Cricket Australia board meeting

CA confirms split-innings one-dayers

Brydon Coverdale

June 11, 2010

Comments: 88 | Text size: A | A

James Sutherland speaks to reporters following Australia's decision not to tour Zimbabwe, Melbourne, May 13, 2007
James Sutherland: "What we at Cricket Australia are looking to do is to find a landing spot with a new format" © Getty Images
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One-day cricket in its familiar form could soon become a thing of the past after the Cricket Australia board gave the green light to a trial of split-innings state games next summer. If the new format is successful, Cricket Australia will take the idea to the ICC as a plan to keep ODIs alive, meaning the 2015 World Cup could feature a split-innings format.

Although there has been no decision on how many overs each innings would be - four innings of either 20 or 25 overs are the most likely - CA will finalise their concept in the coming weeks. The first four rounds of the FR Cup will be played under the existing rules before the new format is introduced for the remaining six rounds, which will start in February.

By then, Australia's World Cup squad will have departed, so their preparations will not be affected. James Sutherland, the CA chief executive, said the innovation was intended as a way to retain all three formats of the game, with the middle portion of 50-over innings having become largely predictable.

"It provides a mechanism by which in the eyes of the consumer we can distinguish the one-day game a little bit more from the Twenty20 format of the game," Sutherland said. "There's no doubt that there's some feedback there that suggests that parts of the one-day game are a little bit predictable. That's certainly something that we are looking to address.

"One of the things that's come back as the feedback from fans and also from a television audience perspective is that by having a split innings, after the dinner break, no matter, you will get to see both teams bat in the evening. That is something that people who might be going to the game after work or coming home after work see as being a very significant plus for this format."

The popularity of Twenty20 cricket has left ODIs in a difficult position, somewhere between the dynamic shortest format and the traditional Test matches. England and South Africa have already reduced their one-day domestic competitions to 40 overs a side, in an effort to eliminate some of the less exciting middle overs.

The ICC has been searching for ways to keep 50-over cricket relevant, and next year's World Cup on the subcontinent could feasibly be the last one played in the existing format. Sutherland said it was hard to predict how one-day cricket would look by the time of the 2015 World Cup in Australia and New Zealand.

"If you're suggesting that the current playing conditions that one-day international cricket is being played under today is going to be the same in 2015, then I would suggest that it's probably not the case," Sutherland said. "There's a question there about how radically the playing conditions may have developed or changed. I honestly don't know the answer to that but what we at Cricket Australia are looking to do is to find a landing spot with a new format.

"We have also been encouraged to innovate through the ICC cricket committee, who met not long ago. They were very, very encouraging of full members looking to explore innovations within the playing conditions and certainly that's been raised at chief executive committee level in recent times."

Cricket Australia will now move to finalise the details, although it seems certain that teams will resume their second innings from the point where their first innings concluded. Sutherland said feedback from fans had played a major role in the split-innings concept, which has also been trialled this year in England's county 2nd XI competition.

Brydon Coverdale is a staff writer at Cricinfo

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Posted by sunilvaidya on (June 17, 2010, 6:46 GMT)

splitting odi into 25-25 overs is a silly idea. i am sure it will die like that innovation of super sub. that was a silly change and died quickly and splitting the odi idea is also going to prove silly. there will be more questions than answers if this change is made. what are you going to do if there is rain interruption? already in current state of odi there is a lot of uncertainty when there are only 2 innings. if there are 4 innings to be considered it is only going to increase the headache. already duckworth lewis system is being criticized. the 4 innings concept is only going to add to the difficulties in case of rain.

Posted by sony_sr on (June 16, 2010, 16:12 GMT)

The second innings will be a continuation of the 1st innings or a new innings. If its a new innings, then its not ODI cricket and they are just killing ODI cricket for money.

Better they can arrange 2 T20's in the same day and call it with some other name and leave ODI cricket alone. If it die itself, let it be. But please don't kill it today just coz you think it will die tomorrow.

Posted by MZahid on (June 16, 2010, 10:33 GMT)

To me, a person who finds test cricket boring does not really understand the philosophy of this sport and hence not a true fan of cricket. There is nothing more thrilling to see someone like Dravid, Lara, S Waugh, Inzimam, trying to sit out a whole session or a day-in order to save a match- against bowlers like Warne, Murali, McGrath, W Akram. In my opinion, T20 has already ruined this unique sport. Even the cricketers who have been brought up to look upto the purest form of the game, are obviously switching their loyalties to money; yes, I have little doubt that the international players who retire prematurely from tests and prefer playing T20 are dirven by money. The generation of cricketers that's been born and grown up in the era of T20 are yet to be seen and I can see that they will only play for money. I can understand that you need innovation to make this game "thrilling" for common viewers but for goodness sake don't talk about changing the test formate of this beautiful game.

