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  • [narrator] Cricket is an old British sport.

  • Very well played, sir.

  • Cricket... of course, doesn't even have rules.

  • It has laws.

  • And that immediately strikes some people as pompous and self-regarding.

  • [narrator] Those laws were mostly written in 19th-century London

  • at a pitch still considered the home of cricket

  • called Lord's.

  • [newsreel narrator] For this is Lord's:

  • deeply rooted in tradition and in the ritual tradition brings.

  • You know, God bless cricket.

  • It has a tea break in the game.

  • [Brian Lara] It's definitely a test of attrition.

  • A lot of people can't get their mind around,

  • "How do you stand out there for five days?"

  • [narrator] But cricket has changed.

  • There's a new form of the sport

  • That's bringing in more money, fans, and a different style of play.

  • But one thing hasn't changed.

  • [Kimber] It's complicated.

  • It is one of the most complicated sports on Earth.

  • It's totally wiggly.

  • It doesn't even follow any apparent obvious reason.

  • [narrator] That didn't put off the one billion people

  • that were estimated to have watched a single cricket match in 2015

  • between India and Pakistan.

  • That's one in seven humans.

  • So how did this confusing British game

  • become one of the most popular sports on Earth?

  • [newsreel announcer] And here's the England side coming into the field.

  • [crowd cheering]

  • [newsreel narrator] A subtle battle between a slice of willow

  • and a round of leather.

  • [man shouts] Yeah! Got it.

  • [crowd cheering]

  • [announcer 1] West Indian skipper, Brian Lara.

  • [announcer 2] What a great victory.

  • [announcer 3] Unbelievable scenes here at the World Cup.

  • [announcer 4] This is certainly not an Englishman's game anymore.

  • [theme music playing]

  • [Mandvi] Two teams of 11 play each other

  • on a field shaped like an oval.

  • The batting team has two players on the field at a time

  • on either end of the pitch.

  • They're trying to score runs,

  • while the fielding team is trying to get them out.

  • On each side of the pitch is a wicket.

  • The wicket is three stumps topped by two bails.

  • A batsman stands in front of a wicket

  • trying to hit the ball delivered by a bowler

  • from the other end of the pitch.

  • If the batsman hits the ball, they score runs

  • by exchanging positions with the other batsmen.

  • Each exchange equals one run.

  • While they're running, the fielders try to get the ball

  • and hit one of the wickets before a batsman gets there.

  • If they don't make it before the ball knocks the bails off the stumps,

  • they're out and the new batsman comes in.

  • If the batsman hits the ball hard enough, they won't have to run.

  • If they hit it to the boundary, it's worth four runs.

  • And all the way over the boundary...

  • that's six.

  • If a fielder catches the ball,

  • the batsman is out.

  • The bowler can also get a batsman out if their delivery hits the wicket,

  • knocking the bails off the stumps.

  • A batsman can choose not to swing

  • or swing and miss the ball,

  • and he won't get out as long as the wicket is safe.

  • The bowler, however, can only bowl six deliveries at a time.

  • That's called an "over," and it's really important.

  • After each over, a teammate takes their place.

  • When ten of the 11 batsman are out,

  • it's called an "innings" and the other team bats.

  • In traditional cricket, each team has two innings in the match

  • and the team with the most runs at the end wins.

  • If they haven't finished after five days,

  • the umpire calls a draw.

  • Technically there are ten ways to get out.

  • But if you ask someone to explain them,

  • cricket can get very confusing very quickly.

  • Leg before wicket, one of the ways someone can be out

  • and the nature of the umpire,

  • the nature of fielding positions:

  • silly mid-on, silly mid-off, extra cover, third man.

  • It's all very coded and peculiar, cricket. I suppose that's the problem.

  • [Mandvi] The British didn't just write the rules of cricket...

  • they spread it around the world

  • by taking it to their colonies in the 18th and 19th centuries.

  • British soldiers played it,

  • and the local people either took to it or didn't.

  • In Canada, they didn't particularly.

  • A bit cold.

  • So they went to the ice hockey instead.

  • But in the warmer countries, it seems obviously to have taken off.

  • [Mandvi] Even the United States played

  • before baseball became the patriotic pastime.

  • America decided cricket smacked of colonialism,

  • and therefore, they were not going to play.

  • [Mandvi] But in other colonies, playing cricket was an opportunity

  • to beat the colonizers at their own game.

  • And the English began inviting teams

  • to come test their skills against them in England.

  • The competitions were called test matches,

  • which is what the long form of the game continues to be called.

  • Most of the countries and the top countries that play the game

  • has that little element of wanting to get back at the English.

  • [Mandvi] And the colonies got a new opportunity

  • to do that starting in 1975,

  • when cricket got a World Cup.

  • Without the World Cup, cricket would still be a gentlemanly agreement.

  • "Oh, yeah, we're free at that time of year. We'll come over."

  • Whereas the World Cup gives everyone the chance to prove themselves.

  • [Mandvi] In order to play a tournament, matches needed to be shorter

  • and end with a winner and a loser.

  • So they played a one-day form of the game

  • that limited the number of overs faced by each team.

  • [crowd roaring]

  • The first two World Cups were both won by the West Indies.

  • My mother was jumping in the kitchen when the West Indies were winning.

  • Did she care about the game that much? No.

  • Did she understand the game that much? No.

  • But cricket meant a lot to us as West Indians,

  • and not just in the Caribbean.

