Arnav Chopra ∙ Sep 29 2022, 5:30 AM

Down the line: The life of One-Day Cricket

image-l8mdrwp1ODI cricket is losing its importance with time (PC: Twitter)

'Down the line’ is an exclusive feature on the changes happening in the cricketing world. A brief glance with an in-depth approach to this broader community that might be seeing rapid moves in the coming time. Fasten your seatbelts and know how cricket might work.

When USA's Major League Cricket commences next year, they won't be asking 'How' but 'Who'? Exactly, 'Who' will be plying their trade in the youngest-born T20 competition or 'Who' will be the newest victim of the short-form cricket. They surely won't be sweating on the purse, but how many stars will be available for their grand league?

Well, in other news, Aaron Finch is the latest casualty to bid adieu to ODI cricket after Ben Stokes.

Why do they sound so correlated? or maybe interlinked in some aspect? Is it becoming a trend? or a new choice or preference?

Don't be surprised if Finch is holding a US Visa by next year and putting some months in there too. Just like some of the global freelancers who will be having a go. 

Don't mind, but the Caribbean superstars were ridiculed 7-8 years back for preferring franchise tournaments over their national contracts. Now, the world is following their path except for Indians who are still under house arrest by their board.

ODI's are becoming a burden to some (or many) after whatever has been done to it by its other two siblings. In the words of someone, ODI is blending the boredom of Tests along with the misadventure of T20s. Well, the uniqueness of the format is disappearing with the approaching time. 

To some extent, this question is valid- Why would you choose ODIs over Tests and T20s?

The Tests offer exclusivity to the elite club of cricketers, those who want their name etched in history, and conversely, for them, T20 is a fun format that offers both thrill and hefty paychecks.

The only significance one-dayers hold right now is in the World Cups, which I believe will be relevant for some considerable amount of time. Unless, ICC cuts it down to 40 overs.

Just for some experimental purposes, let’s shift 10 years ahead in time to imagine what the future might look like.

image-l8mdumb4The cricketing landscape is changing rapidly (PC: Twitter)

The Future that seems

Welcome to 2032. One Dollar is now equal to Rupees 122. MS Dhoni has finally retired. Brisbane Olympics is around the corner, with cricket driving significant revenue to the global event.

ODI cricket now only happens during the World Cups and other major tournaments. Another new format is in the discussion, most probably some 50 Balls per side contest. International cricket has been assigned a window between September and December for countries outside Europe. IPL has 12 teams, and runs between March and June, divided into two parts, one being held in a foreign country to increase the already massive fanbase and the other in India.

Every league has a dedicated window for their home leagues. As a result, players are spoilt for choices to choose from a variety of high-profile overpaid championships. The US has now become a dominant force in cricket in terms of financial capacity. 

Cricketers are rich enough to just play one league and sit at home for the rest of the year. The talent pool for every nation has boomed to a certain point that breaking into their domestic setup is a much bigger task than it used to be earlier. None of the teams that play cricket regularly are concerned over money as much as they are over their leading players’ availability and fitness.

Anyway, let’s return to the present and realise that we are not too close and, at the same time, not too far from this happening in the ever-changing world. Now guess why would they even choose ODI cricket? And it goes without saying that “Change is inevitable”.

Also Read: An open letter to Suresh Raina from a CSK Fan