Authors: Tim Wigmore & Freddie Wilde
Star Rating: ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐
I'll admit I was a late adopter to T20 cricket. At first I saw it as a mindless slogging contest that held little to no appeal to the "real" cricket fan.
Over the years I've come to love it. I love it for the glitz, the glamour, the speed of the game and I have to admit, I'm partial to a big six or two.
If like me you love T20, if you think you may like T20 or if you hate T20, this book is absolutely worth the read.
Tim & Freddie present the evolution of T20 through the eyes of the people who lived it. It's not a day by day account of the growth of the game, it's an approachable study into why T20 was and still is so important to the game of cricket.
From a detailed examination of the skills required to not only build a successful franchise but to execute on the field. To a study on how the power of cricket moved east with the development of the shorter format of the game.
Tim & Freddie encapsulate why this game moved from a gimmick ("I think it's difficult to play seriously" - Ricky Ponting 2005) to a global phenomenon (The value of the IPL alone is estimated to be worth over $6.5 billion).
Books that are heavy in stats can be daunting and Cricket 2.0 has more than enough stats to keep your mind spinning. But the stats are interwoven into a series of human-interest stories and it's in that balance that the value of this book sits.
Anyone who has lived through the T20 revolution will remember how vilified and ridiculed some of these players were ("Kieron Pollard, in my opinion, is not a cricketer" - Michael Holding). The ECB went from actively preventing players from playing in the IPL to actively encouraging it.
When you first read that the book is built on interviews from over 50 players and coaches, you wonder if it may get just a little bit repetitive. Let me assure you that it's anything but repetitive. There is a wide range of topics covered from dodgy owners ("Some of these owners are dodgy as fuck" - International cricketer) to the emergence of star cricketers from associate nations, who were finally given the platform to showcase their talents.
What I loved about the book is that although it is a sort of love letter to T20 cricket, it doesn't paper over the issues, it's a warts and all Cromwell style piece of work. Tim & Freddie openly explore how the emergence of T20 cricket could lead to greater abuse, both from a performance enhancing drug aspect and an illegal betting angle, all bases are covered.
Cricket 2.0: Inside the T20 Revolution is a must read for cricket fans. It's informative, it's insightful and at the end of the day, it's just a bloody good book full stop.
Available on Amazon for £12:59 - Buy Here