Sachin Tendulkar is in favour of one-day cricket but believes the 50-over format can be tinkered with in order to reduce the advantage gained by the team winning the toss. He said that the total of 100 overs could be split into four innings of 25 each, which would mean that no side would have the best of the conditions for the entire match.
Tendulkar said he first thought of the format during the Champions Trophy final in 2002 where India played Sri Lanka in Colombo. In that match, Sri Lanka batted 50 overs before rain washed out the game shortly after India began their chase. On the reserve day, rain once again forced an abandonment after Sri Lanka had completed their innings.
"I am for 50-over cricket. I think we should have 25 overs a side to start with. I thought of this during the 2002 Champions Trophy in Sri Lanka," Tendulkar told Times Now, an Indian news channel. "In the finals, we ended up playing 110 overs against Sri Lanka. First they played 50 overs and we played 10 overs before the rain interruption. The next day, Sri Lanka again played 50 overs and in the end we were declared joint winners. I thought, 110 overs and still no result.
"That is when I thought, we should have 25 overs first for one side and then the other, and then once again 25 overs for one side and then the other. Today, we can tell the result of close to 75% of matches after the toss. We know how the conditions will affect the two teams. But it [his idea] is not too dependent on the toss because, for example, in a day-night match both the teams will have to bat under lights. The conditions change very dramatically but this would ensure that it's same for everyone."
Tendulkar's comments come at a time when the future of the one-day game is being questioned. The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) has scrapped its domestic 50-over tournament while Cricket South Africa is considering changes to its domestic 45-over competition. The ECB is also likely to propose that the ICC conduct a formal review of the future of the 50-over format after the 2011 World Cup to protect the ODI structure amid the rise of Twenty20 cricket.