50 over format needs an overhaul not scrapping

Dhoni - During his hundred against the Aussies
Recently there have been calls in the media to scrap the 50 over format to accommodate the rising number of T20’s played around the world. There have been various theories like reducing the number of overs to 40, playing ODI in a two inning format etc. ODI cricket has been around for a long time now and definitely needs an overhaul but I guess it still has a place in the hearts of a cricket lover.

ECB recently scrapped their domestic 50 over tournament and replaced the same with a 40 over version. We did see in the media recently where the ECB has suggested the same to the ICC. We cannot fault the ECB for doing so as their National team has been pretty poor in the 50 over version. I hope that the ICC dont follow that route.

One thing I have to agree is that there is too much of ODI cricket played these days adding up to the numerous T20 leagues going around. This is where ICC needs to step up and do something about the ever growing T20 leagues. Having IPLT20 and CLT20 in the same year is ridiculous. Now since Australia is starting their own T20 league which might leave players no time to play International cricket, it’s the right time for ICC to step in. They should bring some sort of a regulation which would reduce the number of ODI’s and T20’s played in a year to sustain interest among the fans. I am not sure why the Test championship is not taking wings as it is an interesting concept. It will for sure induct lots of interest among the viewers for the oldest format of the game.

The 50 over format provides a great variation to the fans from the bang bash T20 format. The teams are allowed to strategize, plan and execute over a 50 over format. Even though IPL and CLT20 have become so successful in India, people still love the ODI’s. ODI matches in India still play to packed houses. The major problem though which needs to be addressed immediately is the player burnout.

Too many ODI’s are played these days and most of them are meaningless. A 7 match ODI series is a tad too long I feel. I guess a bilateral ODI series should be limited to no more than 5 games. The champions Trophy and ODI world cup need to be the premier multinational events. Limit the amount of other tri series which are played around the world other than the above two major events.

ICC also has to work towards reducing the number of T20 leagues which are going around these days. The ODI cricket format itself needs an overhaul to make it more interesting and reducing the number of overs isn’t the way to go. The 2 innings format is something which the ICC can look into. They have tried couple of innovations in the past which haven’t worked like the “Super-sub”. More thought needs to be put in towards that line.

ODI cricket has a rich history and has been around for a long time. ODI World Cup still remains a special event for every cricketer around the world. Test cricket as every International player would agree is the pinnacle of cricket and will remain for a long time to come. The format which needs preservation is the ODI. Players still prefer this format over T20 any day. The advent of T20 has cast some doubts over the future of this format but with some innovations, the 50 over format can hang on. Reduce the number of games played around at the moment and make some changes to the existing format and we might have a winning formula. The short and sweet Champions Trophy breathed some life into ODI’s and we hope that the ICC can learn something from this. I am a fan of 50 over format and would not want to see it die.

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