Australia’s Ex-Captain Aaron Finch suggests major change to ODI format

Former Australia captain Aaron Finch has called for significant changes to the One-Day International (ODI) format in an effort to rejuvenate interest and bring spectators back to the stadiums. Finch believes that ODI cricket has lost its charm amidst the rise of various franchise leagues worldwide, leading to a decline in stadium attendance during non-India games in the ODI World Cup 2023.

According to Finch, the duration of ODI matches is too long, with bowlers taking up to an hour to complete 10-12 overs, which he deems unacceptable. To address this issue, Finch proposes tweaking the format to introduce 40-over matches, drawing inspiration from England’s former NatWest Pro40 League.

“I think it goes to 40 overs. I’d love to see that in England, they used to have the pro-40 and that was a huge competition. I think the game’s gone too long, in my opinion. The speed at which the teams bowl their 50 overs is so slow, it’s down around 11 or 12 overs/hour and that’s not acceptable. People will argue that maybe it’s a glorified T20 game but it’s about the crowds,” Finch expressed in an interview with ESPNcricinfo.

However, former cricketer Callum Ferguson offered a differing perspective, stating that he believes the 50-over format still holds excitement and thrill. While he acknowledged Finch’s proposal, Ferguson suggested that implementing 40-over matches could be more suitable for series involving lower-ranked teams, potentially narrowing the gap between teams and making matches more competitive.

“I am not quite sold on that for every series. I think when you’ve got the big dogs all playing against each other, I still think the 50-over game’s electric, and the ebbs and flows are wonderful but when they are so one-sided, when you’ve got the West Indies… who are trying to fight their way back into the World Cup, they are so off the track, I think 40 overs might suit that type of series, it might bring them closer together,” Ferguson explained.

In a similar vein, legendary cricketer Sachin Tendulkar has suggested a modification to the 40-over format, proposing that matches be divided into four halves, akin to Test cricket. Tendulkar’s idea aims to add a unique dimension to the format while maintaining its essence and competitiveness.

As discussions surrounding the future of ODI cricket continue, Finch’s proposal and differing opinions from cricketing stalwarts like Ferguson and Tendulkar highlight the need for innovative approaches to sustain the relevance and excitement of the format in the modern era.

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