This research on the impact of twenty20 cricket on international cricket attempts to explore the perception of both primary and secondary stakeholders of the game in the international arena. Twenty20 cricket is one of the richest industries, which is valued at around a billion dollar across the globe. Twenty20 cricket is one of the world’s sports with many enthusiastic participants, spectators as well as media interest. Twenty20 Cricket has sparked new life and provided redemption to cricket all over the globe. The Twenty20 version of the game has been a major factor in attempting to further globalize, commercialize and popularize the game. Cricket is one the most popular and well-liked game in the world. Cricket is an established team sport for hundreds of years and very popular in countries such as India, Pakistan, West Indies, South Africa and England. Like other sporting activities, twenty20 cricket is a professional sport that is sought after by both men and women due to its numerous beneficial attributes. This popular and beneficial activity not only provides you physical fitness but mental strength and sharpness too. A sport helps a person in building a very positive attitude. It has also become a part of education and routines of people. The main of the research is to determine the impact of twenty20 cricket sport on international cricket. This chapter tends to outline background of the study and problem statement. In addition, it discusses the research questions, research objectives and the significance of the study apart from presenting the research outline.
1.2 Study Background
The origin of Cricket sport can be traced from the period of the dark ages, probably after the Roman Empire, almost definitely prior to the Normans invading England and almost certainly somewhere in Northern Europe. Circumstantial evidences suggest the fact that this game was started in Saxon or Norman times by children living in south east part of England in an area of dense woodlands known as Weald. It is generally believed that cricket was more of a children game rather than the adults. It was taken up by the adults in 17th century and since then, this sport continued to increase its popularity and public acceptance and never looked back. As far as the name of term “cricket “is concerned it is generally believed that this word had various possible sources. The earliest source is traced back to 1598 when it was called as cricket. It is thought to be derived from Middle Dutch term “krick “meaning a stick. There are another terms also available which all suggest the possible involvement of Dutch in this sport. The game of Cricket is known to be spanning from the 16th century with matches being played since 1844, although officially ‘International Test Cricket’ was played from the year 1877 onwards. Test cricket is the oldest and longest form of cricket. It is also considered as the most reliable and challenging form of cricket to measure the worth of any team where 2 innings are played by each team. After the toss the team that bats first piles on as many runs as possible and declares the innings. Then comes the turn of other team and so the match goes on until the final result. The popularity and charm of test cricket is decreasing day by day because of the origination of new more exciting forms of cricket. Hopwood (2005) argues that the game of Cricket has been governed by the rules for more than 250 years. The Marylebone Cricket Club has been an authoritative figure in putting forth the rules of cricket and its subsequent amendments. In the year 2000, the MCC revised the rules of Cricket and introduced Spirit of Cricket to the laws of the game to maintain the unique character and enjoyment of the game.
One day cricket is the most recognizable and viewed form of cricket in the world. It is being played and watched by the people with great enthusiasm. The most popular event “World Cup” of cricket is also based on the pattern of one day cricket. Most of the important and popular championships in cricket are based on one day matches. The one- day international cricket is a late twentieth century development. On 5th January 1971, first ODI was played between Australia and England and till now it is very popular among the cricket fans. Cricket matches are played and liked by the people on national and international level (Birley, 2003). There are many types of cricket like country cricket, club cricket, indoor cricket, women’s cricket and cricket for blinds, but the most prominent and popular three types of cricket which are recognized by ICC (International Cricket Council) are test cricket, one-day and newly originated form twenty20 cricket. The arrival of Twenty20 on the cricketing scene has surely divided the cricketing fraternity. Some believe that it is nothing but a travesty and should not be encouraged at any cost. They argue that since Twenty20 encourages far-from-technical cricket youngsters wanting to pick up the game will be misguided into believing that cricket is all about trying to hit 6’s and 4’s no matter how you do it. Also it will create the misconception that cricket is a batsman’s game and that there is very little incentive in bowling since it is the bowlers that are usually the ones at the receiving end. In such a scenario very few youngsters might take up bowling or bother learning the finer points of the craft. Plus there is always the argument that Twenty20 cricket will wean away interest from the traditional formats of the game, especially Test cricket. However, opinion regarding Twenty20 cricket still remains divided as its promoters insist that it will not replace any of the traditional formats but on the contrary will increase interest in them by pulling more people towards cricket as a whole. They also argue that the Twenty20 format is a great way of introducing cricket to the non-cricketing world which is used to fast games such as football. There is no doubt that the T20 version of the game has become the most popular and acceptable in the recent times but it cannot be said that other forms of the games have been overlooked. After the commencement of T20 cricket, many thought that the test cricket will be gradually extinguished from the cricket world. It is however wrong to say. All the legends of cricket still firmly believe that test cricket is the toughest and most resilient form of cricket which gets the best of any player. Test cricket judge’s mental ability and strength, the stamina and resilience factor and various other things of the player which twenty 20 cricket cannot judge.
