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Sport – ICC mulls radical changes in ODIs

NEW DELHI: One-Day Internationals are set to go through another round of spicing up if new proposals by the ICC Cricket Committee are introduced by

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the world body. The committee, according to a cricket website, has proposed a set of radical changes to the way One-dayers are played which are aimed at breathing life into what is considered to be a dying format. Recommendations have been made to the ICC’s executive committee but there has been no indication yet of whether they will be ratified.

The first change would involve the use of two new balls, one from each end, from the start of the game, the web site reported. This would preclude the need for the contentious ‘compulsory ball change’ after 34 overs but would also, ironically, make it virtually impossible to achieve any reverse swing as both balls would be only 25 overs old at the end of the match.

Another dramatic suggestion is for two bowlers to be allowed 12 overs each and two to bowl ten, leaving the fifth bowler an allocation of just six. The intention is to encourage captains and selectors to pick more ‘specialists’ and marginalise the need for bits-and-pieces cricketers. “The committee was in favour of making the changes straightaway though they all knew that there would be administrative resistance with a World Cup just 15 months away,” one observer reportedly said at the meeting, which took place in Dubai.

The 12-man committee, chaired by former West Indies captain Clive Lloyd and comprising former and current international players, also considered reducing the standard ODI from 50 overs to 40 overs but decided, instead, to attempt to redress the balance between bat and ball.

“There was a general consensus that one-sided games, especially when the bat is dominant over the ball, are causing the problem with falling interest,” said a source. “It was agreed that bowlers need to be brought back into the game and captains need to be encouraged to attack with the ball rather than just defend.”

The 50-over ODI format has come under considerable criticism of late and seems to have been squeezed between Test cricket, the traditionalists’ favourite, and Twenty20, which has brought in most of cricket’s revenues in the past couple of years.

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December 8, 2009 - Posted by | Uncategorized |

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