OPINION

Twenty20? It seems this is the new normal

That saying about life coming at you fast has never been more true than this Australian summer.

And we're talking real world here - not pratting about with balls and wooden sticks on well-watered patches of lush green grass. (And that's from a devoted cricket fan)

With a fair slice of the eastern seaboard of the nation's most populous state scorched, or preparing for the same, sport seems even more pointless than ever. And now that centres inland are copping it too, on top of the drought they have endured for years, it is an improbable situation.

Which, really, is a bit like the BBL, for traditional cricket lovers.

Firstly, we endured Mr Packer and his cricket revolution. World Series transformed the game in so many ways - the pyjamas, the music, the white ball, the lights, the overtly non-traditional advertising, the works!

Of course, as much as the Packer circus was responsible for turbo-charging the limited-over game, the Goanna wasn't exactly WG Grace either: the abbreviated version of the game was played before the Kiwis were decked out in top-to-toe biege.

But there's also no denying the seductive powers of fielding restrictions on the masses. Anything that encouraged batters to hit big managed to attract the half-interested sports fan.

Believe it or not, it took another three decades for major change to hit the no-longer genteel world of cricket.

And then the ripple that started in England took even longer to hit Australian shores.

It's called Twenty20 cricket.

With the music, the fielding restrictions, and the crowd interaction, as well as the ability to engage the short-attention spanned sports fan who is really more interested in a night out than the game, it's a PR winner.

But for those of us who care about the history of the game once played by flannelled fools, it's still difficult to stomach.

Let's be honest, Marnus Labuschagne is the man of the summer. (Well, besides every volunteer firie to have ever walked our scorched earth.)

It is he who is capturing imaginations.

Cricket though, believe it or not Mr PM, has taken a backseat to real life this summer. As should be the case.

Cricket Australia can pretty much write off this summer for the men's team and hope for better when the women's Twenty20 World Cup starts mid-February.

The men have a few longer-form matches in the pipeline but wouldn't you know it, the horizon is littered with Twenty20 dates.

Janine Graham is an ACM journalist.