Where do we see the future of Cricket?
With cricket growing fast as a game it is fascinating to predict what kind of future do we see of cricket in the next 20-30 years down the line. This slideshow takes a sneak-peak into the possible future of cricket.
England recently scored 481 runs in a one day International against Australia. The rate at which scoring rates in one day cricket are increasing, we are not far from seeing the 500 run mark being breached. When T20 cricket started for the first time, many took it as a fun activity with youngsters and elderly people having drinks and enjoying the match. But now we see triangular series being played in the format, the Asia cup has every alternate edition dedicated to it, the World T20 has gained in prominence and leagues around the world are mushrooming like Real Estate in India, minting money and reaching out to a non-traditional audience.
So what does Cricket's future look like in the next 10,20,30 years? Will we see more radical changes to the game or will there be a stability? Frankly, change and innovation is the name of the game. If one remembers well, during Australia's last test tour of India, in 2017, The Australian team were supposed to play a T20I against Sri Lanka in Australia just one day before the first test against India. This indeed was a very unusual scenario to have and Australia had to play a second string side against Sri Lanka, prioritising the test match against India. With such packed schedule that leaves almost no off-season for players, it becomes almost imperative to rotate players. The ICC also needs to do lot of research in terms of what people want to watch, going ahead, and how to keep balance between bat and bowl, which could result in some drastic changes. Here are six changes that, I feel, Cricket will see in the next 10 to 30 years:
1) Test "Friendlies"
While the ICC has unveiled plans for the Test Championship, I do not see Test cricket surviving in it's traditional sense. While the Ashes might still continue to hold fort, other countries might play Test matches like friendlies in football. Once in a while, two teams might agree for a Test match, which could actually keep Test match alive, since it will be played so few and far. Teams might also use these friendlies to prepare for tours consisting of only limited over internationals. In such a case the rules of these friendlies can also be tweaked to be innings of limited overs, and result will be there as the 4th innings batting team will lose if they do not score in the stipulated overs. For example, each team can be given 100 overs to bat in the first Innings. Then in the third and fourth Innings also each team can be given 100 overs to bat. Other rules can remain same for Test cricket, i.e. no free hits, no no-balls and wides (unless it becomes evident wherein the umpire can signal). This could lead to some interesting Tests being played. Some friendlies might even be played at neutral venues.