back to our earlier settings? Or has our life been formatted forever with no possibility for restoring default settings?

I think the answer lies somewhere in the middle. While many may go back to how they lived earlier, some are likely to follow their new-found lifestyle. There will be others who may try a mix of both – imbibing some new practices while retaining some of the old. Much like cricket, the new and old may find ways of co-existing. The show will go on, with takers for both.

While T20 cricket received overwhelming support and appreciation in countries where the game was played, the year T20 has so far turned out to be, what some would refer to, as a truly godforsaken year. Many of us have wished it went away, much like a bad dream. In less than six months of the year, one has witnessed more grief and misery than one did in the last six years. None of us would have seen this coming. Such things were only part of books and movies. Year T20 has seen the virtual cross over to the real.

Three months ago, I had blogged about how work from home (WFH) could become the new normal given all the benefits it brings to the table.

Now, one has heard and read of many companies which have begun to adopt WFH from a long-term standpoint. And there are more who are planning or consciously making efforts to get there soon. The top leadership in companies are now more trusting of their team members to be responsible while working from home. They have begun to see that God lies in the savings. COVID-19 has thrown up a new area of cost optimization which many companies had hitherto, not considered. Once they embrace WFH model and are able to achieve the pre-virus revenues, profitability is sure to rise with lower operating costs.

It’s not just on the work front. Let’s take some of our personal habits which may have changed forever. Take, for instance, washing hands. It took me two scores and half a dozen years to learn how to properly wash hands. It’s never to late to learn and I sincerely hope I take this new learning to my grave. Don’t get me wrong, I am in no hurry to get there. Just hope this damn virus doesn’t shutdown the human system before the anti-virus is found, tested and made available to the public.

Team Rankings

Rank Team Points Rating
1 Australia 3028 116
2 New Zealand 2406 115
3 India 3085 114
4 England 3466 105
5 Sri Lanka 2454 91
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Rank Team Points Rating
1 England 4820 127
2 India 5819 119
3 New Zealand 3716 116
4 South Africa 3345 108
5 Australia 3518 107
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Rank Team Points Rating
1 Australia 5285 278
2 England 4564 268
3 India 9319 266
4 Pakistan 5470 260
5 South Africa 4380 258
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