ODI league will end 5-match series: Sutherland

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Sydney, Sep 18 (IANS) Cricket Australia CEO James Sutherland said on Monday that the proposed One-Day International (ODI) league may ensure that the five-match bilateral series in the 50-over format may be a thing of the past.

“I don’t think you’ll see any country playing more than three one-day matches in a series in the future. They might intersperse them with some Twenty20 matches as well, but I don’t think you’ll see many five-match one-day series if the plans at ICC level unfold for a Test championship and a one-day league,” Sutherland told cricket.com.au.

“The contemplation around one-day cricket in the future is that each country hosts six one-day matches and plays six away matches as part of that league, so that’s likely going to be the limits of it,” he added.

The proposed ODI league, to be held in the intervening four years between World Cups, will be a two-year competition comprising 13 teams.

The teams will win points from each three-match series with the top teams in the league taking part in a play-off to decide the champion ODI team of that two-year period.

The league, proposed to be held from 2020, may also decide qualification for the next World Cup. It will however, have to be approved and sanctioned by the the International Cricket Council (ICC).

If the league does see the light of day, the ongoing series between India and Australia may be among the last five-match bilateral engagements in ODI cricket.

The meeting between chief executives of the ICC’s member boards earlier this year also produced a proposal for a four-year Test championship with the final of the inaugural edition to be held at Lord’s in 2023.

The proposed Test championship will see the top nine Test nations take part in three series in the home and away format over a two-year cycle.

“If you think about the current series we’ve just completed in Bangladesh, that had real context for the two countries involved but that context would be even more significant and highly elevated if there were points at stake as part of a Test championship,” Sutherland said.

“What amplifies through that is third-party interest, so other countries, by extension, would have an interest in that series because it had a bearing on where others fitted on the ladder. I think that’s a real positive because there are consequences that come with winning and losing that are far greater than just the bilateral series result as it stands,” he added.

“Taking that a step further, the ladder and the opportunities to qualify for a playoff and play in a world Test championship — I can’t think of any player that wouldn’t be aspiring to be a part of a major event like that.”

–IANS

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