Posted by   on (June 16, 2010, 4:49 GMT)

Seriously. If anyones suggesting 20/20 is the pinnacle they've got rocks in their head. Its like comparing Britney Spears to the Rolling Stones. One looks pretty, sounds pretty, but has no substance, talent, authenticity, credibility. It seems that the ppl who embrace it are up for a short term fix to the fact their teams are useless, and that by playing a watered down version of a real game, they can be competitive. A sign of the times I guess. Not willing to do the hard work to fix a problem, so lets get into the easy way out... Having said that, the topic of split 50 over games sounds promising. Hopefully it will take off, and the 20/20 fad, like Britney, will fade into oblivion...

Posted by stuartk319 on (June 16, 2010, 4:44 GMT)

What happens when Team A are 2/130 from their 25 overs, and Team B are 5/80 from theirs. We're all going to go home or switch off the telly!! This was trialled by English team in 1994/5 on tour matches, and quickly put away for that reason (short memories). Wake up, the 50 over format is dull because 80% of the matches mean nothing to 90% of the players. Lets simply save them for truly competitive situations; like the World Cup, and to help sort out good club players from worthy first-class cricketers as in the Ford Ranger Cup.

Posted by   on (June 15, 2010, 14:57 GMT)

@Paullie: I understood that only ten wickets are over the two "halves". Otherwise it'd become a twenty20 doubleheader, not resembling in any way an ODI...

Posted by lucyferr on (June 15, 2010, 6:00 GMT)

Finally! It's about time someone tried out the 2 innings 20 over format. I hope they also try both ABBA and ABAB versions (A = team batting 1st, B = team batting second - ABAB is like a regular Test, ABBA is like a follow-on). I personally would rather see 20 rather than 25 overs in an innings, but that can be sorted out later. Although - we are viewing this as a way to save ODIs and the Cricket World Cup, right? And not a way to improve T20s? Because T20s don't need any improvement (other than allowing bouncers, giving bowlers an extra over for every two wickets they take, etc). But hallelujah - the traditional 50 over format is dead. Now if Tests could just hurry up and die as well, we'd all be happy. (Okay, I take that back - Tests are a useful testing ground for cricketers who need a slower form of cricket to improve their technique before they're ready T20s. That's why they're called Tests, after all.)

Posted by Kirk-at-Lords on (June 15, 2010, 5:40 GMT)

Kudos to CA for showing courage and good judgment, balancing change with the need to keep stability in the ODI side. Now the revolution in cricket is well and truly under weigh! The sport practically stumbled into T20. Recall how uninterested India were until they won the first T20 World Cup? Then came the IPL and we were off... but with no clear destination in mind. Now that the money frenzy has dampened down a bit, this is the perfect time to find a way forward that preserves and promotes the elements of cricket that make it such a unique and strategic game. Two-innings-a-side is perhaps the most essential of these elements. It may take considerable tweaking, but CA has firmly launched the sport down an essential path to the future. As for things like statistical comparability, is this really what cricket is all about? Despite the apparent stability of Test cricket, how >do< you compare Bradman to Ponting, Tendulkar, or indeed any modern player? Priorities have to be set.

Posted by Bigbanger666 on (June 14, 2010, 5:40 GMT)

Surely Warner must get a regular game now??? He is a match winner in ODI and would be a gun in this format.

Posted by eyballfallenout on (June 14, 2010, 2:57 GMT)

chris_b85, is 100% right. no need to change the game, just the wickets. A sporting pitch will make the middle exciting,bring back the fast men for a couple and those batsman can be hopping all over the place, Way better than seeing a great bowler at 150 get smacked back over his head from an average bat. Sporting wickets 220 as a par score = nice cricket.

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Brydon CoverdaleClose
Brydon Coverdale Assistant Editor Possibly the only person to win a headline-writing award for a title with the word "heifers" in it, Brydon decided agricultural journalism wasn't for him when he took up his position with ESPNcricinfo in Melbourne. His cricketing career peaked with an unbeaten 85 in the seconds for a small team in rural Victoria on a day when they could not scrounge up 11 players and Brydon, tragically, ran out of partners to help him reach his century. He is also a compulsive TV game-show contestant and has appeared on half a dozen shows in Australia.
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