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Australia set to play more T20Is following ICC’s cricket revamp

Australia will host the next World T20 in 2020 and are set for more T20 action after the International Cricket Council (ICC) announced its latest revamp.

cricket Updated: Oct 14, 2017 23:18 IST
HT Correspondent
Australia  have played only seven T20Is since ICC World T20 in 2016.
Australia have played only seven T20Is since ICC World T20 in 2016.(AFP)

With a move that could address Australian cricket team’s woes in the shortest format, Cricket Australia CEO James Sutherland has admitted that there will be more T20 International fixtures for the national team in future.

The five-time World Cup winners and formerly world No 1 team Australia were runners-up in 2010 — their best performance since the ICC World T20 events that began in 2007.

But Australia, who are set to host the next ICC World T20 tournament in 2020, have crashed out twice in the first round in the past, reported cricket.com.au.

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Sutherland’s admission comes after the International Cricket Council (ICC) announced a major shakeup in cricket, introducing Test cricket championship as well as an ODI league for teams starting with the cricket cycle post the ICC World Cup 2019 in England.

The Test championship is set to have a nine-team competition played for points, whereas the ODI league will have 13 teams, which will help determine those who will play in the ICC 2023 World Cup in India.

Sutherland has admitted that the revamp is expected to have Australia playing lesser Tests, leaving with a room to accommodate more T20I fixtures.

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Sutherland said, “There will definitely be more (international) T20 cricket. But we’ll also be quite strategic about it in terms of scheduling matches to create experiences for the development of our team.”

“One of the things we’ll be doing is thinking carefully about where we might put more emphasis on one-day cricket say leading into World Cups or the Champions Trophy. Then more emphasis on T20 cricket when we’re leading into a WT20 event,” he added.

The report added that Australia have played as many as 36 ODIs compared to a mere seven T20Is since the ICC World T20 2016 held in India last year.

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“It’s no secret that we think the Australian team underperformed in WT20 events. We want to see better performances. We’d like to see a better showing from our team in that event (in 2020) and we’ll be looking to prepare our team accordingly,” Sutherland said.

The CA chief said he hopes to see Test cricket getting more relevance with the proposed championship after a slight reduction in matches for Australia — from an average 12 Tests a year to 10 or 11.

“I do believe that the prestige and the level of engagement with Test cricket will be higher if we make it more precious. Making it more precious means we play it in certain windows, it has structure, there is context as part of the Test championship ... it’s not meaningless and people are wondering why it’s being played,” he said.

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Talking about the new ODI league, Sutherland sounded hopeful of one-day cricket getting a necessary boost. “I’ve been on about this for a long time. If you want to take a harsh view on one-day cricket, as popular as it has been and continues to be, the real context around one-day cricket happens every four years when a World Cup is played,” he said.

“In the middle of that, there is a lot of one-day cricket that is played, between 20 to 30 matches every season for us, but it many ways, that is all a prelude in between World Cups and us preparing a team to hopefully win a World Cup. This structure is really good. There’s a championship at stake but it is also about World Cup qualification.”

“We will also see one-day series capped at three matches. When you explore that in your own mind, (imagine) a three-match one-day series between Australia and India … three matches that count towards the league championship. Gee there’s a lot at stake there and they would be huge matches,” Sutherland concluded.