Ever since Ben Stokes announced retirement from ODI cricket citing workload management as the reason, the talks around a change in the format have been doing rounds. Many former, as well as active cricketers, have demanded a little tweak to keep the format alive. While a few have suggested limiting ODI cricket only to World Cup, a few are suggesting reducing overs bowled per innings.
Former Pakistan all-rounder Shahid Afridi had suggested bringing down the total overs bowled in an inning to 40 rather than 50 a few days ago. “One-day cricket has become quite boring now. I would suggest to cut ODI cricket from 50 overs to 40 overs in order to make it entertaining,” Afridi had earlier told during his interview with Samaa TV after Stokes’ retirement.
Now, former India head coach Ravi Shastri has agreed with Afridi’s suggestion and says there is no harm in shortening the format. He also cited the example when the stakeholders brought down the total overs bowled to 50 from 60.
“There is no harm in shortening the span of the game. When one-day cricket started, it was of 60 overs. When we won the World Cup in 1983, it was of 60 overs. After that, people thought that 60 overs were a bit too long. People found that span of overs between 20 to 40 hard to digest. So they reduced it from 60 to 50. So years have gone by now since that decision so why not reduce it from 50 to 40 now. Because you got to be forward-thinking and evolve. It stayed for 50 for too long,” Shastri said during the second ODI between India and West Indies on Fancode.
Notably, after Ben Stokes announced retirement, many active cricketers also reckoned that ODI cricket is dying a slow death. Australian cricketer Usman Khawaja said that he is not too much into ODI cricket either. “I think personally, one-day cricket is dying a slow death. There’s still the World Cup, which is enjoyable to watch, but other than that, I’m probably not into one-day cricket as much either,” said Khawaja a few days back.