Today in 30 Days, 30 Questions:
Question: What does the future of cricket hold?
Yahoo! Cricket's Answer: Going by the reader responses to our previous question about the importance of international cricket, we can deduce one thing: a whole generation of fans are now growing up on a diet of T20 franchise cricket. The shortest format has made itself popular among players and fans alike. No wonder so many players have opted out of international cricket to make a career in T20 tournaments. ODI cricket will perhaps roll over and die. Test cricket may have to go on life support.
But there may come a time when even T20 cricket may become redundant. How is that, you ask? The future of cricket may be predicted by looking at what's already happened in some sports. Look at racing. Earlier, it was an event for men and beasts. Now, machines are pitted against each other. Robots have already been playing chess, soccer, basic forms of baseball, among other things. The day may not be far when — technology permitting — a visionary would come up with a cricket league for robots, thus rendering human mastery of the sport obsolete.
That's a wild thought, but who's to say this isn't possible? What do you think about the subject? Share your views in the comments below and we'll take the talk forward.
[Update, March 30]: Thanks for your comments — even the off-topic ones. The general view was that we've gone mad (didn't we say robots playing cricket is a wild thought?), but here are the notable comments nonetheless.
If the machines are pitted against each other, it won't be a cricket game but a technology game like the Hollywood "Terminator" series. A competition between men and machines may attract a lot of fans (like the battle between Kasparov and Deep Blue did) and there may be a big prize at stake too. Men would have to be physically and mentally fit like never before to compete against machines which may tend not to forgive human errors.
In other sports, machines haven't made human participation uninteresting. You can see several examples in racing and chess where participation of machines made things interesting.
Robots playing cricket, as you rightly said, is a wild thought. Cricket will start looking like a video game. I’m sure at least for this great game this will not happen. Fans like me who follow Test cricket, have lost interest in the game because of the advent of T20 cricket. Nothing equals Test cricket, which is the true measure of a player’s greatness.
Concluding thought from Captain PK Sethi:
Every thing is possible in the era of technological revolution. Even T20 may be replaced by T10, T5 and T1, and a time may come when the fate of a game will be decided by the mere toss of a coin, and robots taking over partially or completely. But for a couple of generations, all existing formats of the game will exist. Let us enjoy the India-South Africa T20 today and leave certain things to the laws of nature. Happy viewing.