Mark Nicholas opens up on future of ODI cricket

Former England international and incoming MCC president Mark Nicholas firmly believes that the future of ODI cricket should be confined to World Cup events exclusively.

This viewpoint arises amidst ongoing deliberations regarding the relevance and sustainability of ODI cricket, particularly following the retirements of prominent players from this format.

Nicholas, aged 66 and a respected figure in the cricketing world, has emphasized the current challenges facing ODI cricket, notably its inability to attract substantial crowds to stadiums. He asserted that this is a pressing concern that cricket authorities must address promptly.

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Moreover, the former cricketer has painted a vivid picture of the contemporary cricket landscape, where players exhibit a pronounced inclination towards participating in franchise-based cricket, with T20 cricket emerging as the primary choice.

He admitted a shift in the game's dynamics, with the T20 format being prioritised over the traditional 50-overs format.

Mark Nicholas on what the future holds for ODIs

mark nicholas
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“We believe strongly that ODIs should be World Cups only. We think it's difficult bilaterally now to justify them. They're not filling grounds in a lot of countries. And there is a power at the moment to T20 cricket that is almost supernatural,” Mark Nicholas admitted in an interview with ESPNcricinfo.

“It's more than just ticket sales. It's the amount of people that want to own franchises, the amount of countries that want to run tournaments, it's the amount of players that want to be in a market all around the world.

“In a free market, the most money wins. And that's just the end game. The players can see that bubbling away and they want to be a part of it.

“So, it is an extraordinary power that T20 has, and I think scheduling 50-over cricket alongside it just continues the story of the death knell of the ODI game.”

He further emphasized that in a free-market scenario, financial incentives play a pivotal role, and the allure of substantial earnings in T20 cricket has captivated the attention of players worldwide.

In his view, this unprecedented financial magnetism in T20 cricket poses a stiff challenge to ODIs, making the two formats tough to coexist.

Meanwhile, the cricketing world is gearing up for the commencement of the 2023 ODI World Cup, set to commence on October 5th in Ahmedabad.

Defending champions England will begin the tournament by facing off against New Zealand in the opening game. The host nation, India will take on Australia on October 8 at the MA Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai.