Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Ponting for points system to stop ODI dead rubbers

The reinvention of one-day cricket has been a hot topic of discussion over the past few months and Ricky Ponting, the Australian captain, has joined the debate by calling for a points system to give the format "significant meaning". Speaking ahead of Australia's departure for India for a seven-match ODI series, Ponting gave the example of the 6-1 win over England recently as proof that dead rubbers hurt the game.

"The way that one-day cricket is played at the moment with one-off series like this … until there is a points system in place then it might get to the same sort of situation as it did in the UK," he said. "We were 4-0 up after four games and all of a sudden there is talk of teams rotating players in and out and doing all sorts of things.

"So the important thing I think is we make sure that every game of 50-over cricket has some significant meaning."

The ICC is considering a trial splitting of one-day matches into two innings of 25 overs for each team, a proposal Sachin Tendulkar had mooted earlier. Graeme Smith and Kumar Sangakkara felt the ICC Champions Trophy would be crucial in directing the future of the ODI as a viable format in international cricket. Other trials in international cricket include hosting day-night Tests, which the England board plans for next summer if approved by the ICC.

Mitchell Johnson, the Australian allrounder, backed 50-over cricket to survive the threat posed by Twenty20 cricket. "Test cricket is number one for me but then it's followed by 50-over cricket," he said. "I prefer 50-over cricket [over Twenty20]. I hope it doesn't die, because I love the game."

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