Australian batter Usman Khawaja feels the 50-over format needs to be reduced to 40-overs-a-side game to make it more interesting in the wake of ever-growing popularity of T20 cricket.
ODIs are fast losing their popularity with T20Is already becoming a hot property, while Test cricket remains the pinnacle of the sport.
But Khawaja is against the scrapping of 50-over format, instead he and teammate Adam Zampa have suggested some corrective measures to infuse a new life into ODIs. Having enjoyed 40-over games in England Cricket Board’s 40 league, Khawaja feels a reduction in overs is the right way to go. “50 overs is just that little bit too long now. Take out that little middle bit, you’d get to 25 overs and you’d look up and ‘oh crap, there’s only 15 overs left, let’s go again’,” he told ABC Sport.
“So you don’t have that little lull. That’s my only objection to one-day cricket.” Leg-spinner Zampa agreed with Khawaja’s observation, saying a little adjustments can make 50-over cricket relevant again, with the ODI World Cup scheduled to be held in India next year.
“(They) either need to be scrapped or something needs to be done with them,” Zampa said. “Bonuses or extra free hits or something, make it a bit more interesting,” he suggested. Left-arm spinner Ashton Agar said 50 overs was “just enough time to do enough”. “Ten overs is a lovely amount of bowling time, 50 overs is a good time to bat; it gives guys down the order a bit of time if a few wickets have fallen,” said Agar, who represented Australia in 46 T20Is and 18 ODIs. “I think people get frustrated that maybe it takes a bit too long, but I think that’s just because of the advent of T20 cricket. I like ODI cricket.” Wicketkeeper Alex Carey said “there’s still lots of room in the game for one-day cricket for sure”.
Australia Test off-spinner Nathan Lyon suggested using one ball from both ends to make it create a level playing field for both batters and bowlers. “I’d love to see one ball come back into it,” Lyon said.
“One ball from both ends, stop giving batters a brand new ball to hit. I’d like to see (them) bring reverse swing, bring spin back into it.”