The game of Twenty20 sport involves two teams; each has a single innings, batting for a maximum of 20 overs. Twenty20 game is completed in about three hours, with each innings lasting around 75 minutes, thus bringing the game closer to the time span of other popular team sports such as football (Hopwood, 2005). It was introduced to create a lively form of the game which would be attractive to spectators at the ground and viewers on television. Since its inception the game has spread around the cricket world. The idea of a shortened format of the game at a professional level was discussed by the English and Wales Cricket Boardin 1998 and 2001. When theBenson and Hedges Cupended in 2002, theEnglish and Wales Cricket Board needed another one day competition to fill its place. The cricketing authorities were looking to boost the game’s image and popularity with the younger generation in response to dwindling crowds and reduced sponsorship. It was intended to deliver fast paced, exciting cricket accessible to thousands of fans who were put off by the longer versions of the game (test cricket and one-day international cricket). Stuart Robertson, the marketing manager of the English and Wales Cricket Board, proposed a 20 over per innings game to county chairmen in 2001 and they voted 11-7 in favor of adopting the new format. More than 30 focus groups were mobilized. 4,000, 15-minute, face-to-face interviews were set up to gauge the public appetite for the game. The image of Cricket in England had always been that of a sport which is slow-paced, sedate and boring. The audiences identified the length of the matches to be very long, albeit Test Match Cricket (5 days) of One-Day Cricket (8 hours). Easton (1996) argues that the general perception and image in the minds of the public was that Cricket is a sort of sport which more often than not results in boring draws (Test Cricket). Even in one-day cricket (50 overs), the batsmen would score their runs at a pretty slow rate resulting in a dull spectacle for the crowds attending to watch matches at the various cricket grounds. Hopwood (2005) maintains that the England and Wales Cricket Board had initially introducedTwenty20 cricket as a way to get the crowds back in domestic cricket. The first Twenty20 Cup in 2003 (now known as the Friends Provident T20) was marketed with the slogan“I don’t like cricket, I love it”and it was aimed especially at the youth rather than the cricket connoisseur. It was meant to be a game that would bring the entire family together for an evening of fun and carnival like atmosphere. The finals of the 2003 Twenty20 Cup (in 2003) saw performances by pop stars and rock bands and the party like atmosphere made it an evening to remember. It was a huge success as the crowds were pleasantly taken by surprise. More than the cricket on field the idea was to have fun; cricket just provided the means. This was the ‘fast food’ of cricket and the people just loved every single bite. Since then Twenty20 has slowly risen in popularity. The first official Twenty20 matches were played on 13 June 2003 between the English counties in theTwenty20 Cup (now known as the Friends Provident T20). The first season of Twenty20 in England was a relative success, with theSurrey Lionsdefeating theWarwickshire Bearsby 9 wickets in the final to claim theTwenty20 Cup
1.3 Problem Statement
This study focuses on cricket’s problem of enduring a severe and long held image problem which is proving difficult for the game to turn around and which is without doubt affecting the potential of cricket to draw vital media and monetary support. Critics have been leveled against introduction of twenty20 cricket. Public Relations activities being critical to the future of the game have not been implemented to the level that it should be or many in the game would like it to be. Many have argued that since Twenty20 encourages far-from-technical cricket, youngsters wanting to pick up the game will be misguided into believing that cricket is all about trying to hit 6s and 4s no matter how you do it. Besides, test cricket which is considered the ‘pinnacle of the game’ may soon suffer the absence of quality international players as cricketers such as Andrew Flintoff of England have retired from Test Cricket to accommodate themselves in Twenty20 Cricket amongst other international cricketers such as Paul Collingwood and Kevin Pietersen skipping the Domestic County Cricket season in the United Kingdom to play for the cash lucrative Indian Premier League. The implications of such incidents may only result in English Domestic Cricket losing out on valuable players and as a result failing to attract audiences and generating revenues for the English Domestic game. English and Wales Cricket Board has played a critical role in the introduction of twenty 20 cricket to the world but there has always been