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‘ODIs have role to play in popularising game’

For all those apprehensive about the future of one-day cricket, there is relief. Temporarily, at least.

cricket Updated: Oct 25, 2009 00:40 IST
Atreyo Mukhopadhyay

For all those apprehensive about the future of one-day cricket, there is relief. Temporarily, at least.

The opening part of the seven-match serial between India and Australia will be enacted in front of a packed house of around 20,000 at the Reliance Stadium on Sunday.

Local organisers said about 10 per cent of the tickets are complimentary and the rest, priced between Rs 200 to Rs 7000, were sold out almost as soon as they went up for sale. And that’s been the case here every time, irrespective of who India are up against.

Representing Australia at the pre-match media conference, Michael Hussey was asked whether one-day matches against India could help keep alive interest in the endangered form of the game and his answer was the future of the game was not in danger.

“Doesn’t matter what the format is or who the teams are, good cricket will always have its takers. The 50-over game allows teams to play according a tactic.” According to the left-handed batsman, the 50-over game is not quite in danger unlike his place in the side, which has suddenly come under scrutiny following a string of low scores. “The potential of ODIs is immense. It has a big role to play in spreading the popularity of the game.”

Asked the same question, Mahendra Singh Dhoni was less forthcoming but said that the kind of response this series gets would help get a clearer picture. “By the time this series gets over, we’ll get a better idea. The kind of turnaround we see at all the venues will certainly help us ascertain whether this format of the game is under threat or not.”

Not that morning always shows the day, but on many occasions it does. Given that the first match of this series starts at 9 am on a Sunday and that all roads leading to the stadium will be choc a bloc, it will certainly be a good testimony to the fact that as far as one-day matches in India pitting the hosts against a top side are concerned, the future F50 as the followers of T20 have nicknamed it — is secure.