‘Time has come for ODI to become 40-over game’: Ravi Shastri calls for big format change in World Cup year
With the ODI World Cup approaching, former India coach and cricketer Ravi Shastri made an interesting suggestion regarding the future of ODIs.
Cricket has seen innumerous changes since it's inception and now the sport is played in three formats - Test, ODI, and T20. This is not where it ends as many world class players also take part in T10 leagues, thus reducing the game even further to 10 overs a side. Apart from this England host newly launched The Hundred, a franchise 100-ball tournament involving eight men's and eight women's teams.
With the sport evolving and franchise leagues emerging as the new gamechanger a lot has been discussed over the future of the sport. Some of the greatest names have already given up on one format or international cricket entirely to focus in T20 leagues, where the commitment is limited for a smaller time period and the money involved is hefty.
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Now with the ODI World Cup approaching, former India coach and cricketer Ravi Shastri made an interesting suggestion regarding the future of ODIs. "For One-Day cricket to survive, I think it should be reduced to 40-over game in future," noted Shastri while during commentary on Day 4 of the final Test between India and Australia, which ended in a draw.
Shastri feels it's high time and the diminishing attention span of spectators should be kept in mind. He justified his point by citing the example of India's first World Cup triumph back in 1983, when ODI cricket was a 60-over-a-side affair. "The reason I say this is because when we won the World Cup in 1983, it was a 60-over (a side) game. Then the attention span of the people diminished and it became a 50-over game. I think the time has come for it to become now a 40-over game. Evolve with the times. Reduce the format,” added Shastri.
Shastri didn't stop there and asked for lesser number of bilateral T20 series and the focus should be on the expansion of T20 leagues, with teams mostly meeting in multi-nation ICC events.
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"T20 format I think is the key. It is the injection the game needs to evolve. It's the cash cow for the sport. But I think there also the bilaterals (series) should be reduced. There are enough domestic leagues around the world that promote the T20 game.
"We should let those leagues happen and then have a World Cup, just in between. Very few bilaterals, if needed before a World Cup or something of that sort. Then you can sustain all three formats," added Shastri.
Shastri, however, was under the opinion that Test cricket shouldn't be tinkered with as it was the "real thing".
"Test cricket will remain Test cricket and it should be given paramount importance. It's the real thing. I think there's a place for all formats within India. Especially in the subcontinent. Especially in places like Australia."