South African cricket and its fans might be preoccupied with T20 at the moment, but one of the Mzansi Super League’s international marquees, Eoin Morgan, believes the popularity of the even shorter ten-over form will grow in coming years.
England’s limited overs captain’s debut in the MSL for the Tshwane Spartans had been delayed due to his commitments to the T10 League in the UAE.
However, it also allows Morgan to give some insights into a competition not well known to the rest of the world.
“The T10 format is brilliant. It’s probably the closest cricket will get to baseball,” he said on Tuesday, ahead of the Spartans’ meeting with the Durban Heat in Centurion on Wednesday.
“It exposes a different aspect of cricket. It also attracts a different fan as well in the sense that you’d probably find a lot of people there who wouldn’t go to a normal cricket match.
“It’s so easy to understand because it’s arguably as simplified a cricket match as there possibly could be. I’m a huge fan.”
Indeed, one of cricket’s prevailing criticisms is that it’s inherently a difficult sport to become familiar with, prompting young children to rather choose other sporting codes to practice.
It’s one of the reasons why Morgan also backs his home country’s development of “The 100” – a 100-ball format of the game.
“The more you can tailor cricket towards kids, the more you can grow the game,” said the left-hander, who’s England’s leading all-time run-scorer in ODIs.
“Cricket’s scoreboard has a million different things going on. If you’re trying to explain that to a kid and you’re a parent who’s never played cricket, this is a solution. It’s 100 balls and you need to score as much runs as you can. The parent becomes a coach.”
Another interesting thought is that the 10-over form of the game could be the sport’s ticket into the Olympics.
“You can start and finish an eight- to ten-team tournament within 12 days. You can’t do that in T20 cricket, it’s not feasible,” said Morgan.
“If we can grow the game in this manner, I’m all for it.”