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Jones hopes split innings just the start

Brydon Coverdale

June 16, 2010

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Dean Jones batting, Australia v South Africa, 2nd final, Sydney, January 23, 1994
Dean Jones wants to see an overhaul of 50-over cricket © Getty Images
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Cricket Australia's plan to introduce split-innings one-day games is a positive step but does not go far enough, according to the Australian one-day great Dean Jones. This summer's FR Cup will feature a trial in which each state's innings is divided into two, with wickets lost and runs scored carried into the second innings.

So, if a team finishes its first innings at 3 for 120, they will have only seven wickets in hand when they resume after the opposition has had a bat. Jones is pleased to see CA thinking outside the box, but believes a better option would be to restore all ten wickets for a team's second innings.

"It [split-innings] gives the opportunity for a family man who might miss Australia batting in the morning, to see the second part of their innings batting at night," Jones told Cricinfo. "But there should be Test match Twenty20 cricket. I think that's a better game, where both teams have two innings. Then you get to see Sachin Tendulkar bat twice in the day, and see any great bowler bowl twice in the day."

It is a view shared by Channel Nine, who could be a key player if the concept is taken to international level. Brad McNamara, the network's executive producer of cricket, said Jones' plan for "Test-match Twenty20s" was preferable as the star players would be given more exposure.

"From a broadcaster's point of view the splitting of the 50 overs into two innings is something we were reasonably interested in on the proviso that the best batters got to bat twice," McNamara said in the Australian. "CA were talking about splitting the innings and only having the 10 wickets going over into the next innings, which I must admit doesn't excite us all that greatly."

While the ICC remains officially supportive of the existing one-day format, it has encouraged its members to try new innovations at domestic level and will be keeping tabs on Australia's experiment. There is a widely held view that 50-over cricket has become tired, and the former Australian one-day star Simon O'Donnell is keen to support the new trial.

"It looks well worth the experiment to me," O'Donnell told Cricinfo. "If the game of 50-over cricket was heading to where some think it is, there's no harm in being proactive and looking at a revamp. The split in itself would be such an individual and tactical team challenge, to make sure you use those overs in the correct manner."

However, Jones and O'Donnell both believe it is not simply the format but also the volume of 50-over cricket that has become a concern. In an ODI career spanning nearly seven years, O'Donnell played 87 matches for his country, but it's now possible for players to rack up that many games in less than half the time.

"The game has basically been driven into the ground," O'Donnell said. "There was so much of it and it's something that I hope we've learnt our lesson from, for the sake of Twenty20 cricket. There's only so much cricket can go around. There's only so many people support it around the world. You wonder if that's what's started to fall on deaf ears."

Jones' grand vision for the limited-overs game includes not only "Test match Twenty20s" but also stripping back the amount of bilateral ODI contests between nations. Instead, he wants to see tri-series played as World Cup qualifiers, with all one-dayers contributing points to a team's eventual World Cup campaign.

Under his plan, Australia's upcoming five-game series against England would be off the cards, unless a third team was brought in and World Cup points put at stake. Jones believes there is a very real prospect that 50-over cricket could die out if something is not done to reinvigorate it.

"I think it would because we're really bleeding," Jones said. "The golden goose ain't got too many eggs now. They've got to draw a line in the sand and say we want to make this quality cricket. The ICC has got to take over the programming and not let countries do what they want with how many one-day games they play."

Cricket Australia's split-innings plan is one stride towards revitalising one-day cricket. Time will tell if it is a stepping stone to bigger changes.

Brydon Coverdale is a staff writer at Cricinfo

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Posted by AARON.IFTEKHAR on (June 21, 2010, 12:11 GMT)

How about the spliting of Twenty20 cricket: 10-overs 10 wickets-a-side 4 splits-innigs, Team A bats 1st & 4th innings and team B bats 2nd & 3rd? Two 5-minutes quarter-term water-break and one 15-minutes half-time tea-break. That will be more funs & more TV revenue.

Posted by sunilvaidya on (June 19, 2010, 7:17 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   on (June 19, 2010, 3:24 GMT)

PLEASE READ MY IDEA: No one wants to watch a television event for 7 and half hours. My solution is simple and is sure to work despite growing threats from 20-20s. Play ODIs over two nights. On Night 1, have the first innings of the two teams; i.e. 25 overs each. On Night 2, have the 2nd innings of the two teams, i.e. 25 overs each. In this way, it is still the same game, except it is played over two nights, NOT one day. Re-brand it as 50-50 Internationals. Thank you.

Posted by popcorn on (June 18, 2010, 4:20 GMT)

Any tampeering with the currently well-established format will signal the end of the 50 over format. Thank God we can at have 5 more years to watch this beautiful format - till World Cup 2015.

Posted by   on (June 17, 2010, 16:29 GMT)

No need for changing any rules in 1 day cricket. Some one has to stop all this nonsense. If there is any change that should me made i 1 day cricket...reduce the number of overs to 40.

Posted by shameerpvt on (June 17, 2010, 16:09 GMT)

I think, 20-20 format will sustain, as nowadays, people don't have time to spend a full day in front of the TV or in the ground, & still cricket absorbs more time than football or rugby. This new 2 Innings One Day format will consume more time than the present One Day format & it could possibly drive out fans rather than attracting them.

Posted by ansram on (June 17, 2010, 14:36 GMT)

I like this innovation to ODI. But I share D-Men's view. Restoring all 10 wicks in the second innings would render the lower order redundent and it would no longer be like a ODI match but two T20 matches.

Jone's argument that "Then you get to see Sachin Tendulkar bat twice in the day, and see any great bowler bowl twice in the day." is tempting but certainly no one wants to see all the batsmen do a second time. Maybe there can be a rule that one or two batsmen ( and bowlers) can be reused in the second innings.

Posted by hoLLa on (June 17, 2010, 13:38 GMT)

At least this will reduce the embarrassment serieses such as the recent SL, IND ZIM triseries where all matches were won by team batting second without exception. The difference will be minimal if team1 bats Innings 1 & 4 and team 2 bats in Innings 2 & 3.

Posted by decaby on (June 17, 2010, 13:29 GMT)

this is the best way to revive 50 cricket... once they try this crap they would return to proper cricket... this is a laughing stock... LMAO

Posted by currie_I_G on (June 17, 2010, 12:10 GMT)

if ICC needs to do anything, they need to limit the number of ODIs. must have only 3 ODI and 2 T20 in one series and no more. 5 or 7 ODI in one series should not be allowed to happen.

i really hope they don't implement this disgusting "double T 20" idea. ODI cricket will be murdered.

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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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