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"It is quite tiring for a player to play one-day cricket" - Wasim Akram feels ODIs are losing their relevance 

Wasim Akram is skeptical about ODI cricket's future.
Wasim Akram is skeptical about ODI cricket's future.

Former Pakistan bowler Wasim Akram believes that ODI cricket could soon be extinct due to a rigid schedule as well as a lack of interest and relevance.

The International Cricket Council (ICC) have tried to spruce up the format with the introduction of the ODI World Cup Super League as well as the reintroduction of the tri-series in the 2023-2027 Future Tour Programme (FTP).

England all-rounder Ben Stokes sent a strong message after choosing to retire from the 50-over format due to the immense workload. ODI cricket has largely diminished following the emergence of T20 cricket and associated franchise cricket leagues.

ODI Tri-series set to make a comeback in International cricket in the next FTP cycle. (Source - Espn Cricinfo)

Admitting that ODI cricket feels highly stretched when compared to the shortest format of the game, Akram said on the Vaughany and Tuffers Cricket Club podcast:

"It is quite tiring for a player to play one-day cricket. After T20, one-day cricket seems it is going for days. So players are focussing more on the shorter format. And longer format obviously [with] Test cricket.”

The introduction of the World Cup Super League has unfortunately failed to revive the format. The format's erosion was evident when South Africa chose to forfeit the scheduled three-match ODI series against Australia for the introduction of a T20 league.

Citing the lack of interest towards ODI cricket in the majority of countries, Akram believes that the format should be scrapped altogether. The 56-year-old said:

"I think so. In England, you have full houses. In India, Pakistan especially, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, South Africa, one-day cricket you are not going to fill the stadiums."

The ICC still holds two flagship events in the 50-over game in the form of the Cricket World Cup and the Champions Trophy.

"They are doing it just for the sake of doing it" - Wasim Akram on ODI cricket

The introduction of two new balls from each end at the start of the innings as well as the revamped powerplay rules have rendered the format monotonous. Indian all-rounder Ravichandran Ashwin also recently expressed his concern about the fate of ODI cricket.

World Cup super league solves 2 biggest problems Cricket has right now1st. It gives ODIs relevance as all matches are important for World Cup qualification2nd. In current cycle teams only play 24 WCSL games, whereas in next FTP most major teams will play 40+ odi games

Opining that a pattern has developed in the manner with which ODI matches pan out, Akram added:

“They are doing it just for the sake of doing it. After the first 10 overs, it’s just ‘OK, just go a run a ball, get a boundary, four fielders in and you get to 200, 220 in 40 overs’ and then have a go last 10 overs. Another 100. It’s kind of run-of-the-mill.”

The phase after the culmination of the 2022 T20 World Cup will be crucial for ODI cricket. The focus will shift to the 50-over game with the 2023 World Cup in mind, which is scheduled to be hosted by India.

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Edited by Ritwik Kumar
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