June 18, 2010

What do we replace ODIs with?

It's time to review the 50-over format, but it isn't quite clear what to bring in in its place
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So Cricket Australia has just aimed another blow at the ageing provider of world cricket. The future of one-day international cricket has been debated for a while now, but with Cricket South Africa and the England Cricket Board making their positions clear as well, and going in for 40-over competitions, the once blue chip no longer seems a good stock to possess. And yet you cannot cremate someone unless you are absolutely sure he is dead, and I am not entirely convinced the good old ODI is gone.

India played Australia in October last year to full houses and resounding television ratings. England played Australia seven times shortly before that and audiences didn't seem to mind that either. Wedged between those were a Champions Trophy in South Africa (50 overs) and a Champions League in India (20 overs) that produced excellent cricket but got a thumbs down from spectators and viewers. That would seem to queer the pitch a bit; some high-profile tournaments work and others don't, so what do you do?

Those two months actually provided enough evidence that it is not the format but the contestants that people are worried about now. I asked a leading executive at Group M, who buy more media space - and therefore know audience preferences better - than anyone else, and he confirmed that in India a match against Australia or Pakistan will always deliver, but more worrisome was his assessment that non-India games don't deliver at all. The IPL, for example, rates higher than the ICC World Twenty20. But he did say, too, that in neutral games the 20-over version out-rates the 50-over game.

It tells me that 50-over ODIs are still strong in some constituencies but are skating on thin ice elsewhere. In India, England, Australia and South Africa, which are the countries that matter from a financial perspective, you will get full houses when the home team plays any of the other three, and occasionally against Pakistan. The question is: is that good enough to sustain the format as a whole? The answer is yes if you could restrict ODIs to games between these countries but since that is not possible, a review of the format warrants itself. Indeed, I fear that, as with the Champions Trophy, we will see lots of empty seats at the World Cup as well.

One idea is to play two innings but in the second carry the game forward from where it was stopped at the end of the first. The toss will not be as big an advantage anymore, the conditions will apply to both sides, and players will still have to adapt and play long innings. Most interestingly, it will make captaincy more critical

But for at least a year the ODI will chug along, with some pretty stops on the way and some forgettable ones, which is a good enough time to look at the alternatives. Forty overs, as South Africa and England have gone with in their domestic competitions, is one possibility and is not too different from what happened to the World Cup in the mid-eighties, when it came down from 60 overs to 50. With 20 overs of Powerplay there will be enough action, still some opportunity to build an innings, still the need to see off a good bowler, but from a marketing perspective it is not too far removed from the 50-over game to rid it of its current problems.

Splitting the game into what is effectively two 20- or 25-over games is like the existing Twenty20 format with the added variable of a deficit that one side will have to make good. It sounds exciting - the best batsmen will bat twice in an afternoon, and so you can have a double cheeseburger instead of an ordinary one. The question is, do you want to when you have Twenty20 internationals already? And as Ian Chappell asked forcefully recently (on Cricinfo's Time Out programme): is it a gimmick or is it something that will last a while? If you want to test different aspects of a player's skill, then it contributes nothing. It is like a one-hour movie extended to two hours.

The other idea that has some merit is to play two innings but in the second carry the game forward from where it was stopped at the end of the first. It addresses the issues before ODIs better. The toss will not be as big an advantage anymore, the conditions will apply to both sides, and players will still have to adapt and play long innings. Most interestingly, it will make captaincy more critical. It could still lead to one-sided games as now, it could mean mostly tailenders bat in the second half most times, and it will make a rain-affected game very difficult to award, especially if it rains in the third innings.

Neither of these, though, will solve the problem of the one-sided game or the one that suffers because the home side isn't involved. It requires thought and, most important, it requires trialling, but the last of the options seems to be the best alternative; if indeed you need one.

Harsha Bhogle is a commentator, television presenter and writer

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • svasudevan on June 21, 2010, 1:01 GMT

    The idea posted by don69 on (June 20 2010, 05:31 AM GMT) is excellent. such an incentive for every wicket earned by the fielding team and for every 40 or 50 runs per every 5 overs (by the batting team) would make the contest exciting all through the 50 overs; excellent suggestion by don69, which could be fine tuned by the experts.

  • hshiv on June 20, 2010, 23:41 GMT

    Whats the point in splitting the innings? will it really help? apart from getting an oppotunity for the cheer gals to perform? what is the next move...split into 4 innings of 10 overs each?.... the real challenge it make it challening for the players and make it more entertaining.. can we have bowlers using different balls at different stages of the game, as batsmen are allowed to change the bats as and when they want to suit the innings (imagine Harbajan opens the bowling with an used ball and 50th over being bowled on a new ball!!)...looks like the current format and the split innings will not be able to sustain interest for a long time.

  • threeheadedmonkey on June 20, 2010, 22:54 GMT

    I enjoy ODI's and would hate to see them go completely, i agree the solution is to play less pointless ODI's and less large ODI series's with only 2 teams (4-5 ODI's isn't much fun when it's the same 2 teams)

  • on June 20, 2010, 22:05 GMT

    Things would always u know, fall in place unless they are disturbed.Why should u bring about concepts and ideas trying to improve the game? Never would u get a full house in Chepauk during a test match unless india are on a brink of a very thumping victory.Does that mean the interest in test cricket is less?Not at all!!! People dont seem t understand that time is something everyone fails to manage.Everyone would rather prefer an one hr highlights show rather than seven hours of live action! One day cricket is now caught up between t20 and test as a type of cricket which might be soon forgotten. Leaving aside the glorious moments of test cricket , I strongly feel those one day moments will always remain in our hearts as the game was played with a lot of spirit and grit and t20 moments might be as great as those one day moments but they wont be remembered because t20 is played just for fun and entertainment!

  • LukeTheDuke on June 20, 2010, 17:19 GMT

    Reduce the # of matches played per year, there is no point having meaningless bilateral series.. and a balance between bat and ball.. a little bowler friendly pitches like 1992 world cup. I personally has stopped watching one dayers and only reason is there are so many meaningless stupid matches going on that i am bored. But governing body like ICC is not going to do that.. so forget it.

  • knowledge_eater on June 20, 2010, 13:19 GMT

    Grammatical prepositions mistake, I meant "in the sports world". I am not here for English exam, but sometimes it does look awful. Sorry hehehe Anyway, I got another idea though. How about keeping compulsory power play from 0-5, 11-15, 35-40 and 45-50. Which will keep things interested all the time. Against good bowling attack batsman rarely take risk between 0-5.

  • Rahul_78 on June 20, 2010, 8:09 GMT

    Their is a wise saying prevention is better than cure. I guess some of the things tht ICC can do are: 1.Reduce the quantity of meanigless ODIs and frequency of major tournaments where top team meets. It ll make both fans and players more hungry. Strike a balance between tests, ODIS & T20s 2. Prepare better pitches, bigger boundries and good outfields to balance the game and provide even contest. 3. Allow bowlers some freedom like bouncers and may be start with 2 new balls from each end. 4. Make it mandetory for captens to take a power play between over 20 to 35. 5. Allocate 2 bowlers 10 instead of 12 overs. With some of these things I am sure people will get better contests and closer finishes. ODIs will thrive in its current format.

  • don69 on June 20, 2010, 5:31 GMT

    the game has plenty of good things going for it - for one, it actually allows all 11 players to bat and contribute, making it necessary to have different role players (which 20/20 usually doesn't). 2 serious problems, and as much as Ian Chappel woudl hate it they may be solved with what he would term "gimmics". but first - I agree you should get rid of both the "power overs" and the field restrictions. give the captain as much freedom as possible. now - first problem is negative fielding. captains don't go for wickets. so add fielding runs. for every wicket that falls the fielding team gets 10 runs to its credit. if you bowl a side out you pile up a tidy 100 runs before your openers even stepped into the field! second is negative batting, especially in the middle overs. so divide the game into 5 10 over segments and set a quota of 50 runs per segment. you get nothing for scoring more, but the fielding side gets a bonus of 10 runs per segment where you didn't make your quota.

