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Sight Screen

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Attention deficit syndrome

Let me see if I follow the logical leap here:
#1. One day cricket is crisp and concise. It has the further advantage of having two world championship fixtures -- the ICC Trophy and the World Cup, both of which bring all qualified team on a single platform in a fixed span of time, to go head to head till one team emerges the clear winner.
#2. Yet, it is the ICC's contention that one-day cricket, which gets over and done with in a day, is not good enough to engage the attention of the bubblegum brigade, and hence innovations (now duly approved by the chief executives' committee) are required.
You guys with me so far? Fine, how then account for this little snippet I found in the midst of an ICC press note, on the official site?
The ICC Executive Board approved a proposal for the staging of a Scheduling Summit to explore the detailed and practical implications of moving the Future Tours Programme from its current five year cycle to a longer cycle of home and away international fixtures.

Excuse me? It is damnably hard to follow Test cricket's ups and downs over a five year period, to chart the ups and downs of each team over that length of time. So you want to extend the time frame? We will now have a 10-year cycle, for instance, regulating Test cricket?
Defies logic, this. I'm damn sure that despite concentrated dose of caffeine, there's something I am missing. Or am I?
On a related subject, England and Australia don't aim to wait for the official kick-off of the new rules; they'll test drive the substitution and rolling field restrictions in the Natwest Challenge next week.
The England-Australia head to head was a must-not-miss event anyways, with both teams having taken a game apiece with the third washed out, and tempers boiling over.
Now it's even more of a must-not-miss -- for fans wanting to know the implications of the new rules in actual match-play, who better to demonstrate than the top two teams in the world just now in this format of the game?
Cricinfo has put together a collection of quotes from various players past and present on the new rules; a point culled from Dean Jones' quote:
On a green pitch, put into bat, a side, at 40 for 4, might bring in an extra batsman, and score 230 instead of 180. This will also help reduce the 100-run or 10-wicket defeats. This might also give a new life to ageing players such as VVS Laxman and Anil Kumble.

Let's see -- assume VVS makes the playing XI. Which he is not much of a chance to, today, because his lack of agility in the field, and lack of scientific slogging skills at the death, go against him.
Under the new rules, VVS plays; comes in, say, with India three down for very little, and anchors the innings through to the 40-over mark. At this point, he is substituted by, let's say, Dinesh Mongia who comes in with ten overs left -- fresh legs, good eye, able to hit a long ball -- and no slouch on the field, plus he can bowl as well.
If Mongia performs in this substitute role over a period of a few games, he ends up edging Laxman for a permanent place in the side. Possibilities, possibilities...

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