Future of one-day cricket September 11, 2009

ICC looking at four 25-over innings in ODIs

Cricinfo staff

The ICC is considering a trial splitting of one-day matches into two innings of 25 overs for each team, Dave Richardson, the ICC's cricket manager, has said. The idea was mooted by Sachin Tendulkar last week.

"I quite like that idea, I believe South Africa may trial something along those lines," Richardson told BBC Sport. "This might work in day-night cricket where one team has to bat in day and the other at night. It provides something different and reduces the effects on the team who loses the toss and has to bat first on a damp wicket, for example."

Richardson believed the concept, discussed during the ICC's cricket committee annual meeting at Lord's in May, could breathe life into the 50-over format, which has been increasingly threatened by the rise in popularity of Twenty20 cricket.

Though two innings of 25 overs could lead to new strategies and even reduce the influence of winning the toss in favourable conditions, Richardson was eager to prevent results becoming predictable. His concern was that splitting the innings could take away scoring opportunities for the batsmen.

"I don't necessarily like the idea of playing two matches of 25 overs each with the openers batting again," he said. "The charm of one-day cricket is seeing someone batting at four and scoring a good hundred. If you bat in the middle order of a Twenty20 or a new 25-over innings, you're not to get much of an opportunity to hit three figures, one downside of the Twenty20 game."

The clamour for a fresh approach to the one-day game has grown considerably with players including Tendulkar 50-over games be played over two innings to provide similar overhead conditions for both teams. Tendulkar said the contests were becoming too predictable because results of "close to 75% of matches" could be predicted after the toss.

The England and Wales Cricket Board recently agreed to scrap the domestic Friends Provident Trophy, the only 50-over domestic cricket tournament, in favour of an expanded Twenty20 competition along with a 40-over format. Cricket South Africa are also likely to join the bandwagon as it considers changes to its 45-over competition.

However, Richardson said the experiment would have to be successful at the domestic level before changes could be made to the international game. "The bottomline is if we can come up with a product that is better than the existing one, then everyone would like to look at it," he said. "If it has been trialled successfully at domestic level, it may give the trial to give it the go-ahead at international level.

"The ICC has been proactive with ideas and innovations, like the powerplays. The idea of the 'super-sub' (scrapped in March 2006) wasn't as successful and got rid of quite quickly. One of the criticisms was that we trialled things at international as opposed to domestic level. Our tactics going forward are member countries trial changes first domestically and if they are successful, then we can take them on board at the international level."

The ICC's cricket committee is set to meet again in 2010 when the results of the experiment will be discussed.

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Cricinfouser on September 15, 2009, 5:44 GMT

    The best idea is to make ODI like test cricket with no fielding restrictions and no limits on how many overs a bowler can bowl. This will be fair to the bowlers and will be much better contest between bat and ball. im sure we wont see one guy bowling 25 overs straight so all the teams would need to have alteast 4 specialist bowlers and it will be intesrting to see how the captains make their combinations. it will be true test for the bowlers, batsmen and specialy the captain.

  • syed on September 15, 2009, 3:35 GMT

    The profits from 20 20 cricket are triggering all these riddiculous ideas. Real cricket is about skills and tehnique and not about going for cheap shots. In 20 20 batsmen get fewer balls to play, they score less hundreds and gritty match winning innings will only be memories. 20 20 is very much like baseball where the batter swings at every pitch hoping to hit a home run regardless of how good the pitch is. You wont see a number 6 batsman come in and score a hundred to save his team. 20 20 will also cause a further decline in talented bowlers b/c there is nothing in it for them. They only bowl 4 overs and feel relieved after bowling a dot ball. Wickets fall due to riddiculous shots. You will not see the likes of shane bond, curtly ambrose, waqar younis, dale steyn, brett lee if 20 20 becomes the focal point of cricket. Tendulkar is following the money hungry administrators to destroy cricket. He should retire b/c he will never be as good as Lara.

