6 July 2009

The long and painful death of 50 (and 40) over cricket?

I haven't watched a domestic 50 over cricket match for some time, but with Lancashire making the semi-finals of the Friends Provident, I thought it might be an entertaining watch. Unfortunately not!

Maybe it's sour grapes because Lanky lost, but I really felt that it represented something more significant for the one-day format. Here's my argument:

  • County sides play an awful lot of competitive cricket and they have a number of very different formats to which they must quickly adjust (T20, Pro40, 50 over and 4 day).
  • T20 has enjoyed a massive surge this year, partly thanks to the World T20 Championship. Therefore, T20 is not going away!
  • The cricketing establishment is very fond of the longer and 'purer' form of the game so the 4 day game will probably always be there (more or less).
  • Since the advent of T20, teams can score at over 10 runs per over, but only when their wickets are more disposable due to the length of the game. This has improved the 4 day game, with more innovative shots, better fielding, more creative bowling plans and higher batting scores.
  • Players seem not to know how to play 40 and 50 over cricket, as shown by Lancashire yesterday. They seem to be happy with the long game and the short game, but not so comfortable with the in-between versions!
Why don't we just let the confusing 40 and 50 over games fade away, and concentrate on the exhilarating T20 and the more conservative and traditional 4 day game?

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