The recently concluded three match ODI series between Australia and England is a massive red flag for the future of ODI cricket. For, the crowds have been less throughout the series and the final match at MCG saw a handful of them which means the massive cauldron had empty seats almost everywhere-a sore scenery if you are a cricket fan.
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Will such a scenario may get repeated during the three-match ODI series between India and New Zealand, especially as a number of ‘superstar’ Indian players have returned home? The likes of Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma, in fact, went back from Australia itself while T20 skipper Hardik Pandya also took a flight out of New Zealand after the completion of the three-match series.
New Zealand skipper Kane Williamson also grappled with the same question when one reporter cited the MCG affair.
“I suppose that was unfortunate to see, but it also shows the volume of cricket that’s being held. Because no doubt the ICC tournaments are popular and there has been a lot of cricket on. They (Australia) also had a World Cup on. So, there was a lot on in their country too. So, we must ensure there is a lot more context as possible in games, especially the bilateral series,” he said.
When asked if the ODI cricket is heading for a painful death, Williamson wasn’t diplomatic at all.
“It’s tough, but yeah, it will settle somewhere. I don’t know what it will look like. A lot of teams now have two teams at the moment. I don’t know where it will settle, but there are always conversations about making it more appealing in any context like rule change etc so…”
After India’s loss to England in the T20 World Cup semi-final, experts and fans have been gunning for split captaincy model. They have cited the example of teams like England who have separate teams and support staffs. Weighing on the issue, the Kiwi skipper said this can be reality for Indian team moving ahead to 2024 T20 World Cup.
“Yes, it appears to be happening more and more and you can understand why. There is so much on and you can’t do everything.”
India now take on New Zealand in the first of the three-match ODI series in Auckland. Watch the India tour of New Zealand live and exclusive on Prime Video. The coverage of the ODIs on 25th, 27th and 30th November begins at 6 am.