Friday, March 30, 2007

A suggestion to make one-day cricket more interesting

There is a problem with one-day cricket. No, I am not talking about match-fixing or the over dependence on Indian market or too many meaningless tournaments or chucking or any of those. Those are bigger issues. But the problem I am talking about is to do with the game itself. Which is that there are very few exciting games taking place these days. Even if the teams are evenly matched, even when we can't tell in advance who is going to win but what we can tell with fair amount of certainty is that it is going to be an easy win at the end for either team. In nearly 80% of the matches, result is obvious within the first 15 overs of the second innings. They are either chasing a low total and get off to a good start or chasing a huge total and lose a couple of key early wickets. In first case there is very little the bowling team can do except going through the motions and in the second the batting team does that.

This has mainly to do with the fact that a couple of key batsmen can have a huge impact on the fortunes of a team. So if those key batsmen get out cheaply, match is as good as lost. So here are a couple of changes to fix this problem:
- A batsman can continue to bat when dismissed.
- Deduct 30 runs from batting team's score per dismissal [1]
- Maximum limit of 50 deliveries per batsman

- One mistake by batsman doesn't put him out of the game thus substantially reducing the luck factor (or bad decision factor)
- One or two batsmen cannot dominate the entire innings. Just as a bowler is limited to 10 overs, batsman is limited to 50 deliveries.
- Match is not over till all the 100 overs are bowled. Even if the chasing team is 100 runs past the target there is always a chance for bowling team to take a hattrick and win back the game.
- More importance to attacking bowling and taking wickets.
- Just as a bowler can be taken off if he is not bowling well, batting team captain can recall a batsman if he is struggling and send him back in at a later stage. More thinking to be done by captains.
- Since only 6 batsmen are required to bat, teams can go with 4-5 pure bowlers rather than going with bits-and-pieces players as done currently.

Now, tell me why it won't work.

[1]: If you think deducting 30 runs leading to negative scores can be confusing to viewers, add 30 runs to bowling team's score instead.


Anonymous said...
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EMC3 said...

Interesting...But this is what we used to do when we used to play in school. We sometimes had limited players and we didn't want everyone to get out within the allowed overs. It works out or not at an International level is not known, but definitely these kind of alternate formats should be tried.

Mohan said...

emc3: after I got this idea, it occurred to me that this is exactly how me and my brother used to play too. We used to play "short cricket" with "pitch catch out" in the living room. Probability of getting out on any ball was very high. So if we had played the traditional way, there was a chance match could get over in just 4-5 deliveries (we used to play 2-innings "test" matches). So we had devised this scheme: 5 overs per innings, -2 per dismissal. Quite fun it used to be.

silkboard said...

One other format I had in mind to sustain interest till late in the game is - break it into two innings. 25 overs for team A to bat. then 25 for team B. Repeat. Some drama with intermediate lead and all. Can have all 11 players bat again (would be like having two 20-20 games then). Or second set of 25 overs are just continuation of the first (you cant bat again if you were out).

Can then also break the game over two days, two evenings. Get your 50 over match, with a bit of tests, and a bit of Twenty20 as well.

Mohan said...

silkboard: hmm. that could work too. let's hope ICL experiments with these variations :-)

Anonymous said...

Good suggestion.. but in that case cricket would be like a collection of short stories rather than a big novel - which I think is a beauty of cricket..

Mohan said...

anonymous: I would say it is test cricket that has the characteristics of a novel and I am not proposing any change for Test cricket. One-day cricket is like a boring short story, I am just trying to spice it up a bit.