October 22, 2011

England

ODIs are dying? Sez who?

Andrew Hughes
There were plenty of words between Virat Kohli and the England bowlers, India v England, 2nd ODI, Delhi, October 17 2011
"If looks could kill, yours would tickle me like a feather"  © Getty Images
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Tuesday, 18th October The War On One-Day Internationals may not involve tanks, camouflaged trousers or iffy occupations, but that doesn’t mean it’s not real. There are people out there who want to destroy our way of life or, at the very least, to significantly reduce the amount of 50-over cricket we are able to watch, which is almost as bad. And these people are not shifty subversives skulking in dingy alleyways. They operate in broad daylight, on our most popular websites (and thecricketer.com).

“It now seems pointless warning the administrators about the proliferation of one-day cricket. They simply are not listening and will only learn when the paying public start voting with their feet.”

Quite so, Mr Agnew. Any idea when this voting-with-feet thing is likely to happen? I only ask, because one-day internationals have been going since 1971 and y’know, they’re kind of still popular and that. At least, they are with the people who matter, which is us, the spectators. We know commentators and journalists don’t like them, but since you don’t even pay to go to them, this is a bit rich. What’s that, Mr Roebuck?

“It is widely believed that the 50-over version of the game has become tired.”

Widely believed? You mean you asked a couple of fellows in the press box and they agreed with you? Come off it, chaps. We like the 50-over stuff. That’s why there’s so much of it. You won’t save Test cricket by attacking the formats that pay for it.

Wednesday, 19th October Time for a brief word from our sporting ethics correspondent, Mr Tim Bresnan, with his take on England’s rather aggressive approach to their Indian tour.

“As a fast-bowling unit, we can't really use the ball to intimidate as much as we'd like in India, with it not bouncing so high, so we have to do other things to get into the batsman's bubble, whether it's a little bit of a word or a look or a stare. It's all handbags, to be honest. No one really pays much attention.”

So if it’s all handbags and no one pays much attention, why not save your breath, rest your frowning muscles and concentrate on trying to bowl straight?

Thursday, 20th October Those sensitive dears at the WICB are still refusing to pick Chris Gayle because he said nasty things about them which were only mostly true (you can be sure that if he’d libelled them, they’d be all lawyered-up and dragging him through the courts as we speak.) Clive Lloyd says they are entitled to take umbrage, well yes, but on the other hand, they could just suck it up and do the right thing for West Indian cricket.

Criticising the coach is one thing, and if he hasn’t already, then Big Chris should probably throw a little sorry Otis’ way. But isn’t taking flak part of the WICB’s job description? Has Julian Hunte never been criticised? Does he burst into tears and run out of the room every time a journalist accuses him of something? Does Mrs Julian Hunte have to tread on eggshells every time she raises the thorny issue of the toothpaste tube being squeezed from the wrong end? Get a grip, Dr Hunte, give your ego the day off and pick up the phone.

Andrew Hughes is a writer currently based in England

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Posted by Mohnish Kumar on (October 22, 2011, 23:36 GMT)

Totally agree on the point about WICB . The fact that only 1 west indian cricketer (Shiv. Chanderpaul) has a grade A contract kinda makes one think they are either high or delusional.

Posted by vis8 on (October 22, 2011, 23:18 GMT)

50-Overs is the best format for the game: it tests patience, skill and nerves over a decent period time, and gives a batsman a chance to get settled-in. 20/20 is an insult to intelligent cricket.

Posted by Anonymous on (October 22, 2011, 16:39 GMT)

There is no much more to say about the management of WICB that has not already been said. The board has been following a flawed policy which goes back to the tour of South Africa under the leadership of Lara and Hooper just before every tour pick a fight with the players or the WIPA. Imagine a team being run by a member with a class C contract when most of the players have A or B contract it is mind boggling.

Posted by Rashed Sultan on (October 22, 2011, 15:22 GMT)

In a world where men are struggling for that extra fifteen minutes of some sleep, to really say ODI's aren't dying is a battle cry of a pure conservative romantic. Of course, we who actually have a life in the real world call it idiotic ignorance. Good God, people barely have the time to go through a three hour long Bollywood movie so you know how they feel about a one dayer. Add to that the home ground advantage, the middle overs predictability, the empty stands and a competitive edge of a toss you have a real problem. In a nutshell, I want to relate to the 3G advertisement to show the present status of one dayers. One dayers are so totally before 3G - when all people had were Biwi and Tv - but T-20's are the new craze.. lyk after 3G - when the faster - the better !!

Posted by Nasir Malik on (October 22, 2011, 14:23 GMT)

Hats off to you man. You are on the button regarding the 50 over thing called ODI.

Posted by Victoria Baptiste on (October 22, 2011, 12:11 GMT)

With respect to the Chris Gayle/WICB/Otis Gibson saga, I don't know why the WICB is backing one side against the other on the matter. Both Gayle as a player, and Gibson as coach are answerable to the Board for their conduct. Gibson was the first to start making irresponsible statements in public about Gayle and other senior WI players. It appeared as though the Board did not rebuke him. But because Gayle, who has a much more massive name in the game than Gibson, and thus, much more to lose than him tried to clear his name, the Board is asking him to apologise! I think that is unfair! However, I have no problems with Gayle apologising (as the whole world loves to see him play the game), but I think he should first request of the Board that Coach Gibson also refrain from making in public, all those unfortunate statements that Mr Gibson continues to make about senior WI players all over the world.

Posted by Rafatullah Sharqi on (October 22, 2011, 12:09 GMT)

In fact it is the 5 day Test which is the most under threat if the pitches are not conducive to wicket taking. The shorter version of matches will ensure that batsmen will go for the runs thereby causing wickets to fall and runs being smashed, the only two things the spectators enjoy the most. But what about the case where a Younis Khan will dug in to score 300 against South Africa or a Sangakara will save a match from no where by scoring a near 300 all because there is nothing for the bowlers in the wicket.

Posted by charith on (October 22, 2011, 8:20 GMT)

good one andrew, this does not belong in page 2. 50 over format is still the best to watch, T20 is too short hence even people with limited skills like pollard can succeed.Tests can get boring at times too. I honestly don't know why the so called pundits try to abolish one day matches.

Posted by shaen johnston on (October 22, 2011, 8:20 GMT)

All very well said, but not said often enough, by enough, of the silent majority. I grew up in a cricket loving family (who have spent huundreds of thousands of dollars collectively supporting cricket in the Test and One dayers) and am now approaching 60 years, NO body I know today is tired of 50 over cricket. Just the damn silly reporters who mostly dont deserve that name. They should be called Opinionists, opinions we have never asked for btw. I know more about cricket than ninety percent of them anyway.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Andrew Hughes
Andrew Hughes is a writer and avid cricket watcher who has always retained a healthy suspicion of professional sportsmen, and like any right-thinking person rates Neville Cardus more highly than Don Bradman. His latest book is available here and here @hughandrews73

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