September 10, 2009

There's life in the ODI yet

No version of the game that has produced so many outstanding feats ought lightly to be tossed away in favour of a format that does not offer the possibility of greatness
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For an endangered species 50-over cricket appears to be in remarkably good health. Cast as the saviour of a supposedly moribund game, the format continues to attract large crowds and to produce stimulating cricket. Indeed the current series between England and Australia has been especially interesting, not least because the battle between bat and ball has been compelling.

Both the recent ODIs and the Twenty20 World Cup confirm that cricket prospers when batsmen and bowlers have an equal chance of emerging with the soup. In this case, too, the teams are well matched, and besides, the captains have been fretting about the batting Powerplay, a device that seems to be as much of a mixed blessing as the Irish contingent once bestowed upon the Duke of Wellington; studying them the Duke remarked that he did not know whether these troops scared the enemy but "by God they terrify me!"

Admittedly 50-over cricket has started to look its age. In some opinions it has served its purpose and ought to be put out to grass. In other views it ought to be rejigged so that teams bat twice - anything to avoid the quiet period of collecting runs in the middle overs (mind you, captains are partly to blame - fields are put back automatically, which makes it hard to take wickets).

Everyone seems to be excited about Twenty20, whose bandwagon rolls along. But this is lust, not love. Twenty20 provides wealth, fame, glory, gratification, and all of it in five minutes. It's a good night out, and none the worse for that. Small wonder youth likes it. But let's not pretend it leaves memories, makes an impact, provides satisfaction. And let's give 50-over cricket its due. Over the years it has produced a lot of good cricket. And it's hardly the fault of the format that the hand has been overplayed, with too many irrelevant tournaments and so forth.

Far from thanking them for their services and dispensing with them, 50-over matches ought to remain an important part of the programme. Great heavens, it's not so long ago that they lifted the game from its torpor.

Apart from the West Indians, and an early surge from Richie Benaud (ahead of his time, and soon undermined in his own country by some particularly crusty leaders) cricket effectively ignored the 1960s. For all its failings, it was a time for opportunity and informality. Suddenly the family did not put on its best clothes and troop off to church on a Sunday morning. Sniffing the wind, sensing that youth was rapidly becoming a market in its own right, music and fashion responded with Carnaby Street, Twiggy, the Beatles, the Kinks and so forth. Cricket continued to offer Roger Prideaux and Fred Rumsey. Of course, it could not last.

Hereabouts was cricket's greatest challenge. Could it adapt to its changing world? Of course it could. Cricket's genius is vastly underestimated. No other game survived the class divisions of England half as well as it did, and it did so by pretending to reflect them. Everyone knows about the Gentlemen-and-Players matches, and the different ways amateurs and professionals were listed on scorecards, and the fact that for decades they used different changing rooms and train compartments and hotels, and that England and its counties could only be captained by an amateur. On the surface the game looked divided, but cricket found ways to remain intact - devices that allowed the classes to play in the same sides without offending contemporary mores. It was a triumph. Some other sports never did recover from the separation.

Fifty-over cricket has been more sinned against than sinning. Sometimes the cricket community forgets that it exists not for itself but its public. Reporters occasionally forget that though they might cover 35 ODIs a year, most spectators get one chance. The weariness exists mostly in our minds

Cricket likewise took the 1960s in its stride. Of course it did not put it that way. Rather it responded to economic forces. Empty stands and red ink in books told the tale. Not for the last time, the English counties led the way with a 60-over competition. At first the players did not know what to make of it. As far as they were concerned it was an odd creation, not exactly slapstick but hardly Ibsen either. Ted Dexter - long one of the most original of England's cricket thinkers - was first to understand the tempo and meet the requirements of this "new" form of the game, and Sussex, his county, duly won the first two finals played at Lord's (no snootiness detected).

Next came an altogether more audacious innovation, a Sunday league of 40-over matches. The idea was taken from the Cavaliers side that used to go around England playing friendlies on Sunday afternoons. Working life had changed. The week was busy, Saturdays were reserved for shopping, and Sundays were put aside for outings and so forth. But 40-over matches did not interfere with Sunday lunch or church, or for that matter hangovers. Supporters flocked to the matches. County cricket came to life. Before long almost all the great players in the game were representing one city or another. Not that the pay was high. Fat television contracts had not yet come along. But the crowds were large and the cricket was vibrant. And although matches were fixed even in 1969 (a point a past president of MCC could confirm), it was overwhelmingly a time of innocence.

Eventually a third one-day competition was introduced, a 55-over affair, a length designed mostly to set it apart, thereby pleasing the sponsors. By now a new generation of cricketers had arrived, players capable of adapting to meet different demands.

England could have continued on this path indefinitely. One-day cricket remained an English innovation. Finally a World Cup was arranged, a 60-overs-a-side tournament played in England and ending memorably at dusk on the longest day of the year. Next came the Packer rebellion and the second awakening. Suddenly one-day cricket took giant leaps, into night cricket, coloured clothing, circles, white balls, catchy songs, adverts, marketing and the rest of it.

Sixty-over cricket could not survive the spread of the one-day game. It was peculiarly suited to more temperate local conditions. Fifty-over cricket was the inevitable result - a length of game that could be played in all countries, including wintering India and Pakistan, a contest that could be completed in a single day without starting at dawn. Ever since, cricket has been able to catch and retain the imagination not only of the dreaming child but also of the hard-pressed labourer and the weary mother.