  • lucyferr on June 19, 2010, 23:09 GMT

    The only reason to keep ODIs is that there's an ODI World Cup with lots of history that would be good to preserve. Otherwise, ODIs are a waste of time. Sure, as I type this, an exciting 50-over game between India and Pakistan has just finished. Sure, it was great, but it would have been far greater if it had been a close 20 over game. All those middle overs ... yawn. Get rid of 50 over games altogether. If you must, replace them with 2xT20 or 2xT25 - I confess as to some personal curiosity as to whether 2xT20 would be more interesting than T20, esp if the game is ABBA rather than ABAB. But whatever happens, please get rid of the cheerleaders. Unless the cheerleaders are all hunky and male and oiled and sartorially challenged, which would really bring in a new audience. (Actually, two new audiences.)

  • vakkaraju on June 19, 2010, 23:07 GMT

    The only change in the format should be to stop messing with the basics. Remove all this field restrictions and all those great rules to favor Batsmen. Let the two sides slug it out for 50 overs or 40 overs each. Wides and bumper restrictions are the only ones worth keeping. All these negative tactics will disappear. The games will be better balanced and the better teams will have a better chance to come out on top.

  • svasudevan on June 21, 2010, 1:01 GMT

    The idea posted by don69 on (June 20 2010, 05:31 AM GMT) is excellent. such an incentive for every wicket earned by the fielding team and for every 40 or 50 runs per every 5 overs (by the batting team) would make the contest exciting all through the 50 overs; excellent suggestion by don69, which could be fine tuned by the experts.

  • hshiv on June 20, 2010, 23:41 GMT

    Whats the point in splitting the innings? will it really help? apart from getting an oppotunity for the cheer gals to perform? what is the next move...split into 4 innings of 10 overs each?.... the real challenge it make it challening for the players and make it more entertaining.. can we have bowlers using different balls at different stages of the game, as batsmen are allowed to change the bats as and when they want to suit the innings (imagine Harbajan opens the bowling with an used ball and 50th over being bowled on a new ball!!)...looks like the current format and the split innings will not be able to sustain interest for a long time.

  • threeheadedmonkey on June 20, 2010, 22:54 GMT

    I enjoy ODI's and would hate to see them go completely, i agree the solution is to play less pointless ODI's and less large ODI series's with only 2 teams (4-5 ODI's isn't much fun when it's the same 2 teams)

  • on June 20, 2010, 22:05 GMT

    Things would always u know, fall in place unless they are disturbed.Why should u bring about concepts and ideas trying to improve the game? Never would u get a full house in Chepauk during a test match unless india are on a brink of a very thumping victory.Does that mean the interest in test cricket is less?Not at all!!! People dont seem t understand that time is something everyone fails to manage.Everyone would rather prefer an one hr highlights show rather than seven hours of live action! One day cricket is now caught up between t20 and test as a type of cricket which might be soon forgotten. Leaving aside the glorious moments of test cricket , I strongly feel those one day moments will always remain in our hearts as the game was played with a lot of spirit and grit and t20 moments might be as great as those one day moments but they wont be remembered because t20 is played just for fun and entertainment!

  • LukeTheDuke on June 20, 2010, 17:19 GMT

    Reduce the # of matches played per year, there is no point having meaningless bilateral series.. and a balance between bat and ball.. a little bowler friendly pitches like 1992 world cup. I personally has stopped watching one dayers and only reason is there are so many meaningless stupid matches going on that i am bored. But governing body like ICC is not going to do that.. so forget it.

  • knowledge_eater on June 20, 2010, 13:19 GMT

    Grammatical prepositions mistake, I meant "in the sports world". I am not here for English exam, but sometimes it does look awful. Sorry hehehe Anyway, I got another idea though. How about keeping compulsory power play from 0-5, 11-15, 35-40 and 45-50. Which will keep things interested all the time. Against good bowling attack batsman rarely take risk between 0-5.

  • Rahul_78 on June 20, 2010, 8:09 GMT

    Their is a wise saying prevention is better than cure. I guess some of the things tht ICC can do are: 1.Reduce the quantity of meanigless ODIs and frequency of major tournaments where top team meets. It ll make both fans and players more hungry. Strike a balance between tests, ODIS & T20s 2. Prepare better pitches, bigger boundries and good outfields to balance the game and provide even contest. 3. Allow bowlers some freedom like bouncers and may be start with 2 new balls from each end. 4. Make it mandetory for captens to take a power play between over 20 to 35. 5. Allocate 2 bowlers 10 instead of 12 overs. With some of these things I am sure people will get better contests and closer finishes. ODIs will thrive in its current format.

  • don69 on June 20, 2010, 5:31 GMT

    the game has plenty of good things going for it - for one, it actually allows all 11 players to bat and contribute, making it necessary to have different role players (which 20/20 usually doesn't). 2 serious problems, and as much as Ian Chappel woudl hate it they may be solved with what he would term "gimmics". but first - I agree you should get rid of both the "power overs" and the field restrictions. give the captain as much freedom as possible. now - first problem is negative fielding. captains don't go for wickets. so add fielding runs. for every wicket that falls the fielding team gets 10 runs to its credit. if you bowl a side out you pile up a tidy 100 runs before your openers even stepped into the field! second is negative batting, especially in the middle overs. so divide the game into 5 10 over segments and set a quota of 50 runs per segment. you get nothing for scoring more, but the fielding side gets a bonus of 10 runs per segment where you didn't make your quota.

  • lucyferr on June 19, 2010, 23:09 GMT

    The only reason to keep ODIs is that there's an ODI World Cup with lots of history that would be good to preserve. Otherwise, ODIs are a waste of time. Sure, as I type this, an exciting 50-over game between India and Pakistan has just finished. Sure, it was great, but it would have been far greater if it had been a close 20 over game. All those middle overs ... yawn. Get rid of 50 over games altogether. If you must, replace them with 2xT20 or 2xT25 - I confess as to some personal curiosity as to whether 2xT20 would be more interesting than T20, esp if the game is ABBA rather than ABAB. But whatever happens, please get rid of the cheerleaders. Unless the cheerleaders are all hunky and male and oiled and sartorially challenged, which would really bring in a new audience. (Actually, two new audiences.)

  • vakkaraju on June 19, 2010, 23:07 GMT

    The only change in the format should be to stop messing with the basics. Remove all this field restrictions and all those great rules to favor Batsmen. Let the two sides slug it out for 50 overs or 40 overs each. Wides and bumper restrictions are the only ones worth keeping. All these negative tactics will disappear. The games will be better balanced and the better teams will have a better chance to come out on top.

  • SnowSnake on June 19, 2010, 22:26 GMT

    If it ain't broke then don't fix it. Who says that 50 over format has a problem? Have you seen soccer and baseball games? They are much more boring than 50 over cricket, yet no one changes soccer or baseball format. I think cricket administrators have a self esteem problem where they are overly critical about the game.

  • knowledge_eater on June 19, 2010, 19:33 GMT

    Another thing really baffles me that to be honest, (after looking at comments and discussions over the internet) We THE cricket community are the SADDEST and SUPER PESSIMISTIC community on the sports world. Why so much sadness. Other sports have moved own from Marradona and pele to Messi and kaka. Why are we still stuck in past greats greats greats. and saying Quality has died died died. Why are we doing this !! In attempt of that, we are not even enjoying the current cricket properly. So much comparisons stink. I am happy with what ever is happening with cricket at the moment. SO please stop spamming the past glories, buy official dvds and enjoy it, but stop telling the world, current generation not good enough. I love this sports no matter what format and I ain't stopping enjoying it. More people are getting involved in this sport everyday. Just be happy my Cricket community. Peace

  • knowledge_eater on June 19, 2010, 19:12 GMT

    "....The other idea that has some merit is to play two innings but in the second carry the game forward from where it was stopped at the end of the first. It addresses the issues before ODIs better....." I am kind of curious about this to be honest. You know what this is !! Its going to be compressed Test. Kind of "Whole Test match in one-day". I personally have no problem with current version though. Nor does Pakistani fans to be honest. Pakistan are never ever underdog in shorter version of game either you take it ODI or T20. In test, yes they are underdog always due to their batting failures. I would rather prefer doing some changes within 50 over. Allow 13-14 fielders during game, but keep only 11 can bat. Allow certain bowlers to go for more than 10 overs. Split power play position. Allow it for 1-5 overs than allow another compulsory power play between 21-25, and not 5-10. In that way batting plans will be very exciting. No matter what next WC will be excellent. Peace

  • VipulPatki on June 19, 2010, 17:33 GMT

    I am writing this after watching the India-Pakistan match. Matches like these will bring more followers automatically. What a finish!! Sad that the match was marred by petty squabbles by Shoaib and Bhajji.

