The T10 debate: the opportunities and risks of T10 cricket

Explore the evolution of T10 cricket and its impact on the sport. From its inception to potential global expansion, discover the gains and risks associated.

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The T10 debate: the opportunities and risks of T10 cricket

The Abu Dhabi T10 League is one of the most popular shortest format leagues in the world.

In 2017 the ICC approved the staging of T10 cricket in the United Arab Emirates and the story of the shortest-ever version of cricket began. At the beginning of the new millennium -in 2003- the world of cricket was undergoing a radical transformation with the launch of the Twenty20 format, which was much faster, shorter, and much more dynamic than the cricket we knew up to that point.

This kind of cricket was really welcomed by the more casual sports fans and sports bettors because it was much easier to consume and more interesting to bet on with some online betting site in Bangladesh or any other part of the cricketing world. 

But, this new format was met with increased opposition by the more traditionalist fans, who were voicing their concerns over cricket losing its signature and detaching from its history and roots. 

Nonetheless, T20 cricket became overwhelmingly popular, to the surprise of many hard-core followers of the game, and led the entire sport into a new era that had far more popularity and global attention. 

As if this wasn't enough (!), the T20 format became even more cοmpressed to a new format, the T10 which involved many things, including time, cut in half. The Twenty20 format was quicker, more exciting, more entertaining, and easier to watch.

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But it still would be considered kinda boring for some audiences that wouldn't be able to follow a three-and-a-half-hour game with the same absorption, immersion, or commitment that they would exhibit for a shorter game.

The T10 format was more dense in all its aspects, resulting in cricket matches that would last nearly ninety minutes - pretty much the same duration that football matches last. And more dense meant also more fascinating clashes between teams, just like football clashes that amaze the entire world. 

And we are saying this about football because we all know how cricket has been going down the road of one of the most popular sports in the world and has been adopting its league-based style to be able to do so. 

T10 cricket has been quite popular lately, especially as people have witnessed the relative success of this format, the Abu Dhabi T10. This success has resulted in much whispering about whether the International Cricket Council is going to launch T10 leagues and will incorporate this short format into its formal tournaments and competitions.

Will this be the case? We certainly can't tell for sure, but what we can say is that there are both opportunities and risks arising from such a decision. Let's see them in more detail. 

Opportunities 

There are some valuable opportunities attached to T10 cricket. 

Access to widespread audiences: the more compressed a cricket match becomes, the more likely it is to catch the attention of global audiences because it is easier to export and transfer it to new markets. Just as the US has done now, this can be replicated in many more countries, which are not typical cricketing nations. 

Greater flexibility for the league-based style that cricket is currently adopting: the shorter the version the easier it becomes to successfully implement the league-based style that has already started its pathway with the T20 cricket. 

More talent: the more cricket becomes global, it gains access to more talent that would never -most probably- been leveraged if it weren't for shorter versions of cricket and the league-based format.

More consumable cricket: the benefits of the shortest-ever version of cricket have also to do with sports consumption. Short formats like T10 are not only easier for the visitors but they are easier for the television audiences and this creates new circumstances for broadcasting cricket matches. 

Risks

Of course, there are some risks besides the opportunities of T10 cricket. 

Full calendar: cricket becoming saturated. The launch of T20 cricket packed the cricket calendar so much that many people expressed their concerns over the degree to which cricket is getting out of its boundaries. T10 is going to make things worse in that matter, as it will put pressure on the already full cricket calendar. 

International cricket declining. If players get to be immersed in the shorter versions of cricket and will get involved even more with the league-based style, then they are likely to withdraw themselves from commitment to international cricket. Failing to prioritize the international cricket teams- something that may happen in case league-based cricket becomes more dominant - will eventually cause international cricketing to decline and this will be devastating for the sport. 

Nothing is black or white and certainly, this is not the case for T10 cricket if it ever becomes a formal sports format. What will happen, remains to be seen.

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