And many have been the delights of 50-over cricket. Among them can be counted the exuberant piratical batting performances produced by Sanath Jayasuriya; the classical innings contributed by Sachin Tendulkar; Steve Waugh's stunning fight-back in Leeds; the startling knocks played by Brian Lara and Matthew Hayden in the 2003 World Cup; Wasim Akram's scintillating burst in Melbourne, South Africa's thrilling chase in Johannesburg; upsets achieved by Holland, Ireland, Kenya and others; and the glorious World Cup wins accomplished by Sri Lanka, Pakistan and India. Every nation will have it own memories. No version of the game that has produced so many outstanding feats ought lightly to be tossed away, and not in favour of a format that offers many things but not the most important of them all - the possibility of greatness.

Fifty-over matches retain their attraction. As Mr Sidhu might put it, though, honey used on every plate tends to lose its taste. The format has been overdone. Familiarity breeds drudgery. The Champions Trophy hardly seems important. And greedy boards arrange all sorts of silly matches in far-off places and expect their players to turn up with a smile. Moreover the matches themselves have been too slow-moving. Not the least attraction of Twenty20 is that hardly any time is wasted. Yet teams are allocated almost four hours to deliver a measly 50 overs. Drinks breaks, meandering batsmen, pottering bowlers and indecisive captains slow things to a crawl. Three hours ought to be plenty for 50 overs. And spectators ought to e treated respectfully. Cricket can learn as much from IPL as it can from World Series baseball.

Nevertheless the format has improved and the recent introductions of batting and bowling Powerplays has been constructive. Apart from anything else they create speculation. Reluctant to meddle, captains understandably delay taking their batting Powerplay till the 43rd over or so. It's hard to know whether too much faith is placed on those five overs or too little. Anyhow it certainly sparks debate and reduces predictability.

Fifty-over cricket has been more sinned against than sinning. Sometimes the cricket community forgets that it exists not for itself but its public. Reporters occasionally forget that though they might cover 35 ODIs a year, most spectators get one chance. The weariness exists mostly in our minds.

Moreover 50-over cricket has been unlucky in its most recent World Cup, which was a botched job. Contrastingly the Twenty20 world cup and the first two IPL campaigns were superbly presented. But 50-over cricket has staying power, is good for the game, allows the leading cricketers to produce almost their best cricket and lets supporters watch 22 players and see a result in a single day. It's worked for close to 40 years and the benefits have been huge. Doubtless further improvements await but 50-over cricket belongs the the future, not the past.

Peter Roebuck is a former captain of Somerset and the author, most recently, of In It to Win It

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • POSTED BY Anneeq on | September 13, 2009, 22:52 GMT

    Further more there should be 2 formats 2020 and tests. Tests are the soul of the game, its what the purists like me enjoy this is where the men get seperated from the boys. If u want the sort of cricket where you like watching personal battles and ppl fighting back to save matches like in ashes 1st test then just leave that for tests. ODIs and tests are really 2 sides of the same coin.

    2020's is intense, fast exciting cricket where everyone is on as equal footing as can be, the sort where the underdog can win. People talk about it as though its easy and no skill is involved, it takes a lot of skill to bowl tightly with the consecutive yorkers like Umar Gul in 2009 world 2020! The fielding is also to a v high standard, its high impact cricket.

    Also these useless tournaments like Chamions Trophy need to be axed it takes the attention from whats supposed to be the ultimate prize the WC. There should only be general tours, WC and in time when crickets popular enough Continental cups

  • POSTED BY Anneeq on | September 13, 2009, 22:26 GMT

    50 over cricket is too long, about 30 overs it is just nudging and tapping the ball 20 of it is hitting. Cricket is a sport after all, its for our entertainment, so i dont understand this wierd statement say 2020 is 'a crowd's game.' Well isnt that the point of televised sport? for our entertainment?

    Boundaries defo need to be bigger, i mean ppl hitting a ball onto the road outside should be a rare event. I disagree that 2020 is purely a batman's game, the bowling in 2009 2020 tournament in particular is what took centre stage, the slower balls, the slow bouncers, Umar Guls persistent yorkers. Yes Chris Gayle and Dilshan took some of the limelight, but mostly it was the bowlers. 2020 actually NARROWS the gap the batsman have to innovate to bleed as many runs as they can (hence the 'Dil scoop') and the bowlers have to equally be on the button and innovate themselves (slower bouncer etc). Whereas in 50 over u just tap and score 1s + 2s and accumalate runs that way, 2020 forces u 2 act

  • POSTED BY akajaria on | September 13, 2009, 11:09 GMT

    The comments made by "the-anti-mule" are spot on! Greatness/ nostalgia is not the exclusive domain of ODIs. If a survey is to be taken in India, THE most memorable moment in the last 5 years would be the Misbah scoop that won India the World T20 - how is that for greatness/nostalgia? ODIs have a tough challenge ahead as the game is now an extended version of the T20s (not the other way around). If T20 tournaments attract Billion dollar sponsroships while the last two triseries featuring India only got sponsorships in the region of a few million $, its an ominous sign that ODIs are on the way out if not salvaged. I'm all for ODIs continuing - but it needs to be made meaningful, simple and competitive. In fact the balance of T20s between bat/ball should be restored - maybe 7/8 wickets per side instead of 10 - that would promote inclusion of specialist bowlers and a higher premium on the wicket. But can anyone tinker with a Multi-billion dollar format now?

