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Twenty20 as media event

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We analyse Twenty20 cricket tournaments as media events, a particular social process with its own logic, function and effects. In Dayan and Katz's original formulation, media events enable a society to assemble, reflect on and legitimate its establishment institutions. Through a global mediatized event in space/time, Twenty20 creates a focal point for an international cricket community to watch, discuss and endorse or criticize the institutions and order of world cricket. Conceptions of the community and its order were present in statements made by different national teams as they approached the 2010 Twenty20 World Cup. We find that discussion engendered by the emergence of Twenty20 media events are structured around binaries of Test cricket, its techniques, sanctity and sporting values, against Twenty20, its 'hit and giggle' techniques, its innovations and its association with sporting values. Nevertheless, as all formats adapt and the institutional order evolves, we already find evidence of these binaries beginning to dissolve.

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