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Jones echoes Tendulkar in saving 50-over format

After Sachin Tendulkar, former Test cricketer Dean Jones has come up with a similar idea to save One-day cricket, which the Australian feels is in serious trouble.

cricket Updated: Sep 05, 2009 20:46 IST

After Sachin Tendulkar, former Test cricketer Dean Jones has come up with a similar idea to save One-day cricket, which the Australian feels is in serious trouble.

The growing popularity of Twenty20 cricket is fast eroding the base of One-dayers and cricketers worldwide feel the new version could sound death knell of the 50-over format.

Tendulkar on Friday suggested that the 50-overs could be split into two innings of 25 overs each. This, he said, will revive the spectators' interest in the matches, which have become predictable.

Jones joined the debate, claiming that "today's cricketers do not want to play this format of the game anymore."

"Already the England and South African cricket boards have deleted this form of cricket from their domestic fixtures. Cricket Australia has one more year left with its Ford sponsorship of the domestic 50-50 competition, and who knows what will happen after that?" Jones wrote on Saturday in his column in The Age.

"The fans are bored with them, particularly between overs 15 to 40. Unless we do something more drastic to improve this game, there will only be Test and Twenty20 cricket left."

Jones suggested two formulas on the lines of Tendulkar's suggestion.

"Change the game from 50 to 40 overs per innings. I have always thought that the 50-over format was 10 overs too long. One major change: There would be four quarters to this match. Two white balls per innings. That means one new ball at each end from the start of each innings.

"Bowlers get eight overs each and the usual fielding restrictions are in place for the first 15 overs."

"By playing the game this way it would stop any advantage of the toss with a dicey pitch or average weather conditions. Fans or viewers turning up late would at least see both teams bat and bowl."

Jones' second option is to enforce a compulsory closure.

"Play Test-Twenty20 cricket. That is, both teams would have two innings. Each innings is 20 overs long and compulsory closure is enforced.

"This is a better game than the original Twenty20 format as both teams have a second chance if they play poorly in the first innings."

He also suggested changes like eight runs for an overboundary, changes in overthrow rules and three umpires.

"The next ODI World Cup will be the last if countries are no longer playing the 50-50 game domestically.