  • POSTED BY balajik1968 on | September 11, 2009, 1:28 GMT

    One answer would be to cut down the number of matches played. Far too many ODIS are being played and have made the format stale. Actually the 50 over game has been a good test of skills, much more so than the 20-20s. Also look at how it has impacted Test cricket. The general standard of fielding and running between the wickets has improved. The run rate has improved, in that batsman are now looking more to take singles of which previously were dot balls. The scheduling is also insane. For example series in the West Indies in July, ODI series in England in September. This is what everyone has to look at.

  • POSTED BY santhoshkudva on | September 11, 2009, 1:25 GMT

    i see no reason why the 50 over format should face extinction. personally, i feel it is the most challenging format of cricket. it strikes the right balance between cautious and aggressive cricket, unlike tests and T20's which are played only in one mode. 50 over matches call for good batting technique and an ability to score at a healthy rate at the same time. dismissing batsmen becomes as important as curtailing the scoring rate. whereas in the other two forms of the game one aspect in both batting and bowling is compromised.

  • POSTED BY CustomKid on | September 11, 2009, 1:19 GMT

    Raft your comments are so spot on. I was accepting of the Australian's dropping the ashes this year given the inexperience of the side. On the flip side I was hanging off every delivery of our South African tour when we were winning it was amazing.

    Then looking at World Cups for example - I don't think I ever fired up so much when S.Waugh made 120* to guide Australia through to the Semi final against South Africa. Then the Allan Donald run out came along in the next game - it was insane. Gilchrist 100 in the last WC final, Pointing's 100 in the WC final before all great moments I will never for get as a Australian.

    T20 doesn't offer anything remotely close to those moments. As for the IPL i couldn't care less about the Kolkota Knight riders or any other team - I hardly know anyone playing than the internationals so it means little to me. ODI with some minor tweaking is still a great game and should be maintained. I'm totally consumed when my national team is playing but not T20's.

  • POSTED BY the-anti-mule on | September 11, 2009, 0:24 GMT

    Peter need only look at the first paragraph of his own article to understand what makes a match great- "the battle between bat and ball has been compelling". Why does this apply only to ODIs and Tests but not to T20s?

    ODIs were always meant to be as entertainment and not shorter versions of tests. If you think T20s are too short then certainly we can work to find a format that is of right length yet retaining the entertainment value. Don't forget we still have tests for the purists in us.

    Lets not get blindly defensive about either ODIs or T20s.

  • POSTED BY bazzab on | September 10, 2009, 20:28 GMT

    Apply the fielding resrictions of the first 15 overs and the powerplay to the full 50 overs. More runs will be scored and conversely more wickets will be taken - making the game the spectator spectacle it set out to be.

  • POSTED BY getrealforreal on | September 10, 2009, 19:54 GMT

    The part that I enjoy the most in cricket is the battles that go on between teams, batsman/bowler. In test cricket a superb innings can change the outcome of a match in a single session. Same goes in ODI where 5 overs can change the outcome. In 20/20 there are no comebacks. It's sadly a case of instant gratification along with instant disappointment.

  • POSTED BY the-anti-mule on | September 10, 2009, 17:53 GMT

    Sigh! here we go again. Mr. Roebuck makes an assumption and comes to a conclusion that fits his case. How can you assume that T20 does not provide for greatness? This is not only an incorrect assumption but a fundamentally ignorant one. Who is to say we will not see a Wayne Parnell destroying Australia (happened before in an ODI) in a T20 match only to see a rear-guard attack by a Hussey which eventually leads to a SA tie. The time may be short in a T20 but that doesn't mean memorable matches can't happen. Greatness doesn't have to be always an epic innings. Greatness is in fighting against odds.

    Yes there have been many great ODIs but that doesn't mean there wont be great T20s. ODIs should go not because they are bad but only because they are stale.

    Don't call T20s just money making vehicles in fact ODIs are being played only because of the time they provide for showing ads.

    I want both - a test match that can provide for epic greatness and a T20 for its explosive greatness.

  • POSTED BY Anneeq on | September 13, 2009, 22:52 GMT

    Further more there should be 2 formats 2020 and tests. Tests are the soul of the game, its what the purists like me enjoy this is where the men get seperated from the boys. If u want the sort of cricket where you like watching personal battles and ppl fighting back to save matches like in ashes 1st test then just leave that for tests. ODIs and tests are really 2 sides of the same coin.

    2020's is intense, fast exciting cricket where everyone is on as equal footing as can be, the sort where the underdog can win. People talk about it as though its easy and no skill is involved, it takes a lot of skill to bowl tightly with the consecutive yorkers like Umar Gul in 2009 world 2020! The fielding is also to a v high standard, its high impact cricket.

    Also these useless tournaments like Chamions Trophy need to be axed it takes the attention from whats supposed to be the ultimate prize the WC. There should only be general tours, WC and in time when crickets popular enough Continental cups

  • POSTED BY Anneeq on | September 13, 2009, 22:26 GMT

    50 over cricket is too long, about 30 overs it is just nudging and tapping the ball 20 of it is hitting. Cricket is a sport after all, its for our entertainment, so i dont understand this wierd statement say 2020 is 'a crowd's game.' Well isnt that the point of televised sport? for our entertainment?