  • [Mandvi] In the third World Cup, England didn't even make the finals.

  • They had lost to India,

  • a team playing against the West Indies

  • after having won a single game in the first two World Cups.

  • In the final, nobody gave India a chance.

  • They were like interlopers.

  • On the day of the match, the feeling was,

  • "Who are these people? Why are they at Lord's?

  • Why isn't England at Lord's?"

  • [Mandvi] But on the turf of their former colonizer

  • and with odds of 66 to one,

  • India won.

  • [Bose] In '83 was, for the first time,

  • Indians at home watch their team win abroad.

  • [crowd cheering]

  • This is a new India emerging.

  • I mean, the economic prosperity of India came a decade later.

  • But if you think, that marked the moment when India was confident.

  • [crowd cheering]

  • We played like winners.

  • Throughout the game, throughout the series.

  • Everybody fight for their lives,

  • and they said, "We will do it."

  • Nineteen eighty-three, that generation began to feel

  • they didn't look to have a merit certificate from England

  • to feel that they were good enough to compete in the world.

  • India, for the first time, began to show that a country of that size,

  • if it has prosperity,

  • if it has television reach,

  • it can play an enormous part in reshaping cricket, which it has done.

  • [Mandvi] Four years later,

  • India hosted the first World Cup

  • outside of England.

  • [crowd cheering]

  • There's an Indian word called "tamasha,"

  • which means fun, excitement, glamour,

  • uncertainty all rolled into one.

  • And one day cricket became instant tamasha.

  • [crowd cheering]

  • -[whistle blows] -[cheering continues]

  • [Fry] You just are amazed

  • that something that was started on green turf

  • at the site of an English church,

  • and, you know, polite applause

  • and, "Well played, good fellow,"

  • becomes this screaming religious ceremony.

  • -[crowd roaring] -[announcer 1] Pakistan win the World Cup.

  • A magnificiant performance in front of 87,000 people.

  • Imran Khan is waiting inside.

  • [crowd cheering]

  • [announcer 2] McGrath wide on the crease and that goes for four.

  • And the crowd loving every minute of it.

  • [announcer 3] Could be caught...

  • Is caught.

  • Sachin Tendulkar celebrates.

  • [Kimber] Political power then became

  • that the World Cup was worth so much money

  • and that India and Pakistan were bringing in so much of that money,

  • that the sort of democratization of the game,

  • and it went from being England and Australia running the game

  • to a more global thing.

  • [Mandvi] In England, domestic cricket was losing fans,

  • so something was done to save the sport at home,

  • but it would only accelerate the power shift to Asia.

  • In the early 2000s, a British TV Network

  • paid for Stuart Robinson and his marketing team

  • to research what the problem was.

  • The key word that came out of that was cricket was "inaccessible."

  • It was a sport for the posh.

  • [Mandvi] Robertson had an idea:

  • an even shorter form of cricket

  • limited to just 20 overs for each team

  • that would last three hours.

  • [Robertson] And we asked those people

  • if we introduced a game of cricket that lasted less than three hours,

  • would they come to see the game?

  • And all of those people who were indexed

  • as never having come to a cricket match before,

  • they massively over indexed in saying,

  • "Yes, we would come to that."

  • [Mandvi] They called the new format "twenty20,"

  • "T20" for short,

  • and pitched it to the heads of English cricket at Lord's.

  • We were arranged around this enormous table in alphabetical order.

  • So it started with Derbyshire, then Durham, Essex,

  • and it went all the way around to Yorkshire.

  • You know, the 60-year-old white males

  • who had loved their traditional cricket, don't particularly like change.

  • Then the vote went up,

  • started counting the hands as quickly as I could,

  • and we realized that it was 11-seven in favor.

  • [Mandvi] The next summer, T20 made its debut in England.

  • The guy on the P.A. system,

  • at start of the game, he said,

  • "Welcome to the future of cricket."

  • And it was amazing. It was a great statement.

  • [Mandvi] Not everyone agreed.

  • I still remain... to be sold on the idea.

  • I don't like the razzmatazz that's going to go with it.

  • [Mandvi] The rest of the world got their opportunity

  • to judge the new format in 2005.

  • [announcer] We welcome the world into Eden Park, Auckland, New Zealand,

  • the first ever Twenty20 international in the history of the game.

  • New Zealand against Australia.

  • It felt a little bit like they weren't taking it very seriously.

  • [announcer] And here they come.

  • Look at Hamish Marshall in the background.

  • -[laughter] -Goodness me. What is he on?

  • Or a lot like they weren't taking it very seriously.

  • They were all but drinking during the game.

  • And that tells you how serious the game was.

  • Oh, my heavens!

  • They look like a psychedelic funk band

  • from Chicago in 1975.

  • [Mandvi] That reputation stuck,

  • and when the format got its own World Cup,

  • the advertising made it clear that T20 cricket was for...

  • [man] Party people!

  • The ICC World T20. From 11 to 24th of September

  • it's off the hook!

  • India were like, "This is stupid. We've already got one-day cricket.

  • We're more than happy. We don't need this other stupid thing."

  • T20 cricket was an English invention.

  • India was almost dragged

  • into the World Cup of 2007 in Johannesburg.

  • They were were virtually dragged there.

  • They sent over a young team.

  • That happened to be the best thing they could've done,

  • because a lot of the old players didn't really understand T20 cricket,

  • whereas the young players kind of understood

  • that you had to go as hard as you could.