Vaas squashes 25 x 4 cricket

By S.R. Pathiravithana
Vaas feels that the present system is better.

Veteran Sri Lankan seamer Chaminda Vaas who is still considered as one of the best in that art of new ball bowling is not impressed with Sachin Tendulkar’s 25 x 4 One Day Internationals. The Lankan opening bowler simply began by saying “It’s going to take the bite off the One-day Game”.

Last week it was reported that International Cricket Council (ICC) was open to the concept of split innings in one-day cricket to help spice up the format in the face of Twenty20's increasing popularity.

Earlier India's leading batsman Sachin Tendulkar had commented that two 25 overs innings each would lend more balance to 50-overs games.

Then ICC cricket manager Dave Richardson backing Tendulkar’s comments told the BBC “I quite like that idea, I believe South Africa may trial something along those lines,”.

“It provides something different and reduces the effects on the team who loses the toss and has to bat first on a damp wicket, for example.” Former South Africa test player Richardson said the concept of two 25-overs innings had come up at the ICC's cricket committee's annual meeting in May.

However the Sri Lankan master of 322 ODI’s and 400 wickets and one of the few cricketers in World Cricket history to complete the 2000 runs and 400 wickets double was not impressed. He said “I am sure that ploy is not going to work. Already we have the 20 x 20 version being played in the world. So one cannot stop the game from changing, but I feel that the above is not the remedy for the ODI illness if there is one.”

When brought out the argument that most of the games have become as predictable as some of the venues have their own notorieties like our own R. Premadasa Stadium, where the side who wins the toss and bats goes on to win the game Vaas once again disagreed. He said “I remember in the last Champions Trophy tournament, we had our first game against Australia at the R. Premadasa Stadium. There Australia was all out for 100 runs and we went on to win the match. For instance even our last match against India, had we limited the Indian total to about 275 runs we could have easily won that match.

“I feel that this new 25 x 4 concept is good for cricketers who are aging and losing their fitness. Then they play a short innings and have the time to recuperate.” Vaas said.

The Lankan bowler who claimed a hat-trick with the first three balls of the match against Bangladesh in the 2003 World Cup said, “Already the shorter version of the game is a very batsman savvy affair with all the ‘power plays’ in place. Even if the game is broken into four the international cricketers will find ways and means of exploiting it and make it uninteresting”.
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