  • on June 19, 2010, 15:12 GMT

    There should be two innings of 25 overs, with 10 wickets in both innings. But one over should be deducted for each wicket lost in the first innings. So, for example, if a team looses 6 wickets in the first innings, it will only have 19 overs in the second innings!

  • on June 19, 2010, 14:31 GMT

    I am a die hard old school Test cricket fan. I have always maintained T20 is NOT cricket and IPL is a 'tamasha'. ODIs are transforming from instant cricket to satisfy spectators into business esp. for BCCI. (Someone here said that BCCI officials make money and leave. I differ. They stick like leech to make more money!)

    I think only two forms of ODIs should exist. Country v Country and the World Cup once in four years. The triangulars, Asia Cup etc. should be abolished. Like there are limits on overs, there shd be a limit on the no. of ODIs a country can play - say 10 in a year, home and away together. That means you will get just about 50-60 ODIs in a year.

    As Formula One Racing is about to make a debut in India, it can add the needed variety to the sport fans plate. Also enables sports like Chess, Hockey, Football, Badminton, Volleyball, Golf etc to have their place under the Indian sun.

    If all these are arranged, no rule changes are needed to the ODI format.

  • ww113 on June 19, 2010, 12:23 GMT

    We can do away with 50 over ODIs.Instead,we can have an IPL season of 50 over matches spread over 6 months with cheerleaders and Bollywood celebrities. When this ends,we can get back to the T20 IPL ensuring that there are no free days in the calender .And most important of all, let's get Mr.Modi for the marketing.

  • Namboodiripad on June 19, 2010, 7:17 GMT

    We don't need to replace the ODIs. It needs a bit of tweaking in the scheduling part, that is all. First of all both Tests and Onedayers need a two tier system of eight teams each with one or two teams being relegated and promoted. The first list of teams could look something like Premier league - Australia, South Africa, India, England, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, New Zealand and West Indies. Second division: Bangladesh, Zimbabwe, Ireland, Kenya, Canada, Netherlands, Afghanistan and Scotland. There should be four years of reciprocal series at the end of which the best team from the 2nd division will be promoted and the last team from the premier will be relegated. Besides all matches have to be day and night so that more people can watch after work. Besides the bilateral series of test and one dayers there should be only five nation regional tournaments and the world cup and no tri or four nation series. These regional tournaments will also help the smaller teams as they will be competing with the bigger teams - like the Asia cup will have India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Afghanistan. Essentially the number of irrlevant one dayers have to be cut down.

  • on June 19, 2010, 6:47 GMT

    Change, in general, comes very slowly. But in cricket, it comes super-slowly. And thats because Cricket is governed by ICC, which is slower in reacting than even a snail. Lets face it ODI's are dead. Its only a matter of time that even the interest in bilateral series will also wane. Lets just get on with T20s and Test Matches. End of debate.

  • pknaik on June 19, 2010, 4:02 GMT

    The match should be played in two innings of 20 overs with 20 wickets but in the second carry the game forward from where it was stopped at the end of the first. It will not slow down the match,give time to recover an will pose challenges to the captains.

  • on June 19, 2010, 3:13 GMT

    The important thing is to differentiate ODIs from Twenty20 and at the same time, broadcast at Night. My suggestion is simple. Turn it into a two-day game by having BOTH the first innings on Day 1 and continue the remainder of the game on Day 2. And no messing with D/L on Day 1.

  • SJS1950 on June 19, 2010, 3:01 GMT

    PDI's need to be replaced with fewer ODI's Mr Bhogle.

  • on June 19, 2010, 2:47 GMT

    aussies r ruining the game.

  • on June 19, 2010, 1:09 GMT

    I hope someone from the ICC reads this.Please stop tweaking my game.OUR game.The one we know,love and worship,the one to cry tears of joy for.No, I do not want a supersub,I do not want a powerplay,I do not want two of one,I do not want green eggs and ham & I'm NOT American. How is anyone supposed to follow the game if you just won't let it be? How many rule changes does Football have? The warranty has not expired on ODI cricket.The administration has sucked it's blood,left it dry and meanwhile,done zilch for the development of the sport. All that's left is to have a 17 ODI series or permanently move Indian cricketers to small settlements outside Sri Lankan cricket grounds.A world cup is not about market share,monetizing fans or snazzy parties.It's about my golden vuvuzela of joy.And you just went and banned it.A world cup is about what the ICC has long failed to do, making our sport special. One lime daiquiri with a whole lotta cricketing love, cancel the side order of greed, please.

  • Avery_Mann on June 19, 2010, 1:09 GMT

    Wow - you include England in the ODI teams that draw a crowd (they have played woeful ODI cricket for well over a decade now) but don't include NZ (ranked 4th). Do you even follow cricket?

  • hmia1001 on June 19, 2010, 0:18 GMT

    Harsha you have always been quite prejudice with Pakistan and you would always be trying to taunt/degrade them by any possible means, does not matter either you are in commentary box or "in" cricinfo; e.g. ".....other three, and occasionally against Pakistan....." is yet another example of your attitude. Although, rest of indian commentators and experts are being quite open minded, especially, Shastari and Arun Lal.

  • on June 18, 2010, 21:48 GMT

    Ey mate Pakistan vs India matches are likely to gather the most spectators in the stadium and have the largest television audiance worldwide. We need more of these matches. India playing Sri Lanka for the billionth time isnt helping ODI's much. And all Bangladesh get are matches with India or Sri Lanka or Zimbabwe. The Boards need to be much more flexible, and pit different oppositions against each other. Like the series of Pakistan and South Africa, thats nice, mixing it up.

  • Regularjoe on June 18, 2010, 21:33 GMT

    I do not think there's a way to redeem ODI's. Fact of the matter is people don't have time for them any more. No amount of tweaking will benefit in terms of viewer interest. The only thing that can be done is to reduce the volume of cricket being played. If you look at other countries there's a season for each sport( baseball/football/basketball) India being a one sport country and since international cricket is played all round the year it is important for the management to ration the amount of cricket that is played. It is especially true in the context of ODI's because thats the only format that is played mindlessly at international level. Play less ODI's tweaked or not doesn't matter. That will keep viewer interest alive and sponsors interested.

  • 9ST9 on June 18, 2010, 20:51 GMT

    Ok so the debate goes on replace the 50 over game. And frankly two fresh innings of 25-25 or 20-20 is just an extension of T20-which is quite lame. To nullify the issue of the toss the split innings format seems ok. anyway though it is hard to sustain a true cricket fan would miss the classic 50-50 encounter that would eat up half our day. Look at the Asia cup pener true it was a low key event but afridis innings was breathtaking struggling and battling alone it was a captivating scenario you'll never see many pendulum swings in a T20 neither will a batsmans ability to battle in torrid sapping conditions be tested. the 50 over contest needs to survive but it should not be overplayed. 5-7 match series should be scrapped along with triangulars. 2-3 odi's per tour would be perfect. World cups should not be drab affairs with 50+ games that make the spectators sick. ideally a 12 team WorldCup 4 groups of 3 teams each top from each group play Q/finals and so on like a football worldcup.

  • howizzat on June 18, 2010, 19:52 GMT

    Instead it extends the time. As agreed by SA and England, a 40 over format can reduce the game by ONE WHOLE HOUR. Penalising WIDES by RUNS can reduce the time further. In 40 over format, mid-over boredom can be eliminated by changing Powerplay rules, like having normal game in first 10 overs and last 5 overs and then powerplay from 11 - 20 and then 36 - 45. This will also give more teeth to the seamers. Thirdly people are vary of one-sided games because of TOSS. This can be done away with the toss itself by allowing the teams to take decisions alternately in successive matches. More added features can be, Allow 2 Bowlers to bowl half the total overs and make it mandatory too and at the same time make it also mandatory ude of minimum 6 bowlers, Allow playing 12 so that one player will be different while batting and fielding, Redefine LBW so that the batsmen can take more risks, etc.

