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Ex-Proteas cricketer Hilton Ackerman lauds T20's impact


February 17, 2012 - Johannesburg

Former South African cricketer and television commentator Hilton D Ackerman says 20-over cricket has changed the face of cricket and widened its appeal.

"It's regarded as entertainment now and brought a new market to the game," Sports24 quoted Ackerman, as saying at Kyalami.

"Young people are now involved in cricket and females are starting to watch as well.

"They've discovered it's not as boring as they always perceived it to be. It's also creating new viewers for the longer versions of the game," he added.

He also said that players like Chris Gayle and Paul Collingwood were a good advertisement for Twenty20 cricket.

"Gayle is brilliant at the game and it will be a great experience for the Dolphins' guys to have him in their side. Collingwood provides the youngsters in the seventh team with the chance to learn from him and gain exposure to a senior player, which they wouldn't normally get," Ackerman said.

He, however, said that there was need for the cricket authorities at home to blood youngsters for the long term.

Ackerman felt a big positive aspect to come out of the 20-over cricket was that it had levelled the playing field, remuneration-wise.

"For so many years, cricketers were behind other sports when income was concerned. So what it has done certainly is to put cricketers on the map as far as that is concerned. And they deserve it, they put in a lot of hard work as much as any other sportsman does," he said.

ANI

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