With too much international cricket on the horizon, players are under pressure more than ever. Now, with the advent of recent T20 leagues all across the world, an average player has too much competition to play for and it showed when the likes of Ben Stokes promptly retired from ODI cricket permanently.
Not only players, but the fans have also felt the pinch if the recent ODI series between England and Australia is anything to go by. The iconic MCG looked empty when Australia took on England in front of empty stands.
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When SA20 Commissioner Graeme Smith was asked about the decline of ODI cricket, he hit the nail right on its head. He started on a humerous note on how India is the one which is playing too much cricket before addressing the issue.
“I think no one plays more than India. For any nation around the world, the India tours are among the most attractive. It’s commercially changes the game for so many other countries.”
“So, you know, now you see two teams churning out…India playing the ODI series in Sri Lanka and the Test team is playing somewhere else.…”
He made an interesting observation how too many ODI serieses and bilateral series had cropped up in the aftermath of Covid-induced breaks.
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“What happened is that post Covid these so many series needed to be made up and boxes ticked for broadcast or commercial stuff. You know those three ODIs (England vs Australia) after the World Cup just didn’t have any relevance or meaning. It has to be done but didn’t have the same impact on world cricket as it should,” he told News 18 Cricketnext’s Youtube channel.
“We need to provide context for everything we do certainly in bilateral cricket.”
“It’s like you arrive in a country, stay for four days, play three ODIs and move on to New Zealand to play a Test series. Fans get lost in the moment,” said the former South Africa skipper.
Earlier Kane Williamson had reiterated what Smith said ahead of the third T20I match against India.
“I suppose that was unfortunate to see, but it also shows the volume of cricket that’s being held. Because no doubt the ICC tournaments are popular and there has been a lot of cricket on. They (Australia) also had a World Cup on. So, there was a lot on in their country too. So, we must ensure there is a lot more context as possible in games, especially the bilateral series,” he said.
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