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Sahil Dutta: Champions Trophy a disappointment

October 5th, 2009 by TWC in One-day cricket


A short tournament with the world’s best teams seemed just what one-day cricket needed after a pitiful England Australia series. Yet with just the final remaining, the only remotely close finish the Champions Trophy’s 13 matches has produced was Australia’s last-ball victory over Pakistan last Wednesday.

Unlike the T20 World Cup (all of five months ago) there have been no revelations, no new skills and no romantic results; instead the best aspect of this Champions Trophy is that it will finish quickly.

Like Big Brother the one-day game has been constantly prodded, updated and contrived - with powerplays, free-hits, even substitutes – to retain interest. Yet unlike Big Brother audiences (in England at least) remain hooked –  players and journalists may have lost interest during England and Australia’s seven-match trudge this summer but each was played in front of a capacity crowd.

Whether ODI cricket can keep attracting audiences is uncertain. It’s noticeable that even in this so-called trophy of champions, replete with specially-tailored jackets for the winners, crowd numbers were disappointing.

ODI cricket may need another reinvention, with rumblings that Tendulkar’s suggestion for two-innings of 25-overs is gaining support. Yet no-matter how it’s adapted, close finishes are what one-day cricket needs to sustain support.

Many more series like this Champions Trophy and fans will surely give up altogether, leaving just the administrators and broadcasters waiting for 2013.

Tournament finals should define your weekend but given its dreariness it seems utterly appropriate that this New Zealand v Australia final will be played on a Monday.

Sahil Dutta is a freelance journalist based in London

Posted in One-day cricket | 5 Comments »

5 Responses to “Sahil Dutta: Champions Trophy a disappointment”

  1.   Charles Olphert says:

    With NZ at 94-5 after 27 overs as I type I shouldn’t think this will be a close finish either!

    But is there any evidence that the split 25 over format would make any difference in that respect? It’s surely got to be worth a try in any case… then in future perhaps we can have 3 of them before a test series and maybe a few 2020′s. Rather that than the farce we’ve had after The Ashes, which has surely at the very least challenged English enthusiasm for the one day game (despite the crowds still stumping up the cash regardless!).

  2.   sahil says:

    Yes, as was widely predicted, it looks like a very dull final.

    I guess with the two innings format there would be less in favour for the side that wins the toss. But as you point out, scheduling is probably the most important thing.

  3.   andrew says:

    The problem with 20/20 is it isn’t possible to see a complete performance from either batsman or bowler. In 50/50 you have the opportunity for great sporting achievement, and the side in ascendency can switch back and forth. This is why, in the long run, 20/20 would become a bit meaningless, and why it wont attain the same level of prestige as 50/50 or test. How many great 20/20s can you remember, how many great innings? What about Hayden/Gilchrist/Mcgrath/Malinga at the last world cup, Ponting/Shah in this tournament? 50/50 has produced many more occasions of great sport than has 20/20.

    Having 25/25/25/25 instead of 50/50 is silly. It just looks silly. It’s a way of making 20/20 longer and a little less reliant on luck. It lacks what is good about the 20/20 format (its over in 3 hours) and what is good about the 50/50 format (the shape of a innings).

    20/20 can’t provide the opportunity for sportsmen to make great performances; without the longer formats it would became very uninteresting.

    Given that the champions trophy is essentially meaningless, I think its been ok. Similar to the 20/20 world cup. If it wasn’t for the fact my eyes were still bleeding following the eternity that was EngvsAus I might have actually enjoyed it.

  4.   Winsome says:

    So the finals haven’t been tight finishes, but some of the other games were great. I don’t agree with this article at all, I thought that the CT was one of the more interesting one day tournaments since the last one. The World Cup is too long with too many rounds to be interesting.

    What about the Kiwis recovery against SL? What about England playing a very non-English game against the Saffers? What about the West Indies 10th string team having a decent bowling attack? What about Dilshan against the Saffers?

    And the Aus v Pakistan game of course?

    Just because the Aussies make it to the final for the umpteenth time doesn’t mean that a tournament is automatically null and void.

  5.   sahil says:

    As I said the format of the tournament has been excellent, because it finished so quickly.

    But there haven’t been any close finishes. Aside from the Pakistan v Australia game, the average winning margins were 43 runs or six wickets with 67 balls remaining.

    Not very tense.

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