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    June 20, 2008

    ODI cricket digs its own grave

    At a time when there is a lot of discussion about the future of 50-over cricket given the advent of Twenty20, yesterday's proceedings in the 2nd one-dayer between England and New Zealand came at absolutely the worst possible time.

    The game started at 3 pm (local time) because of heavy rain, which wasn't a problem. But, fascinatingly enough, the players went for a 30 minute lunch break even though it was well past 'lunch time'. Like Vettori and Collingwood say, common sense seemed to be lacking.

    I have ranted here in the past about some totally illogical decisions related to lunch and tea breaks.

    In 2004, again in a game involving England and New Zealand, play started 2 hours late. Yet, the umpires called for 'lunch' even though conditions were perfectly okay for play to start. In 2005, during Pakistan's tour of India, play only started at 2 pm local time. So why on earth did they have to go off for tea!?

    Also yesterday, New Zealand had a maximum of 23 overs (unless there was another rain delay) to get the runs but rain started at the end of the 19th over. Take a look at the ICC ODI playing conditions.

    Clause 12.4.2 b (iii) which deals with the length of innings of the team batting second in a limited overs game says
    To constitute a match, a minimum of 20 overs have to be bowled to the team batting second subject to the innings not being completed earlier.
    . Law 21.2 defines a win in a limited overs game.
    Save for circumstances where a match is awarded to a team as a
    consequence of the opposing teams refusal to play (Law 21.3), a result can be achieved only if both teams have had the opportunity of batting for at least 20 overs, unless one team has been all out in less than 20 overs or unless the team batting second scores enough runs to win in less than 20 overs.

    Save for circumstances where a match is awarded to a team as a consequence of the opposing teams refusal to play (Law 21.3), all matches in which both teams have not had an opportunity of batting for a minimum of 20 overs, shall be declared no result.
    If a game has been reduced to 23 overs because of weather conditions, it is highly likely that 20 overs may not be bowled to the team batting second. Instead, the rules need to be changed in such a manner that a certain %age of the maximum overs for the innings need to be bowled. That number could either be 40% (20 overs for a 50 over game) or it could be something like '40% or 10 overs, whichever is higher'. Such a change would ensure that teams, spectators, fans and audiences get the satisfaction out of having watched a completed game.

    It really is high time the ICC had a serious re-think about how to apply common sense in such situations as well as think about doing away with the tea break in test matches altogether. Surely if players can do without a rest day, they can do without a 20 minute tea break. Replace the tea break with a 5 minutes drink break and we can get in at least 3 more overs in the day!

    Update: The 'Ostrich' has partially fixed the issue. Henceforth, umpires are empowered to alter the duration of the innings interval.

    But, this is a classic case of missing the wood for the trees. By reducing the interval by say 15 minutes, 3 overs would be gained. Nevertheless, if the rains had come down in the 19th over, the game would still have been a no-result. The root cause here is the restriction that a 50-over game needs a minimum of 20 overs to be bowled to the side batting second for the game to qualify to have a result.

    As per the ICC's rules for Twenty20 internationals, 5 overs need to be bowled for the side chasing. This is delicious irony: A 23-over game is a no-result because 20 overs haven't been bowled, while a 20-over game could have a result if 5 overs have been bowled!

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    Thus spake Jagadish @ 6:17 PM |
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    1 sledge(s):

    You do have a good point but guess what...we aint never getting into the ICC? Hheheheh...they sure hope we dont...

    By Blogger UTP (20-Jun-2008, 4:08:00 PM)  

    We'd prefer if you posted comments with your real name to add more credibility to your opinions. However, the moderators reserve the right to delete comments, especially those containing offensive or unsuitable language. The opinions in the comments are your own views. You are welcome to provide a URL to your own cricket blog, but the moderators reserve the right to delete comments which only reference sites for viewing live streams.

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