    Boundaries defo need to be bigger, i mean ppl hitting a ball onto the road outside should be a rare event. I disagree that 2020 is purely a batman's game, the bowling in 2009 2020 tournament in particular is what took centre stage, the slower balls, the slow bouncers, Umar Guls persistent yorkers. Yes Chris Gayle and Dilshan took some of the limelight, but mostly it was the bowlers. 2020 actually NARROWS the gap the batsman have to innovate to bleed as many runs as they can (hence the 'Dil scoop') and the bowlers have to equally be on the button and innovate themselves (slower bouncer etc). Whereas in 50 over u just tap and score 1s + 2s and accumalate runs that way, 2020 forces u 2 act

  • POSTED BY akajaria on | September 13, 2009, 11:09 GMT

    The comments made by "the-anti-mule" are spot on! Greatness/ nostalgia is not the exclusive domain of ODIs. If a survey is to be taken in India, THE most memorable moment in the last 5 years would be the Misbah scoop that won India the World T20 - how is that for greatness/nostalgia? ODIs have a tough challenge ahead as the game is now an extended version of the T20s (not the other way around). If T20 tournaments attract Billion dollar sponsroships while the last two triseries featuring India only got sponsorships in the region of a few million $, its an ominous sign that ODIs are on the way out if not salvaged. I'm all for ODIs continuing - but it needs to be made meaningful, simple and competitive. In fact the balance of T20s between bat/ball should be restored - maybe 7/8 wickets per side instead of 10 - that would promote inclusion of specialist bowlers and a higher premium on the wicket. But can anyone tinker with a Multi-billion dollar format now?

  • POSTED BY balajik1968 on | September 11, 2009, 1:28 GMT

    One answer would be to cut down the number of matches played. Far too many ODIS are being played and have made the format stale. Actually the 50 over game has been a good test of skills, much more so than the 20-20s. Also look at how it has impacted Test cricket. The general standard of fielding and running between the wickets has improved. The run rate has improved, in that batsman are now looking more to take singles of which previously were dot balls. The scheduling is also insane. For example series in the West Indies in July, ODI series in England in September. This is what everyone has to look at.

  • POSTED BY santhoshkudva on | September 11, 2009, 1:25 GMT

    i see no reason why the 50 over format should face extinction. personally, i feel it is the most challenging format of cricket. it strikes the right balance between cautious and aggressive cricket, unlike tests and T20's which are played only in one mode. 50 over matches call for good batting technique and an ability to score at a healthy rate at the same time. dismissing batsmen becomes as important as curtailing the scoring rate. whereas in the other two forms of the game one aspect in both batting and bowling is compromised.

  • POSTED BY CustomKid on | September 11, 2009, 1:19 GMT

    Raft your comments are so spot on. I was accepting of the Australian's dropping the ashes this year given the inexperience of the side. On the flip side I was hanging off every delivery of our South African tour when we were winning it was amazing.

    Then looking at World Cups for example - I don't think I ever fired up so much when S.Waugh made 120* to guide Australia through to the Semi final against South Africa. Then the Allan Donald run out came along in the next game - it was insane. Gilchrist 100 in the last WC final, Pointing's 100 in the WC final before all great moments I will never for get as a Australian.

    T20 doesn't offer anything remotely close to those moments. As for the IPL i couldn't care less about the Kolkota Knight riders or any other team - I hardly know anyone playing than the internationals so it means little to me. ODI with some minor tweaking is still a great game and should be maintained. I'm totally consumed when my national team is playing but not T20's.

  • POSTED BY the-anti-mule on | September 11, 2009, 0:24 GMT

    Peter need only look at the first paragraph of his own article to understand what makes a match great- "the battle between bat and ball has been compelling". Why does this apply only to ODIs and Tests but not to T20s?

    ODIs were always meant to be as entertainment and not shorter versions of tests. If you think T20s are too short then certainly we can work to find a format that is of right length yet retaining the entertainment value. Don't forget we still have tests for the purists in us.

    Lets not get blindly defensive about either ODIs or T20s.

  • POSTED BY bazzab on | September 10, 2009, 20:28 GMT

    Apply the fielding resrictions of the first 15 overs and the powerplay to the full 50 overs. More runs will be scored and conversely more wickets will be taken - making the game the spectator spectacle it set out to be.

  • POSTED BY getrealforreal on | September 10, 2009, 19:54 GMT

    The part that I enjoy the most in cricket is the battles that go on between teams, batsman/bowler. In test cricket a superb innings can change the outcome of a match in a single session. Same goes in ODI where 5 overs can change the outcome. In 20/20 there are no comebacks. It's sadly a case of instant gratification along with instant disappointment.

  • POSTED BY the-anti-mule on | September 10, 2009, 17:53 GMT

    Sigh! here we go again. Mr. Roebuck makes an assumption and comes to a conclusion that fits his case. How can you assume that T20 does not provide for greatness? This is not only an incorrect assumption but a fundamentally ignorant one. Who is to say we will not see a Wayne Parnell destroying Australia (happened before in an ODI) in a T20 match only to see a rear-guard attack by a Hussey which eventually leads to a SA tie. The time may be short in a T20 but that doesn't mean memorable matches can't happen. Greatness doesn't have to be always an epic innings. Greatness is in fighting against odds.

