'T20 is easier, there is a lot more money': Wasim Akram keeps Test cricket at top, demands ODI to be scrapped entirely
Pakistan legend Wasim Akram has made 356 ODI appearances. In fact he is also the second highest wicket taker after Muttiah Muralitharan in the format.
A host of ex-cricketers have weighed their opinion on the ongoing debate over cricketing schedule, with many suggesting bilateral series and ODIs to be scrapped entirely. The latest member to join the same is Pakistan legend Wasim Akram, who has made 356 ODI appearances. In fact he is also the second highest wicket taker after Muttiah Muralitharan in the format.
However, it seems Akram has had enough of 50-over format and he wants it to be scrapped completely from the cricketing schedule. The former Pakistan captain made the comments while speaking on The Telegraph’s Vaughany and Tuffers Cricket Club podcast, calling the format a “drag” and stressed upon giving more importance to the T20s.
“Even as a commentator … one-day cricket is just a drag now, especially after T20. I can imagine as a player. 50 overs, 50 overs, then you have to pre-game, post-game, the lunch game.
"T20 is kind of easier, four hours the game is over. The leagues all around the world, there is a lot more money - I suppose this is part and parcel of the modern cricket. T20 or Test cricket. One-day cricket is kind of dying.
“It is quite tiring for a player to play one-day cricket. After T20, one-day cricket seems it is going for days. So players are focussing on more shorter format. And longer format obviously [with] Test cricket,” said the former Pakistan cricketer.
The debate intensified after Ben Stokes' sudden retirement from the format, and the decision has now been backed by Akram. “Him deciding that he is retiring from one-day cricket is quite sad but I agree with him,” noted the former cricketer on the podcast.
Akram, however, mentioned that Test cricket, which is the traditional format of the game, as his favourite. He, however, feels it is time to make some significant change in the schedule.
When asked if the governing body should scrap ODIs entirely, Akram responded: “I think so. In England you have full houses. In India, Pakistan especially, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, South Africa, one-day cricket you are not going to fill the stadiums.
“They are doing it just for the sake of doing it. After the first 10 overs, it’s just ‘OK, just go a run a ball, get a boundary, four fielders in and you get to 200, 220 in 40 overs’ and then have a go last 10 overs. Another 100. It’s kind of run-of-the-mill.”
Sharing his admiration for red-ball cricket, which he believes shapes a character of a player, Akram said: “There’s a battle within the battle in Test cricket. I always preferred Test matches. One-day used to be fun but Test matches were where you were recognised as a player … where people still pick you for the world XIs. OK money matters - I understand where they are coming from - but they should also remember if they want to be recognised as one of the greats of the game.”