Australian cricketers feel they are playing too many ODIs

December 23rd, 2009 - 8:17 pm ICT by IANS  

Sydney, Dec 23 (IANS) A recent survey conducted by the Australian Cricketers’ Association (ACA) has revealed that 80 per cent of cricketers believe they play too many one-dayers, and three-quarters of those are considering retiring from one format of the game to prolong their careers.
But Cricket Australia (CA) chief executive James Sutherland dismissed all these reports and said it was fans, not players, who determined the demand for ODIs.

“No matter what the players think… the people that will decide the future of one-day cricket are the fans because we are in the business of presenting international cricket matches for the fans, and I think our attendances stack up pretty well over the last few years, some markets better than others, but that’s always the case,” Sutherland was quoted as saying.

“Certainly the television market is very strong for one-day cricket. It is a very, very popular form of sports entertainment all over the world and, as we know, for every one person in the ground, there’s between 50 and 100 watching on TV at any stage, and that in itself is something that people can from time to time overlook.”

But the ACA survey said that not one surveyed CA-contracted player wanted to play in seven-match ODI series, with the vast majority (88 per cent) preferring five-match bilateral series instead.

Australia played 40 ODIs in the past calendar year, and most fans struggled to recall more than five games. Another seven-match ODI series has been scheduled against England after the 2010-11 Ashes series in Australia.

ACA boss Paul Marsh said if scheduling of ODIs was not reined in, the 50-over format would become extinct.

“Encouragingly, our players are telling us that they want all three forms of the game to survive. Unfortunately, with the current volume of cricket, they’re not convinced that all three forms can. Given that the players’ favourite form of the game is still Test cricket, and T20 cricket is the most financially rewarding, 50-over cricket is clearly the most vulnerable,” he said.

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