Future of 50-over cricket safe: Lorgat

By Abhishek Roy, IANS,

Ahmedabad : International Cricket Council (ICC) chief executive Haroon Lorgat said Wednesday the success of the World Cup has proved that the future of One-Day Internationals (ODIs) is safe.

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“The tournament so far has been an absolute success and the quality of cricket has been wonderful. The stories earlier on the future of 50-over cricket are now no more and it says a lot about the future of ODIs,” said Lorgat on the eve of the second World Cup quarterfinal between India and Australia at the Sardar Patel Stadium in Motera here.

Lorgat believes that cricket’s three formats — Tests, ODIs and Twenty20 — can co-exist with each having a viable future.

“I think the success of Twenty20 cricket can be seen in this tournament as runs in most of the matches have been scored at more that five per over. And that perhaps is a good consequence of the Twenty20 format,” said Lorgat.

He said the heavy demand for tickets also indicates that ODIs still attract crowds.

The ICC had come under heavy criticism for the distribution of tickets as their corporate formalities left the public with less tickets. For the final, only 10 percent of tickets were allocated for public. Police had to baton charge fans at different venues to handle the mad rush for tickets.

Acknowledging the mistakes, Lorgat said ICC has learnt a lesson.

“The demand for tickets was phenomenal. And no matter how well we try, it is very difficult to meet the demand with supply. We have learnt a few lessons from it and we will review it in future,” he said.

Asked if the performance of some of the minnows, especially Ireland, had forced the ICC to rethink its decision to reduce the number of teams for the next World Cup, Lorgat said: “We are still having a debate on the 10-team World Cup and the qualification process. The second tier teams, especially Ireland, have done exceptionally well and they have done themselves proud.”

“We want more such teams and a higher level of competition. One of the reasons to reduce the number of teams was to strike a balance between the length of the tournament and the number of teams.”