Wasim Akram urges cricket authorities to scrap 50-over format: One-day cricket is just a drag now

Pakistan cricket legend Wasim Akram has urged cricket authorities to scrap one-day cricket from the calendar as it feels like a drag at the moment.

Ben Stokes’ recent retirement from the format has brought the spotlight on the 50-overs game, with many feeling that players are losing their interest in playing ODIs.

Akram, while speaking on The Telegraph’s Vaughany and Tuffers Cricket Club podcast, backed Stokes’ decision to retire from ODIs and said that the format feels like a drag right now even as a commentator. He also said that T20s are easier and it is quite tiring for a player to play the 50-over matches.

“Him deciding that he is retiring from one-day cricket is quite sad but I agree with him. Even as a commentator one-day cricket is just a drag now, especially after T20. I can imagine as a player. 50 overs, 50 overs, then you have to pre-game, post-game, the lunch game.

“T20 is kind of easier, four hours the game is over. The leagues all around the world, there is a lot more money – I suppose this is part and parcel of the modern cricket. T20 or Test cricket. One-day cricket is kind of dying.

“It is quite tiring for a player to play one-day cricket. After T20, one-day cricket seems it is going for days. So players are focussing on more shorter format. And longer format obviously [with] Test cricket,” said Wasim Akram.

When asked if cricket authorities should consider scrapping the format, Akram said they look into it seriously as there are a lot of countries where they’re struggling to fill stadiums.

“I think so. In England you have full houses. In India, Pakistan especially, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, South Africa, one-day cricket you are not going to fill the stadiums.”

“They are doing it just for the sake of doing it. After the first 10 overs, it’s just ‘OK, just go a run a ball, get a boundary, four fielders in and you get to 200, 220 in 40 overs’ and then have a go last 10 overs. Another 100. It’s kind of run-of-the-mill,” said Akram.

The Pakistan cricket legend also said that Tests are his favorite format of the game, saying that the five-day match was where a player used to get recognised.

“There’s a battle within the battle in Test cricket,” he said. “I always preferred Test matches. One-day used to be fun but Test matches were where you were recognised as a player where people still pick you for the world XIs. OK money matters – I understand where they are coming from – but they should also remember if they want to be recognised as one of the greats of the game,” said Akram.

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