There is only one constant in this world: change. Cricket is no different and the game has evolved leaps and bounds since its inception. Here we look at changes in the game which has made all its stakeholders look at it differently. (Do note that we are not pointing out at ‘rule’ changes which are also a result of change in the way the game is played.)
The grounds in which the game is played has changed leaps and bounds. This has happened due to two particular reasons: first the seating capacity for spectators have been increased and the facilities for them have come up. Secondly the outfields have been improved considerably which has resulted in better/more athletic ground fielding as it facilitates more sliding and dives.
2. Player Fitness
Cricket as a game when it started did not demand high levels of fitness. This was because it flowed more from the lines of aristocracy which was only a game of the elite. Secondly once the frequency of the number of games in a season increased, the body demanded to be looked after more. These days fitness has become the core of any cricket playing team due to its demands on the field.
The equipment used in cricket these days are made to fit the demands of the game. Earlier the game was played in a more orthodox way and hence the shots played were mostly along the ground. With the advent of t20 and more attacking brand of cricket the bats these days are considerably bigger and bulkier but not necessarily heavier. The meatier but lighter bats help the batsmen to clear the boundaries with ease.
This should probably be the most significant of changes that the game has seen over the years. The amount of money the players and the boards earn these days clearly reflect on why so much cricket is being played: more cricket equals more money. Imran Khan in one of his interviews said that an average player in one season of IPL earns more money than he did playing his entire career! Crore has become the ‘new’ lakh.
5. Support Staff
The number of people behind the scenes have increased significantly from the olden days. Today an almost equal number of people travel with a team starting from the coaches (batting, bowling and fielding) to analysts, ball throwers and masseurs. This is again because of more cricket being played and higher demands of performance.
6. Bigger Totals
Smaller grounds and better equipment along with batsmen friendly rules have led to batsmen amassing bigger totals. The recent decade has seen a series of double hundreds in the shorter format of the game and the day is not far when there would be a triple hundred. The 2015 World Cup has already seen more than three 400 plus team totals and almost a 300 in every alternate game.
7. Result Yielding Test Matches
Test matches in recent times have yielded more results as teams have the ability to score 300 in a one day. The advent of naturally attacking batsmen like Sehwag and Gayle have made this possible. This in turn has brought back the excitement in the longest form of the game.
8. Freelance Cricketers
Much like the way the professional world functions freelancing has started in cricket too, especially in t20 cricket. Certain players play t20 cricket the whole year round and for different teams. In the present times t20 leagues happen across the globe starting from the IPL(India), Big Bash(Australia), CPL(West Indies),SPL(Sri Lanka) and BPL(Bangladesh) to name a few.