Friday, March 4, 2011

The week 50-over Cricket was revived

As much as it pains me to say it as an England fan but Ireland's victory over Andrew Strauss' men was just the result this World CUp needed as it has breathed new life into a flagging competition.

The 50-over game needed a match like this, as well as the dramatic tie between England and India, to show an increasingly sceptical public as well as the administrators that this format of the game still has the ability to entertain.

The rise of T20 is seen as a replacement for One-Day cricket, which in turn was seen as the quick-fix, sugar coated alternative to the drawn out test match.

But One-dayers are now seen as boring in comparison with T20 and the critics do have a point. The middle overs between power plays can result in tedious cricket as batsmen simply knock the ball around to a field pushed back to the boundaries for ones and twos.

But doesn't that make you appreciate the better games even more?

The best one day games are the slow-burners that gather pace towards a dramatic conclusion. The India v England game was a case in point as Strauss and co kept ahead of the run-rate throughout their innings, resulting it that last gasp finish which delighted anyone following the cricket world cup betting news.

The Ireland game though eclipsed that, mainly thanks to that explosive century by Kevin O'Brien. It also answered those critics who have questioned the participation of the associate nations in the early rounds.

The Netherlands and Canada have both given test playing countries a scare while Ireland humiliated England - making the ICC's decision to reduce the next World Cup to 10 teams a questionable one, as cricket world cup betting upsets happen on a regular basis.

The problem for me lies in the scheduling of the international calendar. More and more T20 competitions are being introduced with no comparative reduction in other games, meaning the calendar is as jam packed as ever.

One-day cricket seems to be the one that is undermined the most. The ridiculous seven-match series between England and Australia tagged onto the end of a three month gruelling Ashes test tour a case in point.

This week has proved that there is still a place for one-day cricket. But the administrators need to give it space to breathe before it drowns in a sea of T20 infused hysteria.

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