Future of ODIs – Take two…


Mohan asked a very good question in his post titled The future of ODIs in question?. Even before that post, I’ve had conversations with friends on why T20 is better than the ODI format – something the T20 WC has highlighted. Here are my reasons why –

  • For starters, the game finishes in 3 hours bringing it much closer in duration to other popular sports in the world. If the game starts at say 6:00pm, it gives people a chance to finish work, get to the game and even get back home in an earthly hour (unless you want to celebrate your teams victory or drown the sorrows of your team’s loss at the local pub). With ODIs you pretty much loose the entire day.
  • Even though the game is played for just 3 hours, the entertainment value is pretty much the same – it is as if the whole entertainment of a ODI game is condensed into a three hour capsule.
  • It is less strenuous for the players. Two T20 games is probably the equivalent of 1 ODI game in terms of physical and mental stress. In the future, I wouldn’t be too surprised if a tour has an itinerary that consists of 3 tests, 7 T20s and just 1 ODI, rather than the usual 3 test, 5 ODI formula.
  • The gap between 2 teams is not quite as apparent in a T20 game. Zimbabwe can only dream of beating a team like Australia in a test match, whereas in T20, anything is possible. The closer contest provides a much better entertainment value.
  • As Mohan pointed out, a three hour 20 over format makes the game more marketable to places where it is currently not being played.

To answer Mohan’s question on whether the ODI format itself should be phased out, my answer is a resounding YES. It may not happen in  a year or two – but  I think it should. And for old times sake maybe play the World Cup alone… 🙂

(ICC is well aware of the threat that T20 poses to ODI games. To counter this threat current ICC regulations restrict international teams from playing more than 7 Twenty20 matches in a year and no more than 2 in one series)

-Mahesh-

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6 responses to “Future of ODIs – Take two…

  1. T20 might be an little more entertaining version of an ODI, but I think for a person like who loves Cricket, the traditional cricket still holds and will always hold strong. T20 is pleasing for the crowd, not for players who spend years practising improving their techniques – not to slog. No doubt should T20 make it to big time players will practise in line; probably bringing death to the only one long but certain best form of sport.

  2. You should listen to the old hacks who try to belittle T20 in their syndicated and other columns. If you try to poke holes in their argument that T20 has sucked out the soul of the game, the retort is to “stop buying into the hype”.

    Quite Bush-esque?

    And Nisarg, in Test cricket, these same sloggers will be faced with tougher situations, lively pitches and aggressive bowling and field positions. And out of professional self-interest, they will adapt, perhaps improving on how the game is played now!

  3. Another reason :- Wasim Akram feels the same way… 🙂

  4. @Nisrag – T20 is like fast food – you get your meal quick and it tastes good. An overdose may not be healthy, but who cares 🙂

    Test cricket is more like your healthy home cooked food….

    The comparison is not between test cricket and T20, but between ODIs and T20. Would you go to a fast food joint that serves up the same fast food, but not quite as quickly as another place…? 😉

  5. I’d like to see the ICC impose limits on ODIs and T20s that each team plays. At the moment, a 7-match limit on T20s is somewhat arbitrary, especially when it takes lesser time to complete than an ODI.

    I’d like to see the ICC restrict each team to (say) n Tests, m ODIs and p T20s every year (not counting ICC-run tournaments).

    Possible values are:
    n=15, m=15 and p=20

    — Mohan

  6. n=15, m=15 and p=20 sounds good Mohan. They should also put a limit on the number of games that should be played in a bilateral series. I think the 7 ODIs that India played against England and the the 7 ODIs that they are going to play against Australia are too much…

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