  • saifkl on June 18, 2010, 19:34 GMT

    What stops the teams to have an offence and a defence, in other words have a 2 innings ODI with a break in the middle (as suggested) but then each team plays with say 16 players, and once a batsman gets out he is out. It will allow teams to play 5 extra players, whcih can be in the form of a speacialist wicketkeeper, and 2 extra specialist bowlers and 2 extra batsmen. So a team can have 8 batsmen and about 6-7 specialist bowlers. Might be interesting to watch as you will have more quality batters and bowlers and it will not be over until it is over. All formats of cricket other than a Test Match are made to accomodate the needs of changing times and there is nothing set in stone which says you cannot do it. It will also allow players to have more rest and thus decrease the chance of injury..

    Might acutally be a lot of fun. Allowing a batter to bat twice is silly...

  • on June 18, 2010, 19:33 GMT

    1) eliminate ODI format completely.......in ths case we will only b left with TEST cricket and T20, former the classic one and later will behave as crowd fascinator, advertiser, introducer of cricket in the non-cricket world zones, crikcet ambassador n last but not the least colorful contests. In this situation we shall b able to save test cricket more when players will only have to play either test or T20, they could develop separate teams for that, n they could focus more on a particular format.

    2) keep ODIs alive but only play the world cup internationally. Other than this teams should play ODIs domestically. In ths situation we can reduce overs upto 40 i think but with single innings. Because split innings (each of 20 overs) will make ODI like T20. Remember we play football internationally only in the world cup, otherwise players play only from their respective clubs, they do play a li'l bit international games but no one knows when they play.

  • on June 18, 2010, 19:21 GMT

    hi harsha.... well i m 24 n i saw the golden period of ODIs in 1990s and early 2000s, when there were too much to see in 50 over contest with the presence of greats like alan donald, shaun pollack, saeed anwar, amir sohail, wasim akram, saqlain mushtaq, sachin tendulkar, saurav ganguly, brian lara, carl hooper, adam gilchrist, glenn mcgrath, nick knight, darren gough, chris cairns, chris harris, neil johnson, flower brothers, etc etc......there were tournaments like mandella trophy, sharjah cup, mini world cup, world cup, world series in australia with some other occasional tours and the flare of contest was so high that we waited for them even before months.....i m a cricket addict and its too difficult for me to deduct something from cricket, but truly i dont find ODIs fascinating anymore. lets wait n see until 2011 world cup which will b played in a cricket attracting zone the sub-continent, but i feel it won't do upto a higher extent....i have two opninions here. (contd above....)

  • howizzat on June 18, 2010, 19:18 GMT

    It absolutely does not make any sense of playing TWO T20's in a day. On the other hand excess of T20 types will kill the interest in the game. So its a bad idea of converting ODI into split innings format. Instead why not strengthen the single innings format with added features? Looking back, firstly its too many odi games and tournaments that killed the interest in the format. So this should change. Scrap C'TROPHY alltogether. Restrict number of games in bilateral series to 3 or 4. As associate members can now be exposed to T20, even the number of teams participating in the ODI World Cup can be brought down to 10 or less than that. Keep T20 as the bianniel event with more teams participating in it. While ODI WORLD CUP should be formatted as the show-case of the game cricket. Also a TEST CHAMPIONSHIP that includes just 5 nations will be noteworthy. Second arguement against ODI is it takes too much of time and the midover boredom. There is slution for it, but not the split innings.

  • TastePeAtka on June 18, 2010, 19:04 GMT

    How about a handicap to reduce the number of one sided matches? The amount (runs/wickets) can be decided based on the difference between the two opposing teams' rankings. So, if Australia play Scotland, then Scotland have a bigger handicap than if Autralia play Pakistan where Pakistan gets a smaller handicap. Again a lot of trials will be needed to decide the exten of handicap.

  • JackJak on June 18, 2010, 18:55 GMT

    I know its sad but the time is coming when even test cricket has to reinvent itself. It was such a treat to watch Malcolm Marshall thudding one nasty one into somebody's helmet and even breaking a nose in the case of Gatting not because we liked seeing that but it was such beautiful pace bowling to watch...the list is endless Imran wasim all the west indian bowlers ...gavaskar leaving the ball or cover driving ..and mohinder hooking the ball. But the times have changed and a guy like Yusuf pathan is a superstar even though he cant play quality bowling. So is there an option really but to even change test cricket a bit if we want to truly globalize. Maybe making Test cricket into 4 days with each side getting 90 overs maximum for each inning is the way to go. Its sad to see but there is no true quality anymore to promote the old form of cricket any longer and its better it becomes a newer package!

  • on June 18, 2010, 18:09 GMT

    This is stupidity. Just keep the game as it is and get rid of that nauseating T20.

  • Wisecrack on June 18, 2010, 17:49 GMT

    Ian Chappell mentioned that 20-20 shouldn't be played between countries and only between states or counties and I cant agree with him more! What will eventually happen is that we will try with 10 wickets per team in a split ODI and that will FLOP without a doubt. I understand the other option is like a 2 innings 20-20 but imagine how it will be like. A Sehwag, Gayle or an Afridi goes out on duck one-time and the next-time he comes out and whacks the same bowler(who made them look pedestrian) out of the park. IT WILL MATCHUP WITH BASEBALL MATCH EXCITEMENT AND WILL BE A PROGRESSIVE STEP TO MAKE IT INTERESTING TO NON-CRICKETING NATIONS LIKE THE ANERICAN AND CHINESE PEOPLE. The 2 innings split will have no meaning if only 10 wickets are kept. WHY? Imagine a Test match with 10 wickets between 2 innings. It will only suit the team who hasn't lost wickets and will remain hopeless for ones without too many wickets. BTW I am traditionalist as far as cricket is concerned but refuse to eyes

  • ntnb on June 18, 2010, 17:46 GMT

    40 overs match with 2 fresh innings of 20 overs. only 4 batters can be repeated in next inning. 2 bowlers can be changed in 2nd inning - so total 13 players , with 2 optional bowlers & designated 4 repeat batters.

    If you loose all wickets in 1st inning, you only have top 4 batters in next inning. If you loose none in first inning , you still have 10 wkts in next inning If you loose 6 wkts in 1st inning , you have 4 repeats + 4 remaining from 1st inning.

    This one seems to be interesting format.I call in 404 Cricket .. 40 overs +4 wkts. give your views.

  • Ullas_79 on June 18, 2010, 17:45 GMT

    Good article Harsha as always. I quite like the idea of a split ODIsl with the innings continuing from where it has been left off. My suggestion for rain affected match in these cases is as follows: 1. At least the first and second innings have to be completed for the match to have an impact 2. In all the matches, batting team should select a 5 over period outside of the power plays for any calculations of a rain affected match. The runs scored and wickets fell in those 5 overs would be the only thing that matters in a rain affected match 3. Teams have to decide it on the field and tell the opposing team and umpire just like how the power plays are taken right now which 5 over period needs to be taken for this. 4. This requires the elimination of mandatory power plays in the first 5 or 10 overs but every team has to take at least one power play during an innings. 5. This would also address to a certain extent the lack of urgency in non-power play overs

    And I agree with overkill.

  • ntnb on June 18, 2010, 17:41 GMT

    40 overs match with 2 fresh innings of 20 overs. only 4 batters can be repeated in next inning.

    If you loose all wickets in 1st inning, you only have top 4 batters in next inning. If you loose none in first inning , you still have 10 wkts in next inning If you loose 6 wkts in 1st inning , you have 4 repeats + 4 remaining from 1st inning.

    This one seems to be interesting format.I call in 404 Cricket .. 40 overs +4 wkts. give your views.

  • Tiptop32 on June 18, 2010, 17:25 GMT

    One more point to strengthen the case for split ODI of 40 overs with two sessions (2 X 20 overs with 10 wickets only, not 20 wickets) is, in the current scenario of 50 overs there will be no result if the match is abandoned due to weather after 65 overs (50 +15) have been bowled for the day. Whereas we have a match in our hands if the rain comes after 40 overs (20+20) in the split theory. We can overcome a situation of abandoned matches after the one of the team completes batting and the other could not bat for minimum number of overs(20 currently). We had seen this situation in one of the Champions Trophy final match Ind Vs SL. This hazards can be avoided. We have more result oriented matches on our hands by going for spiit innings matches.

