Barny Read in Sharjah
Nicholas Pooran, the West Indies and Northern Warriors batsman, believes the T10 League can further increase scores in both T20s and 50-over cricket, a potential knock-on effect of cricket’s shortest format.
Pooran has been a revelation this season in Sharjah and following his 43* from 18 balls on Thursday night, now has the tournament’s highest score (77), the most sixes this season (24) and is the edition’s third-highest run scorer after five games. In contrast, Pooran managed scores of 20 and 1 in his two knock last season.
“The T10 League is definitely taking the game to a higher level and it is obviously going to help increase the scores in the 20-over format and the One-Day Internationals,” Pooran said after Warriors’ win over Kerala Knights.
Australian James Faulkner, who plays for Maratha Arabians, also believes T10 is amplifying run-scoring and this will subsequently be felt in other formats.
“I think when T20 first burst on the scene, everyone didn’t know what to expect and there was so much pressure with every ball,” he said. “Now it’s gone up a level, you can’t miss whatever delivery you’re going to bowl whether it’s a slower ball, bouncer, yorker. If you miss it’s going to be a boundary.”
On Thursday, Warriors chased down 102 with 16 balls left. Yet, that is nothing for T10, as highlighted by the Warriors’ 183 for 2 earlier in the tournament, when Pooran recorded the league’s highest score.
Pooran’s foreshadowing didn’t need long to find further substance as the Bengal Tigers took the night’s second match to a final ball in successfully chasing Sindhi’s target of 135.
With 265 sixes and 240 fours in 20 matches so far it’s easy to see the naked ambition of the batsmen. Their aim is to clear the rope as often as possible and for Pooran it’s clearly paying off, his form absolutely rampant as we head into the final stages of the tournament.
As more teams clear 400 with alarming regularity in ODIs – attributed as a knock-on from the influence of T20 cricket – you can expect more and more T20 scores to eclipse 200 and 50-over totals to continue to soar as T10 becomes a more regular fixture on the cricketing calendar.
Speaking to people around the tournament over the past two weeks suggest is is a matter of time before T10 infiltrates more dates on the schedule. Bowlers, take care. It’s not safe out there and it’s not getting any safer.