August 2009
« Jul   Sep »

King Cricket: When 50-overs became 40-overs

August 28th, 2009 by Alex Bowden in England, One-day cricket

Who says you can’t have the main course and then the starter? Who says you can’t have the main course and then seven starters? The England v Australia one-day series is about to start. Pick up the smaller of your two forks and tuck in so that the chef doesn’t get offended.

Yet county cricket is abandoning 50-over matches at the end of the season. 40-over cricket was supposed to go but the counties are so far behind fashion, things have gone full circle. While the Pro40 ends, the ECB has made sure 50-over cricket becomes 40-overs.

As if by magic, county cricket is ahead of the curve, in perhaps the only way that it ever could be – through remaining static and waiting for the world to change around it, like prospective emigrants relying on tectonic plates for transport.

50-over cricket continues internationally, however. England have 13 such fixtures scheduled for next summer, against Bangladesh, Pakistan and Australia. Who are these matches aimed at? Are they aimed at the new fans who have been drawn in by Twenty20′s high-octane thrills? Are they aimed at loyal Test cricket fans who appreciate the narrative and ebb and flow of Test cricket?

No, presumably they’re aimed at the fans who like a little bit of boundary-hitting at first but who really appreciate a batsman who can work the ball into gaps for 30 overs.

Fans of taking four or five singles an over to keep the scoreboard ticking over should get as much of this as they can. This cherished form of the game could be under threat.

King Cricket blogs at He is a cult figure in the world of cricket blogs and was TWC’s first Best-of-blogs winner in April 2008.

Posted in England, One-day cricket | 3 Comments »

3 Responses to “King Cricket: When 50-overs became 40-overs”

  1.   Adam P says:

    I’m a fan of Test and First Class cricket.

    I’m glad to see 50-0vers go from England’s domestic set-up and I’d like to see it abolished from the international scene. Getting rid of 50-overs cricket puts clear blue water between Test cricket and limited overs cricket. I’d argue that 50-overs was more of a threat to the longer form of the game than the 20/20 or 40/40 format.

  2.   The Leading Edge says:

    Both ironically and truthfully, I can’t get enough of nudged singles into the covers, with a bit of silly slogging either side.

    I guess 50 over cricket is aimed at me then.

  3.   The_Dawg says:

    In test cricket we are treated to 90 overs a day. If they worked a bit harder we could ease that to 100. That’s 5 T20 innings right there. 5 days of that and we have 25 moneyspinning innings of T20 cricket - we’d have to sneak one more in to even things up. Sounds a splendid format though. T26, you heard it here first.

    Also perhaps we could move the ropes into the inner circle. Alan Stanford would love it.

Leave a Reply

Site by Anson Robson Marketing © 2010 The Wisden Cricketer All Rights Reserved