    Yes there have been many great ODIs but that doesn't mean there wont be great T20s. ODIs should go not because they are bad but only because they are stale.

    Don't call T20s just money making vehicles in fact ODIs are being played only because of the time they provide for showing ads.

    I want both - a test match that can provide for epic greatness and a T20 for its explosive greatness.

  • POSTED BY idontknowidontcare on | September 10, 2009, 14:55 GMT

    Before T20 was invented, F50 was looked down upon as the "impure" form of the game, and people called it "hit and run operations" and similar words, and once T20 is in prominence, F50 has suddenly become "good". Interesting indeed.

  • POSTED BY tough_cool on | September 10, 2009, 14:50 GMT

    As far as I understand, only one change one that is very fundamental is needed to make the ODIS more exciting or more exciting than ever before, allow the bowlers to bowl 12 overs instead of 10 overs, or better still to not put any quota on bowlers at all, the change looks too simple to think it might galvanize the game but a closer look is warranted, first it would mean the teams no longer need to use the part time bowlers and with the specialist bowlers in place for all 50 overs the bowling teams can attack all the time, than to be obligated to set defensive fields when part time bowlers are in operation for 20 overs, which is way too long for a 50 over game and obviously the game looks boring in middle, runs and more runs was what was considered the recipe for ODIs popularity in the 1990s and that is why ICC never admitted this fact, its not in runs but the balance between runs and wickets is the way to bring ODIS back to popularity and sooner it is realized the better it is.

  • POSTED BY Desihungama on | September 10, 2009, 14:37 GMT

    After all Younis Khan was right when he said T20 is just a "fun" game. It is merely a crowd pleaser, a brainchild of capitalism. It will immensely erode personal skill. Though the end overs are mostly nail biters. As most have mentioned, ODI is just an overkill. A true format to test personal skills of 22 individuals in a span of 10 hours. They should reduce the number of ODI's as well as irrelevant tournaments and infact no test nation should be allowed to play ICC santioned ODI's. That's my take.

  • POSTED BY AB99 on | September 10, 2009, 14:19 GMT

    ODIs are the heart of interesting cricket and should continue. To make them more competitive - the batting power play should be only between over no 20 and over no 40 thus infusing life to the comparitively monotonus part of the game - the bowling power play can be anytime when the fielding captain wants it - the 50 overs must be completed in 50*4=200 minutes PLUS two 5 minutes each drinks break - any two bowlers may be allowed bowl 12 overs instead of 10 overs - the matches must be on SPORTING wickets - the low scorings ones are more interesting ones - there must be stiffer rules to address the fielding captian delays - No team can play more than 20 ODIs per year - One umpire from each of the team and monetary fines for umpires making mistakes

  • POSTED BY popcorn on | September 10, 2009, 13:58 GMT

    Some fool presented a statistic in a leading Indian newspaper talking of the high revenues generated by Twenty20 as against ODIs. Such statistics take away the beauty of the 50 over ODI, that has stood the Test (no pun intended) of time for 34 years since the first Prudential Fup of 1975. Readers and presenters of such statistics think that "it's all about money,honey". Even in the "mad about Indian cricket" country,India,the Test matches held in Mohali and Nagpur between Australia and India in 2008 had very few spectators in the stands. So is this cause for banishing Test matches too? Where are the purists for God's sake? Which performance would linger in your mind -a Sitar Recital by Ravi Shankar or a hip-swinging dance by Rakhi Sawant? The former.Which would draw more crowds? The latter. For your information, I NEVER watch a Twenty 20 wham -bam slapstick comedy. On the other hand,I have never missed a single day of ANY Test match or ODI that Australia has played.

  • POSTED BY AsifRathod on | September 10, 2009, 13:49 GMT

    I am damn sure, that after arrival of,T20 cricket, peoples' attraction towards, ODI matches have reduced considerably. Test Cricket has no danger from T20. It is a real format of cricket, and it'll be there forever. Now, for last 15 odd years, we guys have looked tons of ODI matches, and it has created tons of new heroes. We all know Cricket has become famous and reached new heights because of ODI Cricket. But ODI cricket is also an experiment made by ICC 40 odd yrs ago, to give cricket a new life. Now, it's a different era, and once again there is a demand, going on in air, to change the format of cricket(T20 best suitable one) . We must look forward and change the things, to keep interest ,of the fans in a game. In my opinion performance of the player must be judged by, TEST CRICKET. All other format are just for fun and money. :)

  • POSTED BY Yashashvi on | September 10, 2009, 11:46 GMT

    scraping ODIs would be a sin. Tests are true test of a player's skill and mettle. ODI also give players chance to show their wares. T20 is just batsman's game and for crowd pleasure only. Too many irrelevant ODIs being played erodes the value of ODI. Greedy boards should abstain from this. ODI series shouldnt be more than 5 ODI. May be they can reduce the overs to 40/45 per innings but not less. ODI have etched memories that T20 never will. Performances that make us nostalgic even today. Surely novelty of T20 will wear off. ODI will be back in flavour. Cricket administrators just need to handle ODI format carefully.

