The future of ODIs seems to be the topic du jour — former greats have been taking its pulse and prescribing remedies ranging from booster shots to euthanasia; Harsha the other day argued a case for why we need the 50-over format to remain; and yesterday Cricinfo editor Sambit Bal tossed in a poll that has provoked a fair degree of interestingly mixed responses. Here’s the bit I agree with:
I’d start with not reducing overs, but matches. What one-day cricket lacks the most at the moment is meaning and context.
Right. A particularly apt comment at a time when, for no reason other than ‘contractual obligations’, India is off to Sri Lanka to play some meaningless ODIs. [And what do we do later this year? At least another ten ODIs, seven of them against one team and the other three against Sri Lanka again].
Ask the BCCI, and they will tell you this tour is intended to tune the Indian team up for the serious business of the Champions’ Trophy — and only that august body would have the gall to suggest that playing on the slow, low wickets of Sri Lanka is just what the team needs as preparation for South Africa.
‘Meaning and context’, Sambit prescribes — to a body that appears not to know the meaning of ‘context’.