“They came to see me bat, not you bowl,” said WG Grace, an English cricketer, to his opponent bowler putting the bails back on his stumps after being bowled on first ball.

In this digital era of 21st century, entertainment has taken over on almost every field. Even reality TV shows are composed of actual dramatics. Same way sports were also affected by this entertainment culture. When we talk about cricket in recent years, the sport is now called as, “Game of batsmen”. Bowlers from all over the world have been seen complaining about this difference and despite ICC’s promises to ensure the balance; it seems they have failed to do so. Runs are considered as entertainment; the more you score the more spectators would enjoy and that’s all you need to keep the ratings up.

Here are the five factors that made fans call out cricket as a “Batsmen’s Game”

T20 cricket

T20 cricket is one of the strongest reasons that converted batsmen to butchers and they cut and sliced the ball ruthlessly. The game where overs are only restricted to 20 per side, you cannot just go there and play a defensive knock; you need to hit the ball hard from the very first ball to pile up scores on the board. Teams have started importing big hitters who even don’t know basic cricketing techniques just because they give you quick 30 or 50 runs no matter if they score those runs dancing on the pitch.

Powerplay

The rule of powerplay cannot be justified in favour of bowlers in any way. When powerplay rule was introduced, the chance given to batsmen to take five overs of their choice for slogging was just ridiculous for bowlers. In my opinion, no bowler on earth would like to bowl with just two fielders along the boundary. Especially in the starting overs; when the ball is new and batsmen are fresh; they just need to find the little gap or push the ball over the circle to get the required runs. Bowlers are just standing and delivering so does the batsmen. ICC is now trying to take control over this rule which is a good sign for bowlers.

Use of big bats and new balls

There is no control board in cricket world to check the bats used by batsmen, you can use as heavy or as light bat as you like. This choice made it easy for batsmen to choose according to the condition of the game. Chris Gayle; the strong guy, used very heavy bats in T20 cricket and he just used to make ball hit the bat and boom it’s a six!

Similarly use of two new balls at both ends was somehow good for bowlers at first but at the same time they were deprived of using reverse swing in the death overs. For batsmen, it was easy to put less power and more timing on shots to make it reach the boundary line.

Entertainment

As entertainment factor took over, people no longer wanted to see the batting time, getting out on 150s and then the bowling side chasing with 30 overs to spare. It was just so boring for them. This very reason compelled the pitch curators to make dead and flat pitches. Who wouldn’t love 350 plus score and then the brutal chase? Especially when matches are in India and Indian team is in good touch; I will surely buy a 100$ ticket to witness the match that seems like highlights!

Aggression

The term ‘aggressive cricket’ was introduced by teams like Australia and New Zealand. At almost every post match ceremony they used to say “The plan was to play aggressive cricket”. They used to play their natural game even if they were losing the game, which was both good and bad at the same time.

Concluding the discussion, ICC needs to work hard on balancing the game, no doubt everyone loves sixes and boundaries but matches where a team struggles to chase small targets are exciting in their own way.