  • green_jelly on June 18, 2010, 16:56 GMT

    Constantly changing rules will not improve the game. To make cricket better, we need to get better players and better teams. Players must have more incentives, like more money through franchises and more media coverage. Otherwise the organizers are just finding stuff to do to pass their time.

  • PeterCook on June 18, 2010, 16:55 GMT

    RichHamilton - the reason there are field restrictions is because captains were just loading the boundary with fielders. They had to implement them to avoid that. I don't like the idea of a split at all - perhaps I'm just a traditionalist.

  • indicricket on June 18, 2010, 16:54 GMT

    The problem has less to do with any format. It is just overdose of a good thing. Earlier I used to change my day's scheduel to watch a match, now, it is who cares. If India plays Srilanka again, I will puke. No it is not a comment on Srilanka, just that we have played each other so often it does not matter to me who wins. There is a huge need to curtail the number of matches. The surfeit of matches translates into jaded players and boring games. There is a need to strike a balance between the formats.

  • pr3m on June 18, 2010, 16:36 GMT

    You know what needs to be done to make cricket exciting for viewers again? Moderation. Meaningless ODI's conjured up just because there is space and time to fill are what's killing interest in the format. If we have meaningful tri-nation tournaments, which are organized in an orderly manner (something like the Ashes), it will generate interest, and keep the crowds involved, too. You got India playing Sri Lanka whenever they desire, Asia Cup happening all over the place, whenever they feel like it (also, all Asian teams being highly average doesn't help), number of ODI's in a series ranging from 4 to 7... this all has contributed to cricket being meaningless, and hence of less interest to the public. If this isn't done, its the end of the road for ODI's. I don't see any way in which ODI's can be useful, especially after the monster that's the IPL.

  • JackJak on June 18, 2010, 16:33 GMT

    Also we should develop cricket in different locations and conditions. Imagine playing cricket in Ooty or Himachal or wherever on a grassy pitch. So series should be played in all countries like that...One series in conditions which assist swing for example and the other on a regular pitch in normal conditions which also should be sporting but more in the usual locations. Imagine people lying on the grass like it is in New zealand watching cricket. The ball would zip and swing around and we need the right players who are technically sound for these conditions. This would mean right people for the right job! Way to go. Maybe some batsmen are only meant for flat pitches..so play them only on those kind of pitches. India has such a huge pool of cricketers ..its certainly time to try new thigns

  • soajay on June 18, 2010, 16:32 GMT

    I would suggest, let's have the toss for two times.. Once before the innings and the second time after the two teams have batted once.. So there would be still be an opportunity of surprising the opponent and avoiding the predictable nature... What do you say Harsha?

  • ViewHopper on June 18, 2010, 16:30 GMT

    First of all, this new plan of a 'split-innings' is useless. It's just like playing 2 T20's at the same venue and will not do any good for the format. In my opinion, 60-over ODI Cricket should be introduced once again. It is much more like a Test match and will attract more crowds. I hope this piece of advice will be useful.

  • BTyagi on June 18, 2010, 16:28 GMT

    I think all 3 formats have a future and market but its just beacause of 1 demon one-day cricket find itself at brink of extension, that demon is - BCCI. I see no strategy or long term planning for the development of game from BCCI..they are people who are here to make quick money and leave...how else do you justify umpteen no. of ODIs played in last 10 years? How do you justify reckless planning?Isn't it emabarrsing that they are trying to arrange test matches with Aus,as they did with SA, in last moment? They are making mockery of even the test #1 ranking. It show that #1 ranking was reached not because of any planning but shear luck( or say downfall of Australia). Being a die-hard cricket fan, i really wish cricket survive from BCCI - for me personally - i wud love to see indian batsman facing chin-music on fast tracks like Perth in a test match and come triumph, then carting helpless bowlers on flat tracks in Srilanka.

  • Nadeem1976 on June 18, 2010, 16:26 GMT

    I know that ODI is boaring between 20 and 40th over but cricket is the game of temprament and technique and ability to play long.

    Now comes the greed factor. Boards like Australia, India and South Africa and ICC it self after the success of IPL and T2020; wants to earn more and more.

    What harsha said is right, people want to see great riveries and compition. But that does not mean you change the format. Change the schedule. Play 3 ODIs instead of 5 and play 5 T20 instead of 3 in a series and play three test.

    Boards please do not put greed of money above game of cricket. It was once a gentlemen game now it becomes a greed of money. Nothing else.

  • JackJak on June 18, 2010, 16:26 GMT

    Also for cricket to truly grow from where it is currently stagnating in the hands of money greedy India and its money diggers then it has to truly globalize! India cant be played repeatedly against the same countries again and again..the players look bored, spectators being hypnotized by the media and trying to convince everybody that its a big battle out there when it isnt. We need fresh blood, fresh players and new skills in the game. We need to see good fast bowlers and if we truly use money power usefully we can easily globalize the game. Imagine the Chinese, Nigerians, Brazilians, Argentinians playing cricket..At least 20-30 countries should be playing cricket at a high level and then we can see cricket is going somewhere..Until then its just a joke!

  • JackJak on June 18, 2010, 16:21 GMT

    People who dont know anything about cricket are the followers of cricket now and they have not witnessed what quality cricket is all about. Their idea of cricket is six and hence they cant be considered as people who are concerned about good things for the game. But if the game has to survive with quality which has quality batting, bowling and fielding..then attitudes have to change and change fast. If one day internationals have to reinvent itself then there should be a bit of test cricket in it too..Should be split into 20 over or 25 overs a side into two innings. There should be a new rule brought in for the first five overs of each innings a mandatory 2 slip cordon has to be placed which will bring in bowling and reward good bowlers. Also bowlers should be allowed two bouncers within the first five overs and for the remaining overs they can be allowed only one bouncer an over. Every side should have compulsorily 2 all rounders in a side too which brings in good things.

  • SRT4ever on June 18, 2010, 16:13 GMT

    One obvious way to make ODIs interesting is cut down on their numbers. There was a time when I could recall the details of all the matches that India played in a year. Now I do not even bother to try to remember individual scores or results of matches, specially those played between India and Srilanka. People have grown tired watching these two nations play against each other in all possible pointless series round the year, but the players or the board seem perturbed. In the 90's ODIs were a carnival, as teams fought it out as winter slowly settled in India. Now BCCI conjure ODI tournaments with as much emotion as a machine churns out pins, round the year, monsoon summer irrespective,morning, noon and afternoon. And they fail to squeeze out time to participate in Asian Games. Who bothers about national pride as long as we have Zim, Ban and Srilanka to play 24X7X365.

  • on June 18, 2010, 15:42 GMT

    "...we will see lots of empty seats at the World Cup as well". well, we sure will if such mega tournaments continue to be scheduled so horribly. Next years world cup clashes with th exams of many schools & the bcci will loose out on a crucial target audience. I will be giving my boards next year & it will be extremely hard for me to even catch a match on tv, let alone the stadium.

  • kalyanbk on June 18, 2010, 15:26 GMT

    As Harsha says, I am for continuing the innings rather than having the same batsman face the same bowler over and over again. It will quickly become tired and ODIs will degenerate to two T20s on the same day between the same sides. I also don't agree to one bowler bowling more overs. In that case we will have one Mcgrath who bowls and bowls and the rest will be bits and pieces "all rounders". To handle the time issue, any over bowled beyond the cut off time should become a powerplay over. To save ODIs and indeed cricket, we need to restore balance between bat and ball by preparing lively pitches.

  • Amad on June 18, 2010, 15:22 GMT

    The USP of cricket is the one on one battle between players (i.e. a bowler and a batsman) and it all adding up to the main battle between the two teams. One Day cricket has a lot of such battles and even if you can't see the entire match, you would like to see the battle between some individuals. e.g. Afridi VS champion Murali.

    The only problem with 1 Day Cricket is that it consumes the entire day, therefore you can't watch every match in the stadium. But you do follow tournaments.