  • POSTED BY Raft on | September 10, 2009, 11:24 GMT

    Let me sum this up, i have never had tears when my country has won or lost in a T20 match but, yes there are times when i have had tears in my eyes for a well fought ODI win/defeat. ODI for 50 overs is a meticulous plan of reasoning, selection, skill, planning and endurance... so a win here is well fought and losing is as well a crest fallen feeling. More over ODI's give a chance for reasoning and to enjoy moments of bowlers skills so as batsmen, yes the slam bang in the slog overs and power plays is fun T20 is just too fast for disappointment of lost or to enjoy a win. Saying this, T20 is too a welcome change and nice way for fast good entertainment

    Test matches, well they will remain the epitome of passion, skill, athleticism

  • POSTED BY Mahone on | September 10, 2009, 11:10 GMT

    One the innovations which was introduced in the one day game which i felt was not implemented properly was that of the super sub. The rules regarding this were too rigid, with teams having to name their sub before the start of the game, and had the introduce them in the game at the halfway point. I feel that the team does not have to name their sub, but rather be able to use any member of the squad not in the starting XI. This person can be brought on at any point in the game. This way the game would be more interesting, and countries would put more thought into selecting their squads. There would be more freedom in the team, particularly if a player gets injured, and a player with similar strengths can be chosen as a substitute. Tendulkar's proposals are not bad, the only problem would be with time, as the one day game already extends late into the night for a day night game, and changing innings 4 times in a day would mean that even more time would be needed

  • POSTED BY akajaria on | September 10, 2009, 9:57 GMT

    More than the format of the ODI game or the contest between bat and ball, it is the irrelevant matches and series which is killing ODI cricket and shall ultimately kill it. Even in the absence of a formal Test championship, Tests have a lot of significance considering series are contested regularly and evenly between top-rated teams (most of them at least). A win in a test match is remembered, a series loss will always hurt - both players and audiences. In T20s, global tournaments - ICC worldT20 - and the IPL/similar leagues have all meaning to them - a champion each year/cycle. The T20 internationals are like football friendlies - one or two per tour. However, the number of meaningless ODI series/tournaments is astounding. It bores the spectator, bores the player. If that is addressed, ODIs can always be back in fashion, with or without rule changes. Maybe a WC in 4 yrs, a Champions Trohpy in 2 yrs, and max. 3 ODIs per series. If boards dont agree, ultimately markets will.

  • POSTED BY PrinzPaulEugen on | September 10, 2009, 9:43 GMT

    Peter, for once I agree with you wholeheartedly. 50 over cricket is the superior form of the limited overs game. As an Aussie, I can recall exactly three 20Twenty games - one I went to at the Gabba vs South Africa where Damien Martyn scored 90 odd, the first ever international in NZ where the Aussies and Kiwis all dressed in retro clothing and grew mo's; and the one in South Africa where Zimbabwe beat us in the first World Cup. Twenty20 is definitely exciting and is here to stay, and also provides great opportunities to expand the game. But 50 over cricket is, generally, won by the better team - it doesnt come down to the toss. It let's batsmen build innings; bowlers to bowl to a plan. Do we want the cricket loving kids being born today to say "Who were these blokes Waqar and Wasim? Who was this Andrew Symonds? So what did this Jayasuriya bloke do again? Clive Lloyd scored a century in the first ever final of what?"

  • POSTED BY krs_spidey on | September 10, 2009, 9:19 GMT

    xcellent article peter..i agree 100%..Test cricket is main staple,ODIs are mide meal, t20 is just dessert..cant have dessert always..The most nailbiting and exciting matches in history of cricket have been in ODIs..1992wc final,1999wc semifinal, ind vs pak final at dhaka 1998, the epic 850+ runs match at johanessberg 2006 and many more..they will be etched in peoples memory always who have seen these matches..its just plain overdose of ODIs thats killing it..no international t20 for ind between two t20world cups and there is 7 ODIs series between ind vs aus..and there is another 7match ODI series goin b/w eng and aus..thats way too much..the 5 match ODI series played early this yr b/w sa and aus were excelent giving proper contest b/w bat and ball..why didnt the respective cricket boards replaced 7 ODi series with 5ODIs and 3 t20s..wc2007 was a disater also coz of too many meaning less matches..12 teams is the max that shud play in ODI wc

  • POSTED BY bonaku on | September 10, 2009, 8:57 GMT

    It is nice to see that you have same view as most of the Cricinfo audiences.

  • POSTED BY Clean_hitter on | September 10, 2009, 8:45 GMT

    For me, the ODI format is tops.

    The author put it best in this line: "cricket has staying power, is good for the game, allows the leading cricketers to produce almost their best cricket and lets supporters watch 22 players and see a result in a single day." ODI cricket produces the best balance between having a battle between bat and ball and things moving at a good pace.

    There are subtle adjustments that need to be made, like the caption for the picture of Pietersen and Anderson would suggest, but on a fundamental level, 50 over games are just fine. Once the novelty of T20 wears off, I think people will eventually pick a format of cricket they like best, and there WILL be those who prefer this format. I agree with "PhilGoorha" the idea of turning ODIs into two innings T20s would ruin the game altogether.

  • POSTED BY IndiaGoats on | September 10, 2009, 8:17 GMT

    I cannot agree that T20 doesn't leave memories or provide satisfaction. The first T20 world cup final between India and Pakistan was exhilarating. Who will forget Misbah's final scoop and Sreesanth's heart-stopping catch? And how about the recent T20 final and Afridi's heroics? Indeed, the 2007 50-over world cup was the drag, save for Gilly's finals slambuster using his squashball.

