Cricket

What Of The Future For 50 Over Cricket?


While the cricketing world focuses on the T20 world cup,
what is the future of 50 over cricket?

The global game
in test, 50 over and T20 versions is currently like standing
between two stools slowly spreading apart. Something has to
give.

Mumbai bowling coach and former Black Caps fast
bowler Shane Bond says the schedule of all formats of the
game and the growing number of premier or super leagues,
players are being forced to make choices.

“It’s
fairly clear which will probably happen. In the fast-paced
digital world we live in we can’t keep replicating what
cricket life was like 50 years ago,” Bond says.

Most
players see test cricket as the pinnacle but there are
opportunities across three formats to play for your country.
The money though is in the shortest format.

Big
changes are coming. The UAE league kicks off in Dubai early
next year and Bond is the head coach of the Mumbai team
competing in it.

Also next year, the US is launching
their Major League Cricket (MLC), another Twenty20 cricket
league. Operated by American Cricket Enterprises (ACE) and
sanctioned by USA Cricket, it plans to begin play in summer
2023 and will last three weeks with six teams in major U.S.
cities under a single-entity model.

Meanwhile, there
are number of bi lateral series that although count for
points or qualification, they fill a congested calendar and
often struggle to capture the imagination of the public. Too
much cricket, just like rugby, can impact
interest.

Bond says New Zealand needs to profoundly
revise the national set up and improve the
brand.

“We don’t play Australia enough. Why
don’t we have a week of T20s against them in Christchurch,
Queenstown, Auckland and Tauranga. It would be hugely
appealing.

“Our game will grow if we can play more
games against Australia, England, India and South Africa. Of
course, the problem is all teams want these top tier matches
because drive greater television revenue.

“And as a
sport we are not far away from laying 50-over cricket to
rest. It has run its course. Players globally will step back
from one day cricket as the focus is on test and T20
cricket.”

Which way will New Zealand players go? And
look at what England is doing. Sir Andrew Strauss is leading
a total review of the game there.

Their season is
crammed with the county championship, the one-day cup, T20
Blast, the Hundred, the new first-class cricket festival,
test matches and limited over internationals, along with
tours and world cups. A number of their key players are not
taking part in all versions of the game
anymore.

England has adapted to the new game. They can
go for it from ball one with Hales and Buttler, then Malan,
Brook, Stokes, Ali, Curran, Jordan and so on. The have a lot
of six hitters.

So what of the future for NZ cricket
in the coming years? Changes have already begun. Trent Boult
is not wanting to tour much anymore and is putting his
remaining seasons into the premier leagues for better
financial return. The same with Jimmy Neesham, not wanted by
NZ Cricket, so is playing in the new South African
league.

More players will opt for more money, than for
playing for their country if they have to choose. We’ve
seen it in other top tier countries.

There is a lot
right about New Zealand cricket. The Black Caps have made
the last three World Cup finals in the short format. They
have a number of top ranked batters and bowlers with a
number in T20 leagues even those who aren’t contracted
nationally now, such as Colin Munro, Bond says.

“But
I think New Zealand’s golden age will end at some point.
It’s been an incredible eight years but with Trent Boult
leaving and others now all in their early to mid-thirties
change is happening.

“It’s natural to look to cash
at the back end of a career. Family situation is often
different and if someone has played international cricket
for a number of years then T20 tournaments can be fun and
different.

“How NZC Cricket adapt to this changing
environment will be interesting. We will see new talent
emerge but it will be tough to match the results of the last
vintage.

© Scoop Media

 



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