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Sight Screen

Thursday, June 30, 2005

One day mataram

With England and Australia agreeing to trial the new ODI rules in the upcoming Natwest Challenge series, expect to see plenty of analysis in the coming days.
Simon Hughes, in The Telegraph, is pretty dismissive.
We have just had one of the most explosive one day internationals in recent memory, full of exciting cricket and feisty confrontation, and now they want to change the rules.

Richard Hobson, in the Times, peels the skin of this innovation to examine the strange animal hiding beneath.
As well as giving captains one more issue to consider, substitutes hand a big advantage to the team winning the toss. The successful captain can take into account the nature of his twelfth man before deciding whether to bat or bowl. If his substitute is a bowler, for example, he can bat first and then lose one of the top order for the twelfth man.
But what of the times when the captain calls incorrectly and the opposition decide to bat? How would a substitute then be used? If the bowler replaces a batsman, the team may be light when it came to the reply. If he replaces another bowler, he could bowl only the number of overs that the first man has remaining.

Could the solution be simple? Why announce a 12th man anyway? If cricket is going the football route, why not just name the 14-member squad and the starting XI, and say that any of the three reserves can be used as substitute, provided each team gets to use only one sub per game?
To keep things in perspective, Derek Pringle in the Telegraph lists the innovations the game has seen down the years. Be interesting to trawl through the archives, and see how each of these changes was viewed at the time.

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