'Respect Wasim bhai's opinion, but he has 500 wickets in ODIs only': Ex-PAK captain on Akram's 'format is dying' remark
The former Pakistan skipper commented on Wasim Akram's recent remarks over the future of ODIs, where the country's legendary former pacer had said the format is “kind of dying.”
Over the past few weeks, there have been growing concerns over the future of ODI format. Many cricketers – former and current – have spoken in length about how they find it difficult to watch an entire fifty-over game. India's off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin had said that he “switches off the telly after a point of time” while watching a one-day match, while former Pakistan captain and bowling legend Wasim Akram also stated that one-day cricket is becoming a ‘drag’, and that the format is ‘kind of dying’.
The debate over the format's future was further fuelled with the sudden retirement of Ben Stokes from ODIs. Citing his exhaustion at playing in all the three formats and a packed schedule, Stokes said he finds it ‘unsustainable’ to commit to the fifty-over game.
However, there are also voices optimistic over the future of ODIs and one of those is of former Pakistan captain Salman Butt, who spoke in detail about the format on his YouTube channel.
“There are players who pick and choose. The major difference between ODIs and T20Is is that the latter has leagues, there is more money there. They don't want to leave it. One-dayers have big tournaments but there are no leagues in it. So, if someone is facing exhaustion with the packed schedule, they prefer to retire from ODIs. This way, they can have a cash-rich option in T20s and the long format one in Tests,” Butt said.
“One-day is one of the pillars of cricket. I would never want it to end. Many players have big records in this format. There was a time when a world champion was only recognized through one-dayers.”
Butt also opened up on Wasim Akram's remarks, insisting that while he respects the former Pakistan skipper's opinion, his record 502 wickets came in ODIs only.
"It is a blend of both, the longer format and the shorter format. It's a central test of skill and adaptability. So, I believe it should stay. I respect all other opinions.
“Wasim bhai is our legend. Who are we to say anything to him. I respect his opinion, but he also has 500 wickets in ODIs only. The two deliveries he bowled in the World Cup that everyone remembers.. you won't see them in T20s. There's not enough time in that format. He was the man of the match in World Cup final,” said Butt.