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'Slogathon' fear

The Twenty20 format has divided the Australian cricket community, which is at odds over whether it will boost interest in the game or corrupt the skills of rising first-class players.

The Twenty20 format has divided the Australian cricket community, which is at odds over whether it will boost interest in the game or corrupt the skills of rising first-class players.

The 20-over competition, which has taken England by storm since it was introduced there in 2003, is less familiar to Australians but was well received on Friday night with lively interstate games in Brisbane and Perth.

The first international game on these shores, between Australia and South Africa at the Gabba tomorrow night, will provide a better test.

So far the signs are good -- strong ticket sales indicate the clash will be close to a sellout.

The Twenty20 concept has a wide range of supporters who say on-field innovations such as "free-hit" no-balls, coupled with off-field attractions such as rock bands and jumping castles, will attract a new band of spectators.

But detractors, such as former Test opener Keith Stackpole, warn it is a money-driven "slogathon".

source - heraldsun.news.com.au
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