Gilchrist wants more player input
With players across the world coming to grips with the new proposals intended to liven up one-day cricket, Adam Gilchrist has come out and said that the players' views should be taken on board before such experiments become legislation. The new changes, which involve changes in fielding restrictions and substitutions, could be tried out in early July when England and Australia clash in the NatWest Series.
"I don't think our guys have got a full grasp of it," said Gilchrist, talking to The Age. "I think it's going to be really intriguing for the spectators and the players as to how a captain manipulates those five-over blocks. That will be really good.
"It will keep people really interested and it will bring a more traditional tactical nous to the one-day game, where maybe that has slowly faded away or is not as openly evident in one-day cricket to the paying public. Traditional cricket is about out-thinking your opponent and subtle field changes. With these rules, it will have to reintroduce that skilled thinking."
The changes were suggested by a committee headed by Sunil Gavaskar, the former Indian opening batsman, in an attempt to liven up the one-day game which had become drearily predictable and formulaic in the middle of an innings.
Gilchrist added that while the game's popularity and commercial considerations were important, it was imperitive that the players be consulted before any far-reaching changes were affected. "I've got no problem with trying things in this format of the game," he said. "People will say it's not cricket to substitute a player in and out but traditionalists will say one-day cricket is not cricket, so it's here and it's a good forum to experiment.
"As long as there is an experimental period and then they go to the players to get opinion on whether it's worked or not. The players don't have to have the final say, but they've got to have a strong voice in the final outcome, along with spectators who they'll canvass and, I'm sure, sponsors and the TV people that cover the games."