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'A travelling roadshow with no real meaning'
Ian Chappell and Mark Butcher highlight the flaws in the ODI system and suggest an ideal balance between formats (31:59)
Producers: Raunak Kapoor and Suketu Mehta
September 16, 2013
'A travelling roadshow with no real meaning'September 16, 2013
Excerpts from the discussion below. The numbers in brackets are the duration for each segment
What do we do with all the one-day internationals given that there are so many T20 leagues these days? Before we hear from Ian Chappell and Mark Butcher on where exactly the one-day international stands, let's hear what Rahul Dravid had to say in a panel discussion at the ESPNcricinfo for Cricket summit. (0.20 - 3.38)
Rahul Dravid: "Most of these series have got to have some context. A lot of the five-match and seven-match one-day series that we play don't seem to have any context about them. The Champions Trophy had a context about it. It had a start, a beginning and an end, and you looked forward to it. I think you have to work around some of these meaningless bilateral one-day games.
I would play one-day cricket only as a build-up to the 50-over tournaments, as preparation for the World Cup and the Champions Trophy. So you can remove a lot of the one-day cricket that we keep playing nowadays and fit in the extra Test matches required."
Do you go along with that Chappelli, to have one-day cricket only if there is a context to it? (3.50 - 4.50)
Ian Chappell: Well, this cry has been going on for a long, long time now, that all the one-day internationals that are played, they should relate to each other. For instance if you are playing a five-match ODI series between England and Australia, there should be some points on the end of it for qualifying for a prestigious tournament.
I think the way the last Champions Trophy was run, that had a lot of merit, and I'd like to see it remain like that, I've been saying for years that there should be a prestige one-day tournament outside of the World Cup, but make the teams qualify for it so that whenever you're playing a one-day tournament, you are playing for a purpose and it means something for the fans who are watching on the ground or on television.
Mark, once the Ashes were over, for a lot of good old-fashioned lovers of Test cricket, it was almost like it was all over. The huge contest was done and it was time to just bask in the afterglow. Then all of a sudden, there were T20s and one-dayers. Is that the general feeling among the public as well or just amongst cricket lovers? (4.50 - 13.10)
Mark Butcher: I think the general public probably switched off once the Ashes were done. The hardcore cricket lovers will still find an interest and excitement in the one-dayers, but I think there is a wider issue here. In England we now have somewhere in the region of ten or 11 venues that are vying to play some sort of international cricket, and what these ODIs do is provide these venues, who have put a lot of money in to get their facilities up, a chance to get some of that money back.
|"The marquee players in T20 leagues are pretty much the same guys all the time. That creates a problem. But you're not going to fix any of the problems unless you fix the body that's running the game" Ian Chappell|
I'm pretty sure that in India it's the same thing. There are so many venues over such a wide area that these people need to have some kind of international cricket. The way the authorities deal with that is by giving them one of seven, one of 11 or one of 15, 50-over matches. And that is where the process and the interest dissipates. It's just like a travelling roadshow for cricket, where there isn't any real meaning to this cricket.
I'm sure the people who paid for a ticket at Cardiff for the fourth ODI would be excited to watch a standalone game of 50-over cricket and they probably don't care a jot of the context of it. They bought their ticket and they want to see England play Australia.
But there is a problem in that it loses the interest of the country outside of Cardiff today. No one really is going to give two hoots as to what happens, who wins and who loses, and that can't be right.
Also, the argument for the fans is that why are we shelling out £100 a ticket for a one-day game when the England team have rested most of the stars that we would have paid the money to come and see? And that's been done because you've got the extraordinary circumstance of back-to-back Ashes series. The most important thing for the England set-up is regaining the Ashes, so they've decided that they're not going to risk injuring their players in what is pretty much a round of exhibition 50-over matches.
I think it comes down to what you're asking the spectators to stump up for and the quality of what it is they're going to watch. Is it the best that they can possibly see?
Mike Atherton wrote something four or five years ago where he said that international teams outside of the World Cup should not play T20 cricket, and that it should be solely the preserve of the franchises and clubs.
Just to put that in perspective, Australia are coming to India to play seven ODIs after the five in England. (14.34 - 16.43)
IC: Yes, that's just pure finance really, and here's another of the problems. I think that the last time that cricket was administered in the best interests of the game was so far back that I'm struggling to remember it. Every nation is just as guilty as the other. The No. 1 priority is finances, and I understand that you need a lot of money to run the game but then you've got to balance that out with overkill. I mean how long are people going to keep paying 100 quid if teams are going to keep resting their major players? Sooner or later, the fans are going to say, "Blow this for a joke. I'm paying good money, I expect to see the best".
And herein lies another problem with all the T20 leagues popping up in the world, that every one of these leagues wants the same players. The marquee players are pretty much the same guys all the time. That creates a problem.
So there are plenty of problems. But it keeps coming down to the same thing: that you're not going to fix any of the problems unless you fix the body that's running the game.
The other by-product is that increasingly Test matches are becoming the preserve of a few teams. There seem to be about four teams at the moment who seem to be playing Test cricket reasonably well. We see that Test cricket is becoming a smaller and smaller club, don't we? (16.45 - 20.05)
MB: Yes and part of me thinks that's not a bad thing, because the worst thing for the game of cricket is bad Test cricket, Test cricket that is so one-sided that it is no longer a contest. It's no longer a test because one team is so much better than the other.
The thing about T20 is that it's bringing new fans to the game. Now the worst thing that Test cricket can do is trot out two or three years of poor quality Test-match series between teams that are totally mismatched, and in the meantime you've got this incredible show going on of T20 franchise cricket and people are going to start to waver in terms of what they feel is worth their money, and that's a real problem.
Numbers Game question (25.40 - 31.16)
Which team holds the record for most ODIs played in a calendar year and how many did they play? Who holds the corresponding record in Tests?
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