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    February 26, 2010

    Brett Lee retires, BCCI asks for a rule change

    Yesterday, Brett Lee announced his retirement from test cricket, to focus on playing limited overs cricket (ODIs and T20 games). There's nothing novel about such an announcement. He's just following in the footsteps of others like Flintoff, Oram, Styris and Vaas. You could argue though that given Vaas hasn't been picked in any ODI or T20 game by Sri Lanka for over 6 months after he retired from tests, he is unlikely to make it to the 2011 World Cup as a Sri Lankan player.

    I had pointed out when Flintoff, Oram, Styris and Vaas retired that cricket boards run a huge risk of many marquee names, especially quick bowlers and all-rounders, quitting test cricket. Will they wake up now and figure out how to optimally schedule tests, ODIs, T20 games, ICC events, bilateral & multi-lateral ODI series and T20 leagues like the IPL, Champions League, KFC Big Bash, Twenty20 Cup, etc.?

    Lee's decision to retire was widely expected. He hasn't played a test since the series loss to South Africa at home. He didn't manage to last out the ODIs against India. He hasn't played a T20 game for Australia since August 2009.

    Yesterday, Sachin Tendulkar became the first man to score a double-century in a ODI game, with Belinda Clark having been the first to reach the mark in a limited overs international. The logical question is if other cricketers will now start scoring 200s for fun.

    It only took one effort of 400+ (Australia, at the Wanderers in 2006) and in the next 4 years, we've had 9 instances. It is quite likely that Sachin Tendulkar's achievement of scoring 200 will also fall in the next 1 year. After all, it wasn't too long ago that Herschelle Gibbs made 175 in 111 balls and Tillakaratne Dilshan made 160 in 124 balls.

    In an unexpected development, it is learnt that the BCCI has approached the ICC with a proposal to limit the number of batsmen in an ODI innings to 7. While publicly, the BCCI claims to have done so to protect the ODI game and to reduce the imbalance between bat & ball, sources in the BCCI told this blogger that the main reason was the abject failure of India's bowlers after South Africa recovered from 180/7 (Jaipur) and 134/7 (Jaipur).

    A few other occurences in the recent past have convinced the BCCI that getting the likes of Ashish Nehra, Sreesanth and Ishant Sharma to bowl well to tail-enders is really not worth the trouble. The better option is to ensure that they don't even bowl to #8-#11., thereby insuring against last-minute carnage by the batsmen.

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    Thus spake Jagadish @ 12:27 AM |
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