    If there is a website preferrably from iCC, which telecasts the matches live and is free to air you are going to have global viewership and for watching a single match or a small battle between lets say Tendulkar and Murali, we don't have to purchase a huge 3 months - 6 months sports channel package. Probably the adds telecasted during a match saving partnership or a duel between Sehwag and Aamir, should cost more then the rest. Sell the individual battles besides the entire match is my suggestion.

  • SirishV on June 18, 2010, 14:34 GMT

    Just a thought on dealing with the rain affected matches:referring to 2nd last para

    My suggestion might sound a bit weird but looks fair enough than DL method. So the suggestion is that the winners of the rain affected match can be decided based upon the two super overs played as part of the Powerplay.

    And the rules of the super overs are: 1) The two super overs must be taken within the first 5 overs with a 2 overs gap in between. 2) Batsmen can continue to bat even if he gets out during the super over. So each ball is treated as a free hit and the batsman can't be stumped or run out. So during super over no wickets will fall but the number of lives will be counted for adjudging the winners.

    Adjudging winners: ----------------------------- Each run is awarded a +ve weightage and each life a -ve weightage! So after the calculations(probably summation), the team that has better score/aggregate weightage will be adjudged winners.

    Typical solution but wat say guys?

  • KKVikram on June 18, 2010, 14:29 GMT

    I have a suggestion for a better solution.

    1. Split innings is good. 2. Continuing the game in the second inning is better than restarting it as if it were a T20.

    3. Play 11 batsmen and 10 bowler/fielders. This will make second innings more interesting. More players will get to play the game. Batting depth will go till the 11th batsmen and the captain will have 10 bowlers/fielders to choose from. Captain like Saurav Ganguly can sitout during fielding innings and still control the game :P

  • Tiptop32 on June 18, 2010, 13:33 GMT

    ODIs in the current form has no future, whichever country plays it does not matter. Its time to change to 40 overs match with 2 innings of 20 overs and 10 wickets only for both innings.(Not 20 wickets of 2 T20 matches like Dean Jones bluffed). This one seems to be interesting format. We can create new rules similar to the current D/L rule to decide who wins if rain comes in 3rd innings. It should not be seen as bottleneck for its survival.

    Any series should involve no more than 3 Tests, 3 ODIs, 3 T20s. ICC and all the money minded greedy cricket boards should be very strict on this implementation. Anything that goes above will kill the interest in the game. Over-dosage should be avoided at any cost. Money should follow cricket. Cricket should not go after money.

  • bekaar_khilaadi on June 18, 2010, 13:22 GMT

    They should move to a bilateral 2-3-5 series with marquee matchups going to 5-0-5 (tests-odi-t20). That gives the Bangladesh and Zimbabwe like teams, good match practice. We also do not have to see meaningless ODIs between Aus and Ind. I would rather see them play 5 tests and 5 T20s. One WorldCup every 4 years with the top 6 teams through preceding 4 year period qualifying to play 1-1-1 with each other with semi-finals being 0-1-0 and the finals being 0-1-2 or 0-2-1 (so best of 3 matches with a mix of 50 over and T20) with each team playing atleast one TEST in the WC. Cricket also has to decide if it wants to go the National Team Route or the Club Route. The lack of scoring in the current Football WC is i think based on these players playing so little with each other.

  • on June 18, 2010, 12:56 GMT

    Ok heres my take.. We have a bi-yearly world championship for cricket. Each team plays 2 odis,2 T20s & 2 tests against each team home and away during this period. Thats 8 home tours and 8 away tours.. Thats about 22 days of play a month followed by 15 day breaks... which comes to around 580 days in two years.. We then have an odi , t20 and test final between the top two teams in each of the formats. This takes care of each team playing each other once every year. Since all matches will have a home team in them so theres no worry about the stadiums being packed.. also since all matches garner points to reach the top you wouldnt have teams sending their B teams to any countries... also we scrap out meaningless asia cups, champions trophies....

  • on June 18, 2010, 12:56 GMT

    Test Cricket on Bouncy / Seaming / Spinning Tracks is ultimate spectacle to experience. But unfortunately people (other than Test Cricket Fans) are preferring Twenty20 over Test and ODIs. If Cricketing Bodies are interested in ODIs then they should make severe changes to ODI format like playing it in Four Session instead of Two as in present scenario. All Bi-Nation tournaments should be banned and Triangular, Quadrangle or more countries involved tournaments should be encouraged. But at any cost mad tournaments like IPL should be kept out of this planet.

  • RichHamilton on June 18, 2010, 12:51 GMT

    My suggestion - free ODIs from any restrictions, just like tests - no fielding restrictions, power plays, limits on bowling - simply 50 overs each, the team that scores the most runs wins. This will give it a feel that is separated from T20, will be easier to understand, and will free-up captains to use tactics at their will. I believe the standard of cricket will improve, and the best sides will win the day.

    At the moment, 50 over cricket just feels like T20, only longer.

  • NewYorkCricket on June 18, 2010, 12:44 GMT

    Harsha, unfortunately you do not run the cricket board and the people who do are interested in making short term gains while destroying cricket. There is a need to introduce an annual cricket championship for all the formats. 50-50 cricket does not have to be altered all that much. I like the 25-25 2 innings split. The conditions have to be favorable for everybody. It will also help the teams strategize more, something which is required in games which last more than 4 hours. For rainy days, they should plan earlier and declare a shortened match before the rain arrives.

  • on June 18, 2010, 12:11 GMT

    splitting the overs would mean another fast food type of cricket !!! let the 50 over cricket be as such !! do not tamper the game with all such useless suggestions!! the ideal thing would be to stop the over kill of cricket on televisions (with meaning less tournaments meaning less shows which repeatedly show boring games !!) the T-20 should be within franchieses and county's and the only international fixture for this shortest version should be the world cup !! No more champions league please !!!

  • 504429641 on June 18, 2010, 11:59 GMT

    Good article Harsha. ODI's should still remain. Even the split innings tweaking, where the teams continue in 2nd innings from where they are in the 1st innings, is not required. T20 is brute power while Test cricket is sole talent. ODI cricket combines both brute power and talent where the middle overs are used to settle down and hit it in the slog overs. Only because the middle overs are getting boring, its not good to tweak ODI's. No doubt Test cricket brings out the best in a player but still from viewing point of view isn't it boring to watch lots and lots of dot balls in tests??? What I want to say is ODI cricket too brings out the best in players to some extent and it should not be discounted with just due to the boring middle overs.

  • on June 18, 2010, 11:43 GMT

    I think we should try the super subs again. The team to announce 13 players and decide on the subs after the toss. 2 super subs will give every team a depth in batting.

  • on June 18, 2010, 11:30 GMT

    The problem lies with BCCI and its Asian friends SLC, BCB and PCB. One after the other, BCCI proposes meaningless tournaments that are excepted without any thought and we have been exposed to meaningless one dayers between India and Sri Lanka. Thats the reason why it has come down to this. A soap opera is boredom. But if you replay that again and again, who will watch it?? Rewind back to last year when India hosted Australia and Sachin's epic 175 nearly helped India chase down a 350+ target. Even after IPL and T20 WC, weren't all assured that time that ODI was in safe then?? It all boils down to having QUALITY opponents and matches. I doubt if people are interested anymore in watching another India-SL match in the Asia Cup now, or even watching Asia Cup. The problem is with the administrators and not with the game

  • longhorndms on June 18, 2010, 11:02 GMT

    Hi!

    I really liked the idea that Harsha suggested in his recent discussion with Sanjay Manjeraker and Ian Chappell. If we can keep everything the same, except give every ODI match and every ODI Tournament some perspective by making a ranking system that will decide who gets to play in a major 4 Team tournament held every year. So if there is a single ODI between Bangladesh and England, and England has had a rough year, their win against Bangladesh might suddenly become crucial for their qualifying into that major 4 team tournament. That will put every single ODI a context and there will be something at stake in every game.

  • on June 18, 2010, 10:50 GMT

    The WC could be a turning point. Sub-continental people take cricket differently and even if they are 2 neutral teams playing. I remember the 2006 ICC Champions Trophy and we got good turnout for almost all games.

    The problem is when a strong team plays against minnow team or worse, two minnow teams. This games will see a very poor turnout.