  • POSTED BY dil333 on | September 10, 2009, 7:45 GMT

    I think the World Cup is a major point here, the biggest competition in international cricket currently. The 20/20 World Cup just isn't the same

    50/50 provides much more than 20/20. In 20/20, all you see are hitters, and tight bowlers. In 50/50, you get much more different type of batsman. People can show their grit and character, like if your team was 3/30 after 10 overs, you can fight it out and make a large partnership. Players who are capable of playing a long innings might not feature in 20/20. 50/50 also has more half-centuries and centuries. 20/20 barely ever gets a century, which is a big achievement for any batsman.

    20/20 doesn't allow bowlers to have much. 4 overs, that's it. Sometimes it's difficult to get into a rhythm, with captains bowling you for a couple overs here and there. Bowlers just get hit around while the batsman goes ballistic,it's a batsman's game.

    50/50 allows teams to fight back.If you make a mistake in 20/20, it's the end, but in 50/50, it isn't. Ahdil

  • POSTED BY nikhil_mandavkar on | September 10, 2009, 7:26 GMT

    Good One Peter. A nice article. Yes Indeed, the 50 over format had produced some amazing results over the years. One should not forget that those who are playing and supporting 20-20 have actually carried their fundamental skills from one day circket only. One day cricket is superset of 20-20.

    But yes time has changed and to keep it alive, the ICC shoud look into it and change the format in such a manner that it can be more attaractive (without reducing overs from 50) so that it can compete with 20-20. Nevertheless, I must admit that any thought of scrapping 50 over cricket is wrong.

  • POSTED BY Nerk on | September 10, 2009, 6:31 GMT

    50 over cricket has given us some good results and games. I think it is overplayed... i mean a 7 match series between Australia and England. Way too many. I think if they want to make ODI more exciting it should be played less frequently.

  • POSTED BY PhilGoorha on | September 10, 2009, 4:19 GMT

    Yes, 50 over game is fine. Innovation as drastic as Tendulkar suggests would ruin the game beyond recognition. However, Roebuck must be watching some other games than the rest of us, if he finds the current ODI series between England and Australia "especially interesting". It is anything but.

    Though doggie-poop wrapped in silver foil can be marketed as facepack, repeat purchases are unlikely. The product has to be good and it should cater to some business need. Marketing success of T20 served that need, and with intelligent marketing support, it would stay. IPL? That too with some reservations. The marketing genius of Mr Modi would take it some length, but the model needs to be upgraded and evolved on a continuing basis. It would not be achieved in absence of an eye on quality and inclusion. The evidence assures us that IPL organisers are tuned into that.

    The last ODI World Cup was botched alright, and we know no more WC's would be botched, for want of basic administrative nous.

  • POSTED BY gzawilliam on | September 10, 2009, 4:16 GMT

    Its really disturbing to hear the groaning going on by some people during this natwest series..

    Ian botham has been saying the 50over game is fading and that the middle overs is where we need to change.

    Well i ask him this. What happens to the old fashion Michael Bevan style run a ball innings? All people seem to want is FULL SPEED all through the game. Its not a good thing..

    One of the main things i like about 50over cricket is the tough period through the middle where it seems only the top players can score runs at more than 6 an over.

    So its not the batsmens fault anymore than the game is getting boring during the middle periods.. Its the game.. geez.. Do you Think Chris Gayle or adam gilchrist would make it that boring? No! they would continue to excite as they were exceptional players.

    To say the game is getting boring is a poor comment. The batsmen aren't as good. We saw Andrew Strauss play normal batsmen shots and score at a good clip. So why cant everyone else

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  • POSTED BY gzawilliam on | September 10, 2009, 4:16 GMT

    Its really disturbing to hear the groaning going on by some people during this natwest series..

    Ian botham has been saying the 50over game is fading and that the middle overs is where we need to change.

    Well i ask him this. What happens to the old fashion Michael Bevan style run a ball innings? All people seem to want is FULL SPEED all through the game. Its not a good thing..

    One of the main things i like about 50over cricket is the tough period through the middle where it seems only the top players can score runs at more than 6 an over.

    So its not the batsmens fault anymore than the game is getting boring during the middle periods.. Its the game.. geez.. Do you Think Chris Gayle or adam gilchrist would make it that boring? No! they would continue to excite as they were exceptional players.

    To say the game is getting boring is a poor comment. The batsmen aren't as good. We saw Andrew Strauss play normal batsmen shots and score at a good clip. So why cant everyone else

  • POSTED BY PhilGoorha on | September 10, 2009, 4:19 GMT

    Yes, 50 over game is fine. Innovation as drastic as Tendulkar suggests would ruin the game beyond recognition. However, Roebuck must be watching some other games than the rest of us, if he finds the current ODI series between England and Australia "especially interesting". It is anything but.

    Though doggie-poop wrapped in silver foil can be marketed as facepack, repeat purchases are unlikely. The product has to be good and it should cater to some business need. Marketing success of T20 served that need, and with intelligent marketing support, it would stay. IPL? That too with some reservations. The marketing genius of Mr Modi would take it some length, but the model needs to be upgraded and evolved on a continuing basis. It would not be achieved in absence of an eye on quality and inclusion. The evidence assures us that IPL organisers are tuned into that.

