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Badal Pareek ∙ Nov 13 2022, 6:10 AM

Team India's 2023 World Cup campaign will decide ODI cricket's future


image-laewc3rrIndia lost to England in the semi finals (Source: AP)

After a disappointing T20 World Cup 2022 campaign Team India will now have to turn their focus on ODI cricket. The Team is set to play 25 ODI matches on their home turf ahead of the World Cup, and they will once again head into the mega-event as favourites.

This time around they will not just be favourites but they have added responsibility to be the saviours. If they fail, the future of the most lucrative format will be in serious doubt because of the following reasons:

  • Decreasing interest in the format
  • Emergence of new formats such as The Hundred & numerous T10 leagues
  • The craze of the shorter formats of the game
  • The next generation's lack of interest in long formats
  • Slowish middle phase in ODI cricket

While a few tweaks here and there can save the format but the purity of the format will be the cost that cricket fans will have to pay. Decreasing the number of overs, or changes in powerplay overs, use of substitutions and other things can hold the interest of people but for how long is the question.

Over the past two years the Indian cricket team's major focus was the T20I format as result of which they played fewer number of games and more often then not the big stars didn't feature which resulted in a dip in terms interest towards the format. 

Biggest cricket market in world

Since the Indian market is the biggest consumer of cricket, in different ways a lot depends how the audience of this country reacts towards a format. As per the reports, around 50% of the total number of people who watched the T20 World Cup 2022 Group Stage from the stands where present in the India games.

The numbers are scary because people are not turning up to the most exciting format of them all, then how can one be sure of them turning up for ODI cricket. In such a situation everything depends on the Indian audience.

Ahead of the ODI World Cup in India, the team will play a lot of ODI cricket which will surely give a boost to the format. But for a long term impact the team needs to step up and win the biggest prize in the cricketing world.

What if Team India fail to win the ODI World Cup?

If India fail in the 2023 ODI World Cup, the format will come under scrutiny and changes will be a must because

  • A lot of Indian people will lose interest in the format as frustration of the fans will grow
  • Once again Indian team's focus will shift to T20I with a World Cup scheduled in 2024
  • Different boards will start putting pressure for changes & BCCI will not be able oppose it
  • The next generation of fans will not have heroic memories related to the format which result in lack of interest from their end

On a personal level, I believe that if India fail to win the ODI World Cup the craze of general ODI cricket in India might go down and a country that worships cricketers might not have its next Godly figure post Virat Kohli.


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