It’s time to end 50-over cricket

2009-10-06 00:00

THIS was the tournament that was supposed to showcase the best of the 50-over format. This was the event that would prove that cricket has room for three forms, that crowds can be held captive for an entire day.

Alas, after two weeks of the world’s top eight teams trudging through 15 games, it is abundantly clear that this format is past its sell-by date. Twenty20 has swaggered in and stolen the audience. Those who did not buy into it immediately will have been converted after this fortnight of predictability.

There is the fast start, then the lull in the middle before a final flurry in the “death overs”.

The ICC keeps on hinting at further tweaks, but there is no use flogging a dead horse. The longer format of the shorter version of the game we all cherish simply cannot compete with its cooler, younger brother.

There is already too much cricket for players, and the best thing for the ICC to do would be to be proactive and call time on this format.

That would mean less cricket, but better quality and fewer injuries for overstretched players.

At its infancy, Kerry Packer’s brainchild was refreshing. Now, however, it is a drag — especially for spectators. The Centurion crowd last night resorted to all manner of means to entertain itself as the match took a predictable course.

There was almost a sense of relief when the winning runs were hit.

It was fun while it lasted, but Kerry’s invention must now be sent packing.

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