Former England cricketer Mark Nicholas has proposed that One-Day International (ODI) cricket should be limited to World Cup tournaments only. This suggestion comes amid ongoing discussions about the future of ODI cricket, as several prominent players have retired from the format in recent times.
Nicholas, 66, believes that ODI cricket is currently struggling to draw spectators to stadiums and that authorities should address this issue promptly. Mark Nicholas also highlighted the changing landscape of cricket, where players are increasingly focused on participating in franchise-based T20 leagues. He noted that T20 cricket has gained significant prominence, surpassing 50-over cricket in popularity.
According to him, T20 cricket’s allure extends beyond ticket sales to include the high demand for franchise ownership, the eagerness of countries to host T20 tournaments, and players’ desire to compete in the global T20 market. He said, “We believe strongly that ODIs should be World Cups only. We think it’s difficult bilaterally now to justify them. They’re not filling grounds in a lot of countries.”
“And there is a power at the moment to T20 cricket that is almost supernatural. It’s more than just ticket sales. It’s the amount of people that want to own franchises, the amount of countries that want to run tournaments, it’s the amount of players that want to be in a market all around the world,” explained Nicholas in an interview with ESPNcricinfo.
In the current cricket landscape, where market forces play a significant role, T20 cricket’s financial allure is undeniable. Players are increasingly drawn to the opportunities it offers, making it the dominant format. Nicholas believes that scheduling 50-over cricket alongside T20 cricket only accelerates the decline of ODI cricket.
Despite these debates about the future of ODI cricket, the 2023 ICC Cricket World Cup is set to commence on October 5 in Ahmedabad, India. The defending champions, England, will open the tournament against New Zealand. Host nation India will face Australia on October 8 at the MA Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai, marking the beginning of their World Cup campaign. Other participating teams, including former winners Pakistan and Sri Lanka, are also gearing up for the prestigious event.