One Dayers and the Future of the Game

13 08 2010

Crowe’s Comments

There have been some interesting comments coming from Martin Crowe over the past couple of days in the cricket media with regard to the future of test cricket. Crowe has been saying that the world of international cricket should do away with one day international matches and focus its efforts on the preservation of test cricket and the continued propagation of 20/20 cricket. Crowe is a noted innovator and has in the past developed his own variants of the game, his 8 a-side Cricket Max is an example of this, and so perhaps we should not be surprised at anything he says and in actual fact has backing from some fairly unexpected sides. Shane Warne is another who has gone on record saying much the same thing.

This idea raises some interesting questions however and we are not totally sure that we fully support it. Yes the international cricket calendar is over crowded as it stands, yes there is a certain ennui being developed by the repetitive nature of the cricket and yes, even the players seem to agree, frequently complaining of burn out. However to do away with what has traditionally been such a successful variant of the game seems a little extreme.

Couple this with the fact that test cricket is now drawing such pitiful crowds (even recently in the bastions of England and Australia) and, therefore, if the ICC were to rid themselves of the ODI game altogether inevitably revenues would fall.  Factor in that the ICC themselves are such a weak organisation and that even if they tried to enforce something along these lines they would simply be ignored by the respective member countries it is increasingly obvious that Crowes idea would not work.

There are also many other levels at which this is not a practical idea. Currently the only top level exposure for the ICC Affiliate countries like Ireland, Afghanistan and Kenya comes through playing ODI cricket against the full member sides. Remove ODI cricket and suddenly these countries are reduced to developing through the medium of 20/20 cricket and, as we all can appreciate, this would be about as useful a preparation for test cricket as only doing 100 metre sprint training and then running the London Marathon.

We cannot help but feel that if the full member countries and the ICC want to preserve test cricket as the primary game and at the same time maintain an interest in ODI cricket too; they will do much better by simply controlling the amount of meaningless cricket played. Our suggestion would be to limit ODI series to three games only, a similar length 20/20 series – all of which should be played after the test series itself has taken place. Remove such meaningless competitions as the ICC Champions Trophy, endless and frankly dull series between the same countries again and again and suddenly everything will start to feel like an event again. If something matters (and by making these matches more scarce they will inevitably matter more as there is not that feeling of ‘it’s all right lads, there’s another game tomorrow’) then it becomes more interesting to the fans and attendance figures will go up.

We do our best (and usually fail miserably) to avoid clichés and twee statements here at the Compulsive Hooker, yet we are feeling unavoidably drawn into one here (and for that we apologise!). Less is more people – less is more!

*********

The County Game

Interestingly Vikram Solanki, Chairman of the Professional Cricketers Association (PCA) has been saying much the same thing recently. The Friends Provident 2010 20/20 competition has been criticised heavily in many corners over the last couple of months – seemingly never ending (anyone know if it has even finished yet?) and under attended compared to previous years – and even the players are baulking at the demands placed upon them.

Clearly the problems that are present on the international scene are equally as prevalent domestically – all of which leads us to the conclusion that the ECB are just as guilty as any other board around the world – including the BCCI.

Everyone is chasing the short term dollar, rupee or pound whilst not realising or perhaps conveniently forgetting that in the long term they are doing more damage than good to what is the best and most wonderful game in the world.

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3 responses

13 08 2010
Giordballs

Hi Bradders. A good read; I agree with all your points. There has to be the middle ground between 20/20 and Test cricket to test the aptitude of potential test players and provide the platform for prospective test teams.
Whilst, I acknowledge 20/20 has been hugely successful in bringing cricket to a new audience (and that it can be entertaining), I still can’t help but feel that it’s just not really cricket.
I agree that to avoid player burn-out, that it should be 20/20 and ODI fixtures that are scaled back to leave Test cricket as the pinnacle. I also concur that making the shorter format games more competitive would boost attendances. Perhaps something like a league format (played over 2 years) with promotion and relegation between divisions would be an interesting prospect?

15 08 2010
greyblazer

Yeah I do agree about meaningless matches. It seems like India and Srilanka play a series or a tri-series every month lol.

18 08 2010
Hayley

Hi

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