  • Meety on June 18, 2010, 10:47 GMT

    I believe 3 formats can co-exist. Tests are the pinnacle the best contest between bat & ball, 50/50 the best format to crown a world champion, & 20/20 the best format for Olympics & spreading the game both in participation and finances. I think it is a huge mistake to drop the 50/50 matches to 40/40. If anything we should go bact to the future & go 60/60. Most comments on this site fall evenly between dismantling 50/50 & preserving it. Maybe tinkering with the bowling quotas would have some merit with 6 bowlers must bowl between 8 & 10 overs or 2 bowlers can bowl 12 overs and 5 bowlers a minimum of 5 overs each. I am a fan of 50/50 it is the best contest to provide a world champion. There should be less 50/50 tournaments like the Champions League & the Asia Cup. Also I think the ICC risks overcooking the Golden T20 Egg, with world cups every year, should be every 4 years. T20 will one day be the format included in the Olympics.

  • Velekkat on June 18, 2010, 10:15 GMT

    The increased amount of 20-20 and the quality of the pitches are the main culprits. Also, there should be matches with all the countries in a season, not just with SL and AUS. As a true cricket fan, I wanna c something special, either by the bowler or by the batsman, in every tournament. But when it becomes who hits maximum sixes/fours and all those useless statistical analysis, it gets bored after a while. Also, the disappointing/repeating commentary also plays a role in the decrease in viewers.

  • Sooraj4cricket on June 18, 2010, 10:02 GMT

    Hi sir! I am a die hard follower of cricket,any format for that matter....Sir,if one had seen the last ODI match itself (the Asia cup opener,i refer to) that game itself had all the ingredients to making a thriller. My point is,50 over cricket is here to stay.I watch the pro40 leagues whenever i get the time.True, it has brought up exciting contests but i think 50 overs' got it's own charisma and cut it means we'll miss more of the Jo'burg like encounters.....

  • kasturi on June 18, 2010, 9:54 GMT

    One way to make ODIs different is by tilting the rules in ODI favorable to bowlers. We already have one format favoring batsman i.e T20 i.e batsman can show their hard hitting skills. Tests favors both batsman and bowlers equally people with superior skill would definitely will win the context. By tilting the rules of ODIs favoring bowlers what we have is bowlers showing their prowess given the conditions. This will help the selectors to select good bowlers and batsman for tests i,e bowlers who excel in T20 and batsman who excel in ODIs most of the times would be the ones who are technically superior leading to exciting contest in Test matches. This approach will definitely help if a T20 find is genuine or not. I feel most of the guys who have entered Indian cricket team from T20 perfromances are not quality cricketers and it has been proved again and again. It will help the players to make reality checks and work on the skills and not get carried away by good performance in T20

  • mcheckley on June 18, 2010, 9:32 GMT

    All yet another attempt to introduce more gimmickry which will, by it's very nature, become dated quite quickly. 50 / 50 is now predictable - go fast at the start with the field restrictions, consolidate in the middle, go mad atthe end. 20 / 20 is incredibly predictable - everyone slogs, and the team luckiest with its slogging wins the game. Too much chocolate cake makes people sick; the ball disappearing into the middle distance every other delivery will become "proedctable" in time, and is even now losing its appeal. To hold a proper cricket match in a single day, one does what English Club and School cricket did for decades. One starts at 11 am, one has only one iniings per side rather than two, but otherwise the game is played out precisely as a Test Match, with the team bowling last needing to bowl the batting side out to secure a win. Declarations and run-chases, tailenders hoding out for a draw in fading light with fielders round the bat. What more excitement could anyone want ?

  • ravi_hari on June 18, 2010, 9:16 GMT

    I think it is too early to re-look at One dayers. We have not even completed 50 years of One-dayers and we are talking of rewamping. Look at test cricket which has stood the test of time. If one thinks T20 will wipe out One-dayers I think they are wrong. Yes, it has to be made initeresting and for that I think there is no need to change the format. ONly have a seeding or grading system. Dont allow teams like Kenya, Zimbabwe, Ireland play against teams like Australia, South Africa, etc. Have a two-tier system and have matches among equals. The Cream should be of 6 teams and the rest should be in the second level. Based on the performances send the last team in Cream to the lower level and upgrade the top team in the lower level to Cream and have this process on a yearly basis. This would ensure even contests, close finishes and spectator interest. Have un-official matches across the two categories to improve the quality of the lower level. World Cup should also be only for 8 teams-Ravi

  • Nuxxy on June 18, 2010, 9:13 GMT

    Part of the problem with the Champion's Trophy was that it was only played at 2 venues, and it was too much too soon for those venues. If they had spread the games to venues other than just Centurion and the Wanderers, there would have been better support. As someone living in Port Elizabeth, I'm so glad the Champion's League is coming here, at least for a few games, and I'm planning to be at all of them.

  • SurenP on June 18, 2010, 9:02 GMT

    I believe a split inning game will be interesting, but however It should be a continuation i.e. one innings over two phases of 25 overs (

    SUGGESTED NEW RULE ---- 2nd phase should give the captains the choice of making one or a maximum 2 change to the playing elevent!! -----

    this would make for some wonderful tactical plays... e.g. if a team has lost more wickets they could bring a batsmen as the additional change.. or another scenario is.. they realise the piutch is spin friendly they bring an extra spinner etc..

  • Leggie on June 18, 2010, 8:51 GMT

    Reducing the 50 overs to 40 overs with each bowler allowed to bowl 10 overs might just be the balance that can provide a new life to ODIs. Why do I say this:

    a. The "Common Man" is still keen to see big hits, lots of boundaries and lots of runs scored in a match. The sides can now pack the side with 6 pure batsmen and 1 keeper batsman. Early loss of wickets need not necessarily have to translate to defensive batting. The batsman knows he has some cushion

    b. From a "purist" point of view, there would always be 4 good bowlers who will attack the batsman. The sides don't have to include a neither this / neither that kind of all rounder whose bowling is always taking to the cleaners!

    c. Match duration will be reduced and a match can start as late as 5:00 and still end at 10:30 - the peak time of TV

    d. The mandatory ball change that happens at the 35th over need not happen anymore.

    Simple change.., but huge results. I hope someone from the ICC reads this.

  • Perplexed on June 18, 2010, 8:51 GMT

    50 over ODIs are very much part of the heart and soul of cricket and I for one would sadly miss it if it should ever be scrapped. 20 over cricket simply does not serve the same purpose - I honestly cannot see it sustain its current levels of success over the long term as there is no real substance to the game.

  • Bari_Manchester on June 18, 2010, 8:49 GMT

    Hi, I have been saying it for quite some time now, that please try to keep Test Match Cricket as traditional as possible and play T20 for people to enjoy. T20 match takes less time and you get more excitement. There are very few one sided matches and any one player can win you a match from nowhere. There are very few fans left to watch 50 overs Cricket for the whole day infront of TV. Life is too busy even in India these days that no one can spare such amount of time to watch one sided boring match. Only advertising people are trying to save 50 over game as they get more onair advertising time. Thanks

  • sagsaw on June 18, 2010, 8:32 GMT

    Super forties

    * 2 new balls at the start of the game. 40 overs per side. We have seen in the 20-20 that contarary to expectations, spinners have performed a big role inspite of the ball being new.

    Each format must have something exclusive so spectators can see something different for each format and thus interest in each format would be maintained.

    * One bowler must finish his quota of 8 overs before the 20th over.

    * In one innings at least 2 bowlers must finish full quota of 8 overs each.

    * Apart from the above two bowlers, 3 others must bowl at least 4 overs each in a inning.

    * That leaves 12 overs for bit and pieces players. This gives fresh lease of life to specialists who are nearing joblessness due to 20-20.

    * Power

  • Dhivan on June 18, 2010, 8:31 GMT

    Nice article Harsha !I completely disagree with this sort of thinking. TEST & ODI's are the heart of cricket. Those who want only fun, they have T20 ! When its about popularity of cricket, ICC shall use the road path of Modi by giving television rites to 'you tube', I guess which played an important part in the popularity of IPL. Rather than tempering with ODI's, the so called decision makers shall focus on other aspects to make cricket popular. Not every cricketer gets an opportunity to play test cricket, so the only option left is ODI; and with T20, I don't think there is much technique involve. I am afraid there wont be any more SACHINs in the game then ! Cricket Australia and England shall understand that Cricket is not just about hitting the ball out of the park ! I guess this is the time when BCCI shall get involve in this issue ! For youth like me ODI is still a game to follow !!

