All-rounder Luke Wright has deemed the inaugural Natwest T20 Blast a success after enjoying its first season with Sussex.
Speaking exclusively to GiveMeSport, Wright admitted the tournament is “work in progress”, but in its first attempt, it appears to have succeeded in widening the appeal of the game.
Some great crowds
“Looking at some of the crowds it looks like it’s been tough for some grounds but we are fortunate at Sussex and I am only basing this on the south division we have had some great crowds”, he said.
Concerns were raised at the start of the season about how the competition would slot into the rest of the domestic season, and in particular how County Championship specialists would adapt to the shorter format.
Wright explained: “As a player it is very challenging only playing once a week, you are going straight from four-day cricket into Twenty20 so you are asking batters to go from blocking it to smacking it out of the park.
“Often without a training session or anything which I personally don’t like in terms of getting the most out of me as a Twenty20 player but ultimately, you are there for the crowds and to get kids to watch the game and that’s the main reason for this format.”
Much of the focus has been on attendance, but in a summer packed full of sport, it was unsurprisingly difficult for counties to compete with the rest of the sporting calendar.
“It will be interesting to see the stats at the end of the tournament to see if the crowds are up or down. It was tough with the World Cup on but hopefully it will work”.
Giving T20 a chance
“We have to give it a good go and I think it’s locked in for three years so I suppose you have to give the public a chance to buy into it.
“From a player’s perspective, it is more challenging only playing Fridays with a four-day game in between.”
For Wright, and countless other England hopefuls, the T20 Blast has been another opportunity to showcase his quick-hitting skills ahead of next year’s ICC World Cup in Australia and New Zealand.
He will also have caught the eye of England selectors after being rewarded with the 2014 Christopher Martin-Jenkins Spirit of Cricket Elite Award.