'Total of 500 a possibility'
The 500-run barrier could well be broken in the forthcoming World Cup, if you listen to two of cricket's greatest thinkers of recent times. In a rare programme jointly produced by Cricinfo and Times Now, an Indian television channel, Ian Chappell and Greg Chappell came together to talk cricket. "If you'd asked me last year about 400 being scored I'd have cast some doubts on that. In some ways I hope 500 isn't scored," said Greg. "If that does happen it may not be a good thing for cricket in some ways. It might just be a very one-sided game. But I wouldn't reject the possibility."
"If someone does get 500 there's going to be some bad bowling going on because that amounts to scoring at 10 runs an over," said Ian, without ruling out the possibility of just such a thing occurring. "With the lesser teams around it might happen."
But Ian believed that there was still plenty the administrators need to do to keep the game healthy and strong. "The most important job for the administrators is to make sure that from a cricket playing point of view the contest between bat and ball is pretty evenly balanced. It is not going to be evenly balanced when bats are getting stronger and boundaries shorter," he said, while raising some important reservations about Twenty20 cricket.
"The important thing with Twenty20 cricket is that it's bringing new people to the game," said Ian. "That's terrific. But if they are only Twenty20 supporters and not cricket supporters then the game is not doing its job properly. If they come into the game through Twenty20 and then support other types of cricket that would be great for the game."
Greg meanwhile, had a slightly different take on what the real danger with Twenty20 cricket could be. "One-day cricket did bring new people to the game, so you have to assume that Twenty20 can do the same. The biggest danger for Twenty20 is that it will become too popular and eat into the resources of ODI cricket," said Greg. "The reason cricket does well is that the shortest version of the game is on TV all day. There is a lot of time and ways to generate revenue. Other sports are trying to keep the game on TV longer and we're introducing a version that does the opposite. Fifty-over cricket pays for cricket. It allows us the luxury of Test cricket."
In this freewheeling conversation, moderated by Sanjay Manjrekar, the Chappell brothers carefully dissect every aspect of the limited overs game. For all those priceless insights, watch the videos, or listen to the audio.