ICC to watch split-innings experiment
The ICC will be keeping close tabs on the experiment of split-innings one-day cricket in Australia next year but Haroon Lorgat, the chief executive, remains confident that the 50-over format can continue in its current guise for one-day internationals.
Last week Cricket Australia announced that they will trial the new structure in the Ford Ranger Cup during the 2010-11 season whereby the matches are divided into four 25-over innings. There remains a strong feeling that one-day cricket has to change to survive in the wake of Twenty20 now dominating the landscape and the 50-over format has already been ditched for domestic cricket in England and South Africa.
The 2015 World Cup, set for Australia and New Zealand, is being seen as a potential changing point for one-day cricket and Lorgat didn't rule out that a new structure could be in place.
"We haven't talked about changing that format," he told Cricinfo's Switch Hit podcast. "We will see how the 2011 event unfolds and I'm very confident that you will see an excellent World Cup which means we wouldn't tamper with it for 2015, but it's something we will be open-minded about. Let's see how the domestic trials go, let's see how the World Cup goes and then we can take a view on it."
Australia will begin the trials once the international players have left for next year's World Cup which will be held in India, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh. At a lower level split innings have been used in English second XI this season and, despite Lorgat's confidence over the international game, if 50-over cricket continues to be lost from domestic cricket it would only seem a matter of time before ODIs also evolve.
"Whilst we are trialling these things at domestic level we are still quite confident that 50-overs at international level will survive," Lorgat added. "What we probably need to be focussing on is the context in which it is being played, the quantity of 50-over matches and when it is scheduled. At international level I don't hold the view that the format is as challenged as it is at domestic level.
Lorgat added that any new structure for ODIs would need considerable time to bed in before it was used for a World Cup. "We've always been mindful of giving players sufficient time to become accustomed to whatever changes we might make.
"We have been encouraging members to look at tweaks or fundamental changes to the 50-over format so we can see how it works out and whether it would be something we would be interested in picking up for the international format, so I'm very keen to see how it all unfolds in Australia."
Andrew McGlashan is assistant editor of Cricinfo