a lingering feeling that the English International cricket team has been inconsistent in their performances at the one-day international level (50 over cricket). Some experts in the game have linked the inconsistency of the international side to the structural problems in county cricket. Other people argue that twenty 20 cricket will create the misconception that cricket is a batsman’s game and that there is very little incentive in bowling since it is the bowlers that are usually the ones at the receiving end. In twenty 20 cricket, at most times the pitches prepared are tailor made for batsmen to go for their strokes and put up big totals on the board. In such a scenario very few youngsters might take up bowling or bother learning the finer points of the craft. The sport of twenty 20 cricket faces another problem of lack of five test match series except for the Ashes. What could be better suited to sustain the interest of the cricket fan than have England tour India or vice-versa for a five test match series. Instead, we have two-Test series arranged at the last minute by the English and Wales Cricket Board. Nobody can anticipate or attend; nobody is satisfied – except perhaps the broadcasters whose contracts are fulfilled. There is need for English and Wales Cricket Board to understand that there is no requirement for saturation and committing overkill by scheduling cricket all year around. Instead, just stage and promote the ‘icon’ series properly, and Test cricket’s unique qualities will take care of the rest.
1.4 Research Questions
This research responds to the problems associated with this study by attempting to evaluate the influence of twenty 20 cricket in accordance with the perception of different stakeholders. Hence the research questions that this studied tried to answer is listed as indicated below:
- What is the impact of Twenty20 cricket on the image of English Cricket Board
- To what extent has public relations and social media activities have an impact on the domestic (county) first class Twenty20 Cricket
- Which is the most preferable type of cricket sport between Test cricket, One Day Internationals or Twenty20
- Have public relation activities been put in practice by the English and Wales Cricket Board in promoting the Twenty20 game to the audiences
- What measures have the English and Wales Cricket Board put in place for all the three formats i.e. Test, One Day Internationals and T20 Cricket to survive and co-exist at the international level.
1.5 Research Aim and Objectives
In order to obtain the goal of the study, the main aim of the study as well as specific objectives in relation to the impact of twenty 20 cricket on international cricket were formulated with research problems and research questions in mind. The aim of the study was to determine the impact of twenty 20 cricket on international cricket. To be able o obtain the mentioned main objective of the study, five specific research objects were formulated. The specific research objectives are stated as indicated below:
- To determine the impact of Twenty20 cricket on the image of English Cricket Board
- To find out whether public relations and social media activities have an impact on the domestic (county) first class Twenty20 Cricket
- To establish the most preferable type of cricket sport between Test cricket, One Day Internationals or Twenty20
- To investigate whether public relation activities have been put in practice by the English and Wales Cricket Board in promoting the Twenty20 game to the audiences
- To find out the measures that the English and Wales Cricket Board have put in place for all the three formats i.e. Test, One Day Internationals and T20 Cricket to survive and co-exist at the international level.
1.6 Significance of the study
Sport industry contribute quite considerably to the development of different nations across the globe; hence this study is going to play a very important role in demystifying the implication of the introduction of twenty 20 cricket in the world of sport. Such information can be used by different stakeholder such as nations, industry players, players, spectators and the general public as well as students. Industry managers can use this study to gauge the implication of twenty 20 cricket and the impact it has on the world of sport. This is quite critical because it can be used by different stakeholders to make appropriate strategies that will be for their good and the good of the public. Perception of different stakeholders especially spectators of twenty 20 cricket will be very significant in making decisions in relation with the twenty 20 cricket sport. This research will also contribute to the pool of knowledge where students will be able to gain necessary knowledge to help them not only be informed but to also acquire relevant information necessary for the completion of their studies.