    The last ODI World Cup was botched alright, and we know no more WC's would be botched, for want of basic administrative nous.

  • POSTED BY Nerk on | September 10, 2009, 6:31 GMT

    50 over cricket has given us some good results and games. I think it is overplayed... i mean a 7 match series between Australia and England. Way too many. I think if they want to make ODI more exciting it should be played less frequently.

  • POSTED BY nikhil_mandavkar on | September 10, 2009, 7:26 GMT

    Good One Peter. A nice article. Yes Indeed, the 50 over format had produced some amazing results over the years. One should not forget that those who are playing and supporting 20-20 have actually carried their fundamental skills from one day circket only. One day cricket is superset of 20-20.

    But yes time has changed and to keep it alive, the ICC shoud look into it and change the format in such a manner that it can be more attaractive (without reducing overs from 50) so that it can compete with 20-20. Nevertheless, I must admit that any thought of scrapping 50 over cricket is wrong.

  • POSTED BY dil333 on | September 10, 2009, 7:45 GMT

    I think the World Cup is a major point here, the biggest competition in international cricket currently. The 20/20 World Cup just isn't the same

    50/50 provides much more than 20/20. In 20/20, all you see are hitters, and tight bowlers. In 50/50, you get much more different type of batsman. People can show their grit and character, like if your team was 3/30 after 10 overs, you can fight it out and make a large partnership. Players who are capable of playing a long innings might not feature in 20/20. 50/50 also has more half-centuries and centuries. 20/20 barely ever gets a century, which is a big achievement for any batsman.

    20/20 doesn't allow bowlers to have much. 4 overs, that's it. Sometimes it's difficult to get into a rhythm, with captains bowling you for a couple overs here and there. Bowlers just get hit around while the batsman goes ballistic,it's a batsman's game.

    50/50 allows teams to fight back.If you make a mistake in 20/20, it's the end, but in 50/50, it isn't. Ahdil

  • POSTED BY IndiaGoats on | September 10, 2009, 8:17 GMT

    I cannot agree that T20 doesn't leave memories or provide satisfaction. The first T20 world cup final between India and Pakistan was exhilarating. Who will forget Misbah's final scoop and Sreesanth's heart-stopping catch? And how about the recent T20 final and Afridi's heroics? Indeed, the 2007 50-over world cup was the drag, save for Gilly's finals slambuster using his squashball.

  • POSTED BY Clean_hitter on | September 10, 2009, 8:45 GMT

    For me, the ODI format is tops.

    The author put it best in this line: "cricket has staying power, is good for the game, allows the leading cricketers to produce almost their best cricket and lets supporters watch 22 players and see a result in a single day." ODI cricket produces the best balance between having a battle between bat and ball and things moving at a good pace.

    There are subtle adjustments that need to be made, like the caption for the picture of Pietersen and Anderson would suggest, but on a fundamental level, 50 over games are just fine. Once the novelty of T20 wears off, I think people will eventually pick a format of cricket they like best, and there WILL be those who prefer this format. I agree with "PhilGoorha" the idea of turning ODIs into two innings T20s would ruin the game altogether.

  • POSTED BY bonaku on | September 10, 2009, 8:57 GMT

    It is nice to see that you have same view as most of the Cricinfo audiences.

  • POSTED BY krs_spidey on | September 10, 2009, 9:19 GMT

    xcellent article peter..i agree 100%..Test cricket is main staple,ODIs are mide meal, t20 is just dessert..cant have dessert always..The most nailbiting and exciting matches in history of cricket have been in ODIs..1992wc final,1999wc semifinal, ind vs pak final at dhaka 1998, the epic 850+ runs match at johanessberg 2006 and many more..they will be etched in peoples memory always who have seen these matches..its just plain overdose of ODIs thats killing it..no international t20 for ind between two t20world cups and there is 7 ODIs series between ind vs aus..and there is another 7match ODI series goin b/w eng and aus..thats way too much..the 5 match ODI series played early this yr b/w sa and aus were excelent giving proper contest b/w bat and ball..why didnt the respective cricket boards replaced 7 ODi series with 5ODIs and 3 t20s..wc2007 was a disater also coz of too many meaning less matches..12 teams is the max that shud play in ODI wc

  • POSTED BY PrinzPaulEugen on | September 10, 2009, 9:43 GMT

    Peter, for once I agree with you wholeheartedly. 50 over cricket is the superior form of the limited overs game. As an Aussie, I can recall exactly three 20Twenty games - one I went to at the Gabba vs South Africa where Damien Martyn scored 90 odd, the first ever international in NZ where the Aussies and Kiwis all dressed in retro clothing and grew mo's; and the one in South Africa where Zimbabwe beat us in the first World Cup. Twenty20 is definitely exciting and is here to stay, and also provides great opportunities to expand the game. But 50 over cricket is, generally, won by the better team - it doesnt come down to the toss. It let's batsmen build innings; bowlers to bowl to a plan. Do we want the cricket loving kids being born today to say "Who were these blokes Waqar and Wasim? Who was this Andrew Symonds? So what did this Jayasuriya bloke do again? Clive Lloyd scored a century in the first ever final of what?"