Alex Massie may be a bit too harsh on Twenty20, but I think his conclusion is spot-on:
Indeed, all the noise and colour associated with the Twenty20 “spectacle” is a clue to its essential emptyness: you need all this nonsense to distract the audience and prevent it from realising that that there’s very little that’s interesting actually happening on the pitch. High church cricket fans might be depressed if the game were sold to an abbreviated format that was, nonetheless, superior to the traditional forms of the game, but it’s quite another thing entirely for the game to be bought and soldto promote a markedly inferior, less compelling, less textured and varied form of cricket. And yet that is where our current masters are taking us. It is madness.
I’d only add a brief amendment to Massie’s argument. One of the big joys of Test cricket’s interminable length is that it allows the audience to keep the game in a pleasant background. You go to watch the game, obviously, but you also go to relax, read a book, and have the general hum-drum of leather and wood around you.
Twenty20, however, is the opposite: it’s an all-out assault on the senses. Even if the on-field action doesn’t include a boundary or a wicket, there’s music, cheerleaders, interviews, and the like. You just can’t look away, even if you want to. It’s really not cricket at all, but hyper-entertainment.