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A more cerebral approach to one-day cricket

A more cerebral 50 over match.

Recently Shane Warne was highlighting in commentary all the changes that have been made to the playing conditions of One-Day Internationals. He felt that they have tended to be in favour of the batsmen. If so, then the idea must be that the bigger the scores, the greater the entertainment. That is certainly not my experience. Some of the most gripping games for me have been of the lower scoring variety when runs are hard to come by and preserving wickets a key issue.

Years ago I floated a very different approach. This was to limit the number of batsmen who were allowed to bat in certain circumstances. Both sides would always be able to play their top seven but, if the team batting first lost only five wickets, then the team batting second would also be limited to seven. For each extra wicket lost, so the team batting second would gain one themselves.

The intention is to make the later overs a better cricketing contest, less of a thrash with loss of wickets immaterial. For example, if team A has made 200 for 5 after forty overs, then there may be a case for guarding that position to limit the opposing batting side. Meanwhile the fielding Captain may want to set attacking fields, because for every extra wicket he takes, he gains an extra batsman himself.

There may be more ramifications with alterations in the batting order depending on the state of the innings. Also there may be more thought given to the best make up of the side depending on the strength or weakness of the opposition lower batting strength.

There may be something in the idea - or just as easily nothing - but we will never really know until it is given a public airing for discussion and then more importantly a reasonable trial period when the various scenarios are played out for real. It just appeals to me to the extent that Captains and players will find themselves more involved in fine judgements and tactical planning than is the case at the moment. And, who knows, the spectators may find the nuances a little more stimulating than the present, rather formalistic patterns of play.


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