“To globalise the game, I feel T20 is the right format,” Tendulkar told ESPNcricinfo in New York City, where he is gearing up for the start of the Cricket All-Stars Series starting on Saturday at Citi Field.
“The format is fast, it’s gripping, it’s got lot of energy and invariably the finishes are real close. Very rarely you get to see a one-sided game, which is what people like to see. Towards the end of most T20 games, every ball matters.”
Tendulkar and Shane Warne are set to lead a team of retired stars in a series of three T20 matches across three cities over the next week. Following the launch at Citi Field, the series will shift to Houston for the second match on November 11 before the final T20 is played in Los Angeles on November 14.
Tendulkar said he hoped the games – to be held in baseball stadiums in each city – would draw large crowds, not only from the expatriate community but also from among those who have never watched a cricket match.
“This is an introduction to cricket,” he said. “If there are guys who want to understand more about the different formats then they are going to follow Test cricket and ODIs. Even if you get ten percent of the guys to follow Test cricket and like Test cricket, it’s a win-win situation.”
Tendulkar wishes that his band of retired superstars can kindle the curiosity of many American kids and inspire them to try and get a taste of playing the game.
“Somewhere down the line maybe a kid in the US will hold a baseball bat in one hand and cricket bat in another,” he said.
“You need role models, you need heroes. Youngsters need heroes to get inspired – to believe that yes, I want to become like Wasim Akram, I want to become like Brian Lara, I want to become like Jacques Kallis. That is how that journey starts.” (ESPN Cricinfo)