One-Day Cup October 5, 2010

Split-innings birth causes complications

The day before the new domestic split-innings tournament is due to start and Queensland's players are still waiting for their uniforms. Out on the Gabba turf there are no sponsors' logos and the competition stumps haven't arrived for Wednesday's day-nighter between Queensland and Tasmania. On the eve of the revolution of the cumbersomely named National One-Day Cup, the local officials admit to holding their collective breath.

And that's before the major issues of how the players and spectators react to the 45-over format, which will be contested over two innings of 20 overs before concluding with two 25-over segments. The change of structure has been designed by Cricket Australia to reinvigorate one-day cricket, with the hope of it being adopted internationally.

First it has to be embraced by the mostly sceptical players, who have grown to understand the need to perform whether they like the idea or not. Privately some are scathing, yet publicly they are more pragmatic. When the Twenty20 Big Bash began in 2005-06 there was general enthusiasm, especially from the young players, but this time the mood is one of confusion.

Chris Hartley, Queensland's wicketkeeper, said he has an open mind about the event. "The fact of the matter is it doesn't matter what they're playing, there are 22 guys out there and the competitive juices will start flowing and everyone will be going at it hard," he told ESPNcricinfo. "The biggest thing that has led to the confusion was not having played the format. A lot of players didn't see how the change of structure would increase interest in the game, but we're yet to play it at a full-scale level."

The Bulls have a difficult start running into Tasmania, who are well known for trialling unorthodox methods, including opening the bowling with their spinner Xavier Doherty. "They're a good team when it comes down to these tactics, and are led by George Bailey," Hartley said. "But in the first couple of games it will be really worrying about what we do. And we'll have to learn pretty quickly."

Hartley would like to think Chris Simpson, who stood down as captain last month, is Queensland's version of Doherty after an off-season spent tinkering with his off-spin. "He's an excellent slow bowler in the shorter versions of the game," Hartley said. "From behind the stumps, I think he's bowling better than he has ever."

How the local players look is still to be determined. Queensland's uniforms are due to arrive on the morning of the game and their 2009-10 kit is on standby.

Queensland James Hopes (capt), Ryan Broad, Lee Carseldine, Luke Feldman, Jason Floros, Chris Hartley (wk), Chris Lynn, Craig Philipson, Nathan Reardon, Nathan Rimmington, Chris Simpson, Chris Swan.

Tasmania George Bailey (capt), Travis Birt, Luke Butterworth, Mark Cosgrove, Ed Cowan, Xavier Doherty, Alex Doolan, Brendan Drew, James Faulkner, Brett Geeves, Jason Krejza, Rhett Lockyear, Jonathan Wells.

Peter English is the Australasia editor of Cricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Dave on October 5, 2010, 13:45 GMT

    The new split innings concept has nothing to do with the late arrival of uniforms. Last year the Big Bash uniforms didnt arrive until two days before the first match. This article is just a beat up!

  • Dummy4 on October 5, 2010, 12:55 GMT

    The Big Bash only really started producing money for CA when the likes of Chris Gayle, Kieron Pollard et al joined our domestic sides, drunk. But the split innings idea has already been tried in our one day competition, and it was a flop. The players hated it, as did the spectators, so why Cricket Australia think it's going to be any different now amuses me, especially when 65% of players were NOT in favour of the switch. Last summer, I went to all but one Bushrangers 50-overs home games, and the year before that, I attended every one of them. This summer, I will not be attending any.

  • Ryan on October 5, 2010, 12:04 GMT

    The reason they are trialling this is because crowds are finding the middle periods (15-45) boring. I myself watch the first 5-10 overs, then I lose interest. If someone is firing, I'll usually come back. When people are knocking singles around every ball off every over, that's when things become boring. The thing that makes it worse is that is the right way to play One Day cricket - knock singles around and let the occasional boundary come - that is why there needs to be change. If boringness in one day cricket is created by players playing sensibly and properly, then there is obviously something wrong with the format.

  • Shaun on October 5, 2010, 11:54 GMT

    But thats eaxctly the reason they are changing the 50 over format, becuase it IS broken. They no longer get decent crowds to the game and tv viewers have decreased dramatically. That means there is no money to be made in the 50 over format. I think its fantastic that Cricket Australia has the guts to change it up and try something different. You may not like it Graeme and when it orignally came in everyone thought it was a gimmick but twenty20 cricket is hugely popular and reintroduces cricket to a much younger and much larger audience. The big bash, IPL, CLT and international twenty20s produce money and interest in cricket that the other formats could only dream of.

  • Dummy4 on October 5, 2010, 11:33 GMT

    Why do the administrators want to keep changing the rules. I personally am not a fan of bash and slog cricket (20 over) games nor the 50 over or now to become 45 over game.There is an old saying and it goes something like this"If it ain't broken why fix it"

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