  • ArvindNair on June 18, 2010, 8:14 GMT

    I dont know if the one-sided nature of the content is as big a problem as lack of direction in the game. As in , what happens if India wins the Asia Cup? Obviously, those ICC One Day rankings have failed to excite anyone. The EPL is an example of a one sided league (constant Top 4/5) that thrives. In the longer term, a club model may evolve in cricket too. But in the short-medium term, wouldn't a 4-team world cup series which is a culmination of several bilateral and multi-team series over a period of say 2 years lend substantial interest to these otherwise meaningless games? Of course, scheduling is key as the ICC will need to ensure that all 9-10 teams get equal games and against similar opponents to ensure this.This can be figured out though especially with global media rights etc for such an event. But once this kind of a model is set, it can be copy pasted for tests and also for club level t20s ultimately.

  • gzawilliam on June 18, 2010, 8:00 GMT

    Don't! Produce sporting pitches and we won't need to. Simple. We saw with the champions trophy that entertaining games still exist if you give the players to the tools to produce them. This subject is so stupid its just not funny anymore.

  • muski on June 18, 2010, 7:37 GMT

    Harsha, Iam sure you are aware of the old saying " If it aint broke, dont fix it". That should be the approach to the 50 over game. This is a mid life crisis that this format is going through. Except for the one and half months of IPL in a year, people are not over exposed to 20 over format. If low rank countries continue to play indifferent cricket against rest of the world,you cant expect cricket lovers not to lose their patience. Its like a double whammy- like a snake bite for a man already hit by lightening. Let the ICC use the rankings to make sure who plays against whom- meaning if there are 10 teams, the guys in the 61-0 rankings should never ever get to play the teams in 1-5. That is one way you can stem this rot of lopsided matches and bring some life into the game. You can also try and bring some life into the game by changing the rules a bit- say a bonus point if the team scores 150 in the first 15 overs. The fielding restriction for these 15 overs could be same as in T20.

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  • muski on June 18, 2010, 7:37 GMT

    Harsha, Iam sure you are aware of the old saying " If it aint broke, dont fix it". That should be the approach to the 50 over game. This is a mid life crisis that this format is going through. Except for the one and half months of IPL in a year, people are not over exposed to 20 over format. If low rank countries continue to play indifferent cricket against rest of the world,you cant expect cricket lovers not to lose their patience. Its like a double whammy- like a snake bite for a man already hit by lightening. Let the ICC use the rankings to make sure who plays against whom- meaning if there are 10 teams, the guys in the 61-0 rankings should never ever get to play the teams in 1-5. That is one way you can stem this rot of lopsided matches and bring some life into the game. You can also try and bring some life into the game by changing the rules a bit- say a bonus point if the team scores 150 in the first 15 overs. The fielding restriction for these 15 overs could be same as in T20.

  • gzawilliam on June 18, 2010, 8:00 GMT

    Don't! Produce sporting pitches and we won't need to. Simple. We saw with the champions trophy that entertaining games still exist if you give the players to the tools to produce them. This subject is so stupid its just not funny anymore.

  • ArvindNair on June 18, 2010, 8:14 GMT

    I dont know if the one-sided nature of the content is as big a problem as lack of direction in the game. As in , what happens if India wins the Asia Cup? Obviously, those ICC One Day rankings have failed to excite anyone. The EPL is an example of a one sided league (constant Top 4/5) that thrives. In the longer term, a club model may evolve in cricket too. But in the short-medium term, wouldn't a 4-team world cup series which is a culmination of several bilateral and multi-team series over a period of say 2 years lend substantial interest to these otherwise meaningless games? Of course, scheduling is key as the ICC will need to ensure that all 9-10 teams get equal games and against similar opponents to ensure this.This can be figured out though especially with global media rights etc for such an event. But once this kind of a model is set, it can be copy pasted for tests and also for club level t20s ultimately.

  • Dhivan on June 18, 2010, 8:31 GMT

    Nice article Harsha !I completely disagree with this sort of thinking. TEST & ODI's are the heart of cricket. Those who want only fun, they have T20 ! When its about popularity of cricket, ICC shall use the road path of Modi by giving television rites to 'you tube', I guess which played an important part in the popularity of IPL. Rather than tempering with ODI's, the so called decision makers shall focus on other aspects to make cricket popular. Not every cricketer gets an opportunity to play test cricket, so the only option left is ODI; and with T20, I don't think there is much technique involve. I am afraid there wont be any more SACHINs in the game then ! Cricket Australia and England shall understand that Cricket is not just about hitting the ball out of the park ! I guess this is the time when BCCI shall get involve in this issue ! For youth like me ODI is still a game to follow !!

  • sagsaw on June 18, 2010, 8:32 GMT

    Super forties

    * 2 new balls at the start of the game. 40 overs per side. We have seen in the 20-20 that contarary to expectations, spinners have performed a big role inspite of the ball being new.

    Each format must have something exclusive so spectators can see something different for each format and thus interest in each format would be maintained.

    * One bowler must finish his quota of 8 overs before the 20th over.

    * In one innings at least 2 bowlers must finish full quota of 8 overs each.

    * Apart from the above two bowlers, 3 others must bowl at least 4 overs each in a inning.

    * That leaves 12 overs for bit and pieces players. This gives fresh lease of life to specialists who are nearing joblessness due to 20-20.

    * Power

  • Bari_Manchester on June 18, 2010, 8:49 GMT

    Hi, I have been saying it for quite some time now, that please try to keep Test Match Cricket as traditional as possible and play T20 for people to enjoy. T20 match takes less time and you get more excitement. There are very few one sided matches and any one player can win you a match from nowhere. There are very few fans left to watch 50 overs Cricket for the whole day infront of TV. Life is too busy even in India these days that no one can spare such amount of time to watch one sided boring match. Only advertising people are trying to save 50 over game as they get more onair advertising time. Thanks

  • Perplexed on June 18, 2010, 8:51 GMT

    50 over ODIs are very much part of the heart and soul of cricket and I for one would sadly miss it if it should ever be scrapped. 20 over cricket simply does not serve the same purpose - I honestly cannot see it sustain its current levels of success over the long term as there is no real substance to the game.

  • Leggie on June 18, 2010, 8:51 GMT

    Reducing the 50 overs to 40 overs with each bowler allowed to bowl 10 overs might just be the balance that can provide a new life to ODIs. Why do I say this:

    a. The "Common Man" is still keen to see big hits, lots of boundaries and lots of runs scored in a match. The sides can now pack the side with 6 pure batsmen and 1 keeper batsman. Early loss of wickets need not necessarily have to translate to defensive batting. The batsman knows he has some cushion

    b. From a "purist" point of view, there would always be 4 good bowlers who will attack the batsman. The sides don't have to include a neither this / neither that kind of all rounder whose bowling is always taking to the cleaners!

    c. Match duration will be reduced and a match can start as late as 5:00 and still end at 10:30 - the peak time of TV

    d. The mandatory ball change that happens at the 35th over need not happen anymore.

    Simple change.., but huge results. I hope someone from the ICC reads this.

  • SurenP on June 18, 2010, 9:02 GMT

    I believe a split inning game will be interesting, but however It should be a continuation i.e. one innings over two phases of 25 overs (

    SUGGESTED NEW RULE ---- 2nd phase should give the captains the choice of making one or a maximum 2 change to the playing elevent!! -----

    this would make for some wonderful tactical plays... e.g. if a team has lost more wickets they could bring a batsmen as the additional change.. or another scenario is.. they realise the piutch is spin friendly they bring an extra spinner etc..

  • Nuxxy on June 18, 2010, 9:13 GMT

    Part of the problem with the Champion's Trophy was that it was only played at 2 venues, and it was too much too soon for those venues. If they had spread the games to venues other than just Centurion and the Wanderers, there would have been better support. As someone living in Port Elizabeth, I'm so glad the Champion's League is coming here, at least for a few games, and I'm planning to be at all of them.