2.0 LITERATURE REVIEW2.1 The Business of Sportianment
Standard Bank of South Africa is a financial services provider, which is a subcomponent of the Standard Bank Group. According to Standard Bank Pro20 Cricket (n.d.), since 1997, the bank began providing sponsorship to cricket in South Africa. This initiative rejuvenated the back the playing of cricket at local level. The game had dwindling spectator s watching the matches. This was also coupled with declining interest. The Bank alongside the Cricket South Africa came up with the model of the 20-A-sidec cricket. According to Standard Bank Pro20 Cricket (n.d.), this was in the Year 2004. This involved lessening the one-day game of cricket. The concept of the 20-over was meant to last for only three hours. This had reduced number of overs. This made the game more interesting, faster than before and furious. This new version of the game of cricket was later to be named the Standard Bank Pro20 series. The objective of the Bank venturing in Pro20 cricket was to build on their existing high levels of association with cricket in South Africa and demonstrate to their chosen audience (Randall, 2004).
According to Standard Bank Pro20 Cricket (n.d.), this was in order to show their brand was among those, which was ahead and was able to undergo changes to a better brand. The move by the Bank to place the brand closer to the youth that is through sponsoring the local sport of the cricket game in South Africa. Since the Bank had grassroots involvement with the local play of the sport of the cricket, they also wanted to collaborate with Cricket South Africa so that to repackage the local experience of the game (Suite 101, n.d.). According to Standard Bank Pro20 Cricket (n.d.), this is so that to bring vibrancy in the game making it more vibrant and lively. According to Standard Bank Pro20 Cricket (n.d.), the company opted for internal marketing campaigns as well as sports hospitality; through this, it viewed the strategy of additional opportunity to interact one on one with interested parties of the game on how it is play. The drive for having a new version or revised version of the game was because it meant to bring a renewed feeling among the traditional perception of the game. This is not for the sake of those who play the games alone but also for those who the sport as a way of entertainment. Off the pitch activities were brought as a form extra play and entertainment. This meant to act as an additional treat for excitement viewers were getting on the field. The composite of what resulted made the game more exciting and unique. The best phrase used to recognize the resultant product of this was sportainment. According to Standard Bank Pro20 Cricket (n.d.), this was a composite of both sports and entertainment.
The phrase developed meant to give priority to the essence of Standard Bank Pro20 cricket. According to standard Bank Pro 20 cricket (n.d.) the game took the design that features three pillar experiences. According to Standard Bank Pro20 Cricket (n.d.), these are mainly cricket, stadium and broadcast. The nexus between the three pillars gave the stakeholders the integrated treat of sportainment. The innovation into the sport of cricket thought out and imported courtesy of the collaborated effort of Standard Bank South Africa jointly with Cricket South Africa (Cricket Web, 2010). The effort involved the bringing in of new dugouts for players at the ides of the field. According to Standard Bank Pro20 Cricket (n.d.), this meant to enhance game watching by the audience seated on the bench with clarity. The game increased he speed at which the players played the game (BBC, 2006). This saw the facilitation of faster changes in the batsmen. The new type of the dropped some of the old team tactics and umpire kit designs; this meant to improve the appeal while watching the game. According to Standard Bank Pro20 Cricket (n.d.), they took the measure to move the umpires into the field carried by vehicles that bore the name of the brands on the side. There was notable change on the play of the game. This was especially on the batting style. According to Standard Bank Pro20 Cricket (n.d.), there was the introduction of a free hit for a no ball. In the stadium there, standard Bank tailored the Hard Hats for fans. There was distribution to fans of headgear for protection against the significant number of fours and sixes expected in the new boundary-bashing version. There was improvement done that came with additional cameras for broadcast purpose. According to Standard Bank Pro20 Cricket (n.d.), these are non-fixed and could be moveable that is from one place to another. When there are international matches in the Pro20 cricket series, more pomp and color were in addition to the stadium. Professional dancers would be ushered into the podium. A DJ booth will come in handy, which are in position placed at an elevated level. The common horizontal digital boards for advertising were removable and in their place put enhanced ones. These new ones have more features. According to Standard Bank Pro20 Cricket (n.d.), these are wider vertical Power Towers. They used to communicate messages. In addition, they have images that parallel the action that is taking place in the field. When SuperSport came on board, this came with untested initiatives to support. These provided with