Why reduce overs in cricket?

Posted: September 7, 2011 by Editor in Cricket, Opinion
Tags: , ,

Srikrishnan Chandrasekaran

You never have a football match reduced to 15 minutes a half because of rain or a Grand Slam final reduced to best-of-three sets because of rain or inclement weather. When was the last time you saw a badminton final reduced to a one game affair? Or do you reduce the golf major reduced to a 6-hole final round? So, why only cricket? Who gives them the power to reduce a 20-overs per side game to a 5-over contest and call it a game? Are they afraid of refunds? Or, are they worried that the TV crew will have to work a day extra to set-up their cameras and have less time to move to the next stadium?

Cricket is unique because it has three distinct formats. When overs are the distinguishing factor from one format to the other, how do you call a 20-overs per side game as a T20 game one day and a ODI the other?

The ICC should come up with a new set of rules for the game of Cricket. The teams travel to a cricket country once in 4 years to play a full series. During that time there might be unavoidable circumstances that rules out the entire match irrespective of the purpose of the series. The first ODI between India and England was washed out because of rain. The series will be decided only with the remaining of the 4 matches. The system doesn’t look meaningful. At any cost the series should happen as is either by extending the schedule or reducing the number of days between the next match.

The farce of calling a 20-over per side game as ODI is unique to cricket

There are a lot of other things involved in a series, like preparing the ground, infrastructure to the players and other officials, facilities to the fans and visitors to be handled by the home board. But there should be a backup plan from ICC or respective boards in the case of a match not being held for a reason, and then it should be compensated with in that stipulated period. The 2nd ODI between the teams had been reduced to 23 overs due to heavy rain. The match should be played as per the number of over scheduled. A 50 over game or a 20 over game at any cost should not be reduced. How can a 50 over match be reduced to 23 overs and it is considered as ODI match?

It doesn’t happen in many of the other sports as well as space. Take an example, due to unexpected circumstances a 10th standard public exam can be cancelled and it will be rescheduled. It will never be reduced from 100 marks to 5 marks exam. When a match is measured between 2 teams over 50 overs, how can it suddenly change to 23 overs and measure that performance as an ODI? It doesn’t make any sense.

Even during the last IPL final, the 20 over match was reduced to 17 overs per side. Why should the final of a tournament to be reduced due to rain. To bowl 6 overs it hardly takes about 30 minutes. For 8 PM IST IPL matches, the fans used to arrive at the ground by 6 PM and they will be very happy leaving the ground 30 minutes after the schedule by the playing the quota for a 20 overs match rather than have number of overs reduced.

In case the stipulated overs are not complete on the given day, the ICC/home board should schedule the match to a next day bearing all the cost and other infrastructure. For every space, there is back up plan for execution, why is it there not in cricket? Whether fans, reporters, advertising agencies and etc will be available or not, there should be at least few camera troops from ICC/home board to record the match and telecast it later. ICC can still earn their broadcast charges form their respective vendors / advertising companies by broadcasting the match next day.

The current system looks like ICC/home board want to run the matches because they doesn’t have a backup plan and they want to ensure their profits are met irrespective whether the players / teams / billions of fans across the globe will feel happy or not. Let’s try to play the games as is instead of reducing the overs for any unavoidable circumstances and changing the reality of the game thus reducing the spirit of the game.

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