  • Rup on September 14, 2009, 20:04 GMT

    Good Idea! RESUME 2ND INNING FROM WHERE IT STOPPED IN THE 1ST! So the batsmen can continue batting where they left and still get the same opportunities for scoring centuries. It is fair that way so that the younger crop get's equal opportunities for records...

  • Anneeq on September 14, 2009, 13:07 GMT

    This makes no sence, why turn into test cricket format? Cricket has become too over complicated now, with a no ball given when fielders are outside the circle during fielding restrictions, powerplays, this running into 'the danger end.' All these additional rules etc need to stop!! just keep it simple. Football for example is simple, the only 'complicated' rule is the offside one.

    Just do a 20/20, whats the point of two innings of 25 overs, i mean the more we innovate the more unrecognisable the games becoming, i say scrap 50 over cricket and just do tests and 20/20. 50 over isnt a pure cricket its an innovation just like 20/20, so i dont see this huge need to preserve it. Its the tests that need the preserving. We cant ignore how 20/20 has pulled in the crowds, essentially thats what sport is, its entertainment for the crowd. People say 'oh its just a crowd pleaser!' isnt that the whole point of sport? to entertain and please us?

  • vikram on September 14, 2009, 8:39 GMT

    This is a very good idea to revive the ODIs by dividing into 4 segments of 25 overs. I am having 2 more suggestions on similar line: 1. Winner of toss will decide 4 segments of 25 overs as Team A-Team B-Team A-Team B OR Team A-Team B-Team B-Team A 2. Revision of Duckworth Method of calculating target of 2nd Inning that gives a little more advantage to team batting second with "all 10 wickets in hand"

  • David on September 13, 2009, 20:30 GMT

    I think the format that would be best if it was 2 x SEGMENTS of 25 overs per side or split like American Football into 4 Quarters to make up 50 overs each. This way at half time the batsmen who were there at the end of the first quarter would just carry on their innings but this time under lights. To help speed up the game what about bowling from one end for 25 overs for one team, then the opposition bowls from the other end for the next 25? Then swap it over for the last half of the game. This would save a lot of time with time wasting over after over. The batsmen just swap around at the end of the over. This would speed up the game no end and still be fair.

  • Gopikrishna on September 13, 2009, 9:31 GMT

    This is a great idea.Now there wont be too much importance on the toss.The only thing thought is, in the second innings the teams should resume from where they left of in the first innings, instead of the openers coming again.

  • Michael on September 12, 2009, 20:03 GMT

    As experts in pointless tinkering,silly schemes, and unwanted rule changes,as well as sacrificing everything else for money, ICC here are only being themselves.I would be very interested to see if this went beyond a season's use,after which most sensible people could say they'd said so all along.Probably the only really fruitful thing to do with 50 over ODI's is to try 40 over ones if one is looking for change. The other obvious thing is that there are too many played;which is not to say they should play more 20-20 or even Tests, but maybe have more hours away to rest and recuperate because too many players get injured too often,in my recollection far more than thirty years ago.

  • Dylan on September 12, 2009, 12:40 GMT

    The ICC is killing the traditionalism and respectability that cricket has left slowly and surely. When the simple solution would be to cut back Twenty/20 cricket to 1 game per every 5 ODI's and 3 Tests, they are instead trying to make the latter shorter and "more entertaining" (which is total rubbish, we all know that money is the real cause for this nonsense).

  • KISH on September 12, 2009, 12:13 GMT

    Playing two innings of 25 overs each is not the same. So, all the previous records and stats become meaningless. There will be no more centuries or far less of them compared to the current version. They may have to find a new name for the new format(Test XP?). My opinion is to just split them into two innings than playing two separate innings. Meaning, One team plays the 25 overs and then resumes it from where they left off after the 25 overs of batting from the other team. That way, the not out batsmen can come back and score their centuries or half centures. Only difference will be, they may be facing a bigger or lighter task when they resume,depending on what the other team scored in their first 25 overs. With regards to the other changes, I thought the substiute player was a good change. I don't know why it is a failure. With the substitue player option, an old great batsman or a player who is good in batting alone (Like Brian Lara or VVS.Laxman) could still play the ODI's.

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