the cricket and stadium an experience. The experience is for live ball-by-ball viewers. The commentators trans-located: newly to the grandstands, as it was not like before. Previously, these were host at the media suite as well as the commentary boxes. In this new position, they are able to interact with spectators. According to Standard Bank Pro20 Cricket (n.d.), this is especially at the breaks of the games. The new facelift accompanied with providing the fielding captain with an earpiece together with a lapel microphone. According to Standard Bank Pro20 Cricket (n.d.), the commentators capacitated so that they can link directly link in perception and mind with the players. This is at opportunity moments of the game. According to Standard Bank Pro20 Cricket (n.d.), live interviews conducted with the outgoing batsmen after each wicket. Heart-rate monitors attached to some of players on the field. This meant to provide those watching via television broadcast with additional action from the field (Hubbard and Thomas, 2007).
2.2 The Business Side of Cricket
According to Easton (1996) the communication to influence people’s ideas, theories as well as feelings used through analogies. This is a common practice in the field of business. A clear analogy occurs between the battlefield of sports and business occurrences. In order to win a game of cricket ones needs a well thought out strategy (Savicca, 2011). This is a similar case as in the business fraternity. There is need to think about how the situation will be in the field. This is like an objective visioning the business venture that is, accompanied with an analysis of the strengths as well as weaknesses. There is a lookout for threats as well as opportunities lingering around the business. The cricket strategy for having the vision is to develop a new product. According to Easton (1996), this has bases on a crop of new players. There is need to prepare for strong wickets which will assure the goes back home after a game with the victory. This is like a market strategy. This is where chances for success are vital. Like a business scenario there is need to know what kind of product one is offering to the market. This followed by a winning formula, which is the marketing mix. According to Easton (1996), the same applies to the game of cricket.
There is need to know the kind of players one has and how to formulate a workable strategy to win based on their skills. In describing what kind of product that is needed in the sport of cricket; there is need to screen the kind of players one has at his disposal. According to Easton (1996), just like determining the price of the product; the analogy in the game of cricket is the level which to depend on players that you field during the playing of the game, that is, what role best fit each player when on the field of cricket. This resembles how to distribute resources in the case of a business set up. The thought one has to have is about the strength that will promote the possibility for a victory, that is, how one ensures that, the other team has been defeated. According to Easton (1996), this thought out done even before the game begins. Just like the way one thinks out how the marketing mix is going to be done; one has to formulate a strategy that enables to understand the game when playing at home as well as when playing at the opponents’ home turfs. As it happens elsewhere, one has to keep watch on the ongoing in the marketing front. One has to compare business performance with the occurrences in the market sales and profit as well as the market share. According to Easton (1996), in the case of the game of cricket one has to compare their performance within the league and find out how to improve play. That is at the team level. At member level, one can assess their capacity in the bowling and batting. The opportune to sell in business is just as important as the way it may be in a game of cricket. Any skipper who has had to sell to a seasoned opening batsman that he should bat further down the order will need the very best selling skills. A skipper ought to know how the team would move in to their victory. These are the success factors of the game. According to Easton (1996), skipper must ensure that the score is at five an over or endeavor to make sure the opposing team’s best batsman remains always off the strike throughout the game. The rest of other team members should have already known the game plan that the skipper has in mind. This enables the team to launch their tactics without any ado. Because the opponent has opinion that is always to be on toes to know the tactics on application by the opponent by reviewing what has done throughout the past games played, then the team has to deliver a good product. These make the defeats inevitable. According to Easton (1996), in order to make good out of a game through a win then these success has been register through understanding how to cohere as a team. There is need to understand capabilities of each member in the team so that to get the best out of them. These same applies to a business deal there is need to know the capacities of different dealers in the chain to make good out of them. According to Easton (1996), it is true that the business is for the people by the people. Thus, those participating in a transaction are the ones who make up the business.
