How do we revive ODI cricket? Here are 3 ways | 3 ways to revive ODI cricket, which is faltering a little in the era of T20 cricket
The modern era or new era of cricket is that of the T20s. Be it franchise cricket or T20 Internationals, the T20 format is the most popular format of cricket in current times.
So, has Test cricket lost its popularity in this T20 era? Not quite. Test cricket is still as popular as ever because it has its own charm and uniqueness.
One Day cricket, on the other hand, is kind of a mix of both T20 and Tests. It’s not as long as the Test matches but isn’t as short as the T20s either. Surprisingly ODI cricket has lost its popularity, and is often the most irrelevant format in the game.
Decreasing Popularity of ODI Cricket
It’s mostly because of the new rules that were implemented in the past and also due to the rapid rise of the T20 format. Franchise cricket continues to grow rapidly, and Test cricket has its own importance. So, why are ODIs the least popular format at the moment?
You can say that the ODI World Cup is still the most important and popular tournament in cricket. Yes, but what about when there’s no World Cup? When was the last time you witnessed an enthralling, competitive ODI series? You may have to give it some thought and I’m sure that you will recall a series between the big cricketing nations like India, Australia, and England.
It’s clear that ODI cricket is not the same as it was in the past. People who don’t like the One Day format can say that it’s not as competitive and is kind of boring these days and it’s true to an extent too.
One Day Cricket in the current era is the batsman’s game. Everyone likes seeing sixes and fours in a game but most of the ODI games are not competitive as they used to be. Even scores over 330 are mowed down. So how can ODI cricket be relevant again? How can those in suits ensure its revival?
How to Revive ODI Cricket?
The ODI Super League is a terrific concept to help revive ODI cricket. However, there are a few things within the ODI match itself that can be altered to ensure its attractiveness.
1. Ditching Two New Balls
When was the last time you saw reverse swing in a One Day game? I don’t think you can recall it. The art of reverse swing is extinct in ODI cricket. This is because of the two new balls rule, i.e. one ball for each end in ODI cricket, which has resulted in the extinction of reverse swing.
Reverse swing kept the bowlers and the balance between bat and ball in the game. But two new balls, flat pitches, and small boundaries have tilted the game too far towards the favor of the batters. ICC should ditch the two new balls rule in ODIs to keep the format relevant and it will make the matches more interesting for the viewers.
2. More Matches for Associate Nations/Lower-Ranked Teams
Small Nations likes Ireland, Netherlands, Zimbabwe, Afghanistan, Scotland, and even Sri Lanka Bangladesh should get to play more games against big teams like India, Australia, England, and the others.
In the current times, the big nations mostly play amongst themselves and due to that, the small nations don’t get the chance to play against strong teams. Even teams like Sri Lanka and Bangladesh rarely get to play against the likes of England, Australia, or India.
The ODI Super League will allow more teams to play each other with context, and eventually help the smaller teams, and the game itself, to grow.
Cricket is a very unique sport as it has three different formats and all of them have their own importance. One Day Cricket is unique too and shouldn’t end up being completely irrelevant as fans have some very fond memories with the format.
3. Return of Batting Powerplay
Batting powerplay was a part of the game until 2015. The batting team had the option to take the batting powerplay in the last 10 overs. Only three fieldiers were allowed outside the 30 yard circle.
It had a different dimension to the game, especially in close chases when the batting side had only one or two batters left at the crease. But in the current situation it needs to be implemented correctly or the game will tilt even more towards the batsmen.
Ditching the two new balls and the (possible) return of reverse-swing will make ODIs even more interesting. The Big Bash League introduced the same concept named as the “Power-Surge” and it surely made the game exciting. Runs were scored but a lot of wickets fell as well during the “power-surge” period. The same effect can happen in ODI cricket, with the fielding captain forced to keep fielders inside the circle, which can also bring about some wickets.