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Friday, September 11, 2009

ICC mulling on Tendulkar's ODI-splitting idea

When Sachin Tendulkar speaks, the world listens and International Cricket Council is now planning to split one-day matches into two innings of 25 overs each, an idea mooted by the Indian batting great earlier this month.

In order to spice up the one-day format, Tendulkar had proposed that every team should play two innings of 25 overs each and ICC Cricket Manager Dave Richardson said the governing body might soon conduct a trial.

"I quite like that idea. I believe South Africa may try something along those lines," Richardson told BBC Sport.

"This might work in day/night cricket where one team has to bat in the day and the other at night. It provides something different and reduces the effects on the team who loses the toss and has to bat first on a damp wicket, for example," he said.

Even though Tendulkar aired his views earlier this month, Richardson said the idea had popped up in the past as well and came up for discussion at the annual ICC Cricket Committee meeting in May.

One-day cricket is already facing a tough challenge from Twenty20 and the England and Wales Cricket Board scrapped Friends Provident trophy, the only 50-over domestic tournament, in favour of a Twenty20 event.

Richardson, however, is concerned that splitting a match into two innings would mean less centuries, as batsmen would have less overs to bat.

"I don't necessarily like the idea of playing two matches of 25 overs each with the openers batting again. The charm of one-day cricket is seeing someone batting at four and scoring a good hundred," Richardson said.

"If you bat in the middle order of a Twenty20 or a new 25-over innings, you're not going to get much of an opportunity to hit three figures, one downside of the Twenty20 game," he said.

He, however, made it clear that such an experiment should be conducted at the domestic level before pushing it into international cricket.

"If it has been tried successfully at domestic level, it may be possible to give it a go-ahead at international level," he said.

"The ICC has been proactive with ideas and innovations, like the powerplays. The idea of the 'super-sub' wasn't as successful and got rid of quite quickly. One of the criticisms was that we trialled things at international as opposed to domestic level.

"Our tactics going forward are member countries trial changes first domestically and if they are successful, then we can take them on board at the international level," Richardson said.

The ICC Cricket Committee will discuss the result of the experiment when it meets next year.

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