Leadership in a game of cricket is held to create an authority that will drive the team to a common purpose. The common for the team during a game is to win. The team just like a business will for the human communities that have brought together for a common purpose. That is why some underdogs have surprised the big names of the game. According to Easton (1996), understanding the team members, how they react, their skill levels and how best to utilize them, and aligning them to achieve a common goal is vital to the leader’s success. During the headingly test, Mike Brearly the skipper demonstrated this brilliantly. According to Easton (1996), in the game of cricket just as in the business front there is need to understand each such that role are set out clearly for every player. This can be on bases of what one is best base on what to do. It should also matter on placing people based on how they consider themselves during a win or loss. According to Easton (1996), this can be likened to LIFO terms; this is in the way they to assess he behavior when the going is well and how their behavior when they are under pressure. The team may design in a way these factors well taken care of. According to Easton (1996), for instance, who comes in handy to be supporting the captain? Who is suited to do the try as well as serve as the captain of the side? Who will give their place up as a substitute in the batting in order to save the team from a loss? There exit several types of mixes and types that make up the world of cultures in business. These could include the power, people, task as well as role. Just like in business the game of cricket, this is the same (Fischer, n.d.).
2.3 Actuating a Sport as a Business
According to Goldman and Johns (2009), any game at the level of business of sport must show how it is economically significant at all the levels of the society. This makes it an important component both as an economic activity as well as wealth creation. Market research has shown those willing to invest in sports sponsorship; this has risen since 2003 by a twenty-nine percent proportion, which best estimated to be US$2.4 billion. This makes part of a proportion of the larger global sponsorship industry. This best estimated to be about US$28 billion in 2004. In the case of South Africa, the amount of money put into the sport as a direct expenditure in terms of sports sponsorship has increased. In 1991, the amount spent in terms of sponsorship was R 207 million but this rose such that in 2000 the amount was R 1billion. Recent case studies show that the amount spent in the sport has risen to 2.6 billion Rand. These studies have further shown that another R 2.2 Billion has spent on leveraging sponsorship. A case in point to identify with is the 1984 when the Los Angeles hosted the Olympics. The Olympics significantly boosted sports marketing. According to Goldman and Johns (2009), this event turned athletics into a sponsored business. This became the first to be operational on revenues generated by private sponsor revenues. The other Olympics operated on a bid to generate profit.
In addition to the competition that is experience on the field, sports teams also compete for favor from spectators, media coverage, brand sponsors, product consumers as well as bidding investors. From this perspective, this is making sporting action become a business entity. This is with professional management. Those in management will rather perceive those in their sport team as a brand and are important to sell in the sport club. Thus, the sports icons are rather making sure every sports event is a value addition. This makes them important in the public eye. According to Goldman and Johns (2009), these makes them become valuable and can attract and influence the perception and attitude of other stakeholders the game. Sports Clubs like Manchester United, Real Madrid as well as the New York Yankees have set pace in showing the value of product branding in games is all about? This act makes the sports seem rather to act independently when displayed. The venture is such that the brand can sell independently of the athlete success. Take for instance the case of Real Madrid. In the football season of 2003/2004, they made up to €64.3 million in the form of merchandising sales. Out of the revenue generated, the brand sold 1.5 million shirts mostly to other countries. The clubs at the helm of football action, mainly based in Europe collectively grew by a margin of 11%, which is equivalent to € 3.7 billion in 2006/2007. During this time Real Madrid was rated as the first club to make up revenue of €360 million. Research has classified the art of sports marketing in to two versions. According to Goldman and Johns (2009), there is marketing of sports as well as marketing with sports. The marketing of sports involves marketing strategies of sports events as well as sports kits to a target audience of the players, athletes as w