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Friday, October 8, 2010

Australian domestic - Ryobi One day Cup - What is split innings ??

The Australian Domestic season has just begun and the Ryobi One day Cup is creating ripples.

The First match where Tasmania beat Queensland by 5 runs at Woolloongabba, Brisbane on 6th Oct 2010 (Day/Night) match would remain etched in the annals of cricket history.

One might tend to ask what is so great about a local match ? many were not even aware that Rest of India beat Mumbai recently, as only the Test victory at Mohali mattered. The Mohali chase was never on – India needing 216, were placed at 55/4 at the draw of stumps on 4th day. Morning Zaheer, and then Sachin went, followed in quick succession by Dhoni and Bhaji – more than 92 needed – a half fit Laxman and injury prone rabbit Ishant at the crease – none fancied Indian chances. Laxman played like a man possessed and ensured an Indian victory. There are some nice tweets going around which include :

- I won’t be surprised if Laxman is made honorary Australian citizen; better to have him with you than a constant thorn in the flesh
- Last week belonged to Lord Ram; this week is Laxman’s
- Gandhi’s last words ‘Hey Ram’; Ponting’s ‘Hey Laxman’
- The day of Laxman’s retirement from Test cricket – a National holiday in Oz land.
Some even wondered whether the so many poor umpiring decisions were only human error or had the possible ‘match fixing’ angle. Remember Gambhir clearly had played on but was given out LBW; Ishant was no where near with ball going down the leg side but was adjudged LBW ; last man Pragyan Ojha was plumb in front, was wandering out the crease but an overthrow gave extra four, taking Indians closer to victory. The genius Sachin after innumerable great innings and with a brilliant 98 in the First innings was still at the receiving end, with comment that ‘his First innings average is more than Bradman; but his second is closer to that of Alderman (a bunny Aussie bowler)

The Aussie names like Michael Klinger, Putland, Callum Ferguson became more known after the recent Champions League. But why would the 45 overs a side match between Queensland and Tasmania would be remembered for long ?

CRICKET has constantly changed to remain in tune with the demands of the modern world. After many decades, the birth of ODI in 1971 was accidental. In between a tournament involving all the Nation termed as World Cup was introduced in 1975 and has been an quadrennial mega event. In 2003, T20 was born and has taken the world by storm. There have been local innovations such as ICL, IPL and Champions League and suddenly there is so much of cricket and so much of money put in to the game.

Everyone has felt the need for some drastic steps to revive the ODI which was a great hit not many years ago but the existence itself appears threatened. The first WC was 60 overs a side with some matches extending to the next day even; generally ODIs were 50 overs a side - the fielding restrictions, bowling restrictions, one bouncer per over, free hit, super substitute, changing definition of wide, day-night time, colour clothes, white ball, black sight screen have all been some of the innovations made to ensure that spectators remain attracted.

There were suggestions by many including the maestro Sachin of possibly splitting the innings – something at first thought deed not practical. The Ryobi One day cup has kicked off to a different set of rules – 45 overs but split into two; usage of 12 players; bowlers allowed maximum of 12 and so on. Perhaps concept of first innings lead in a ODI.

There is a maxim that when everything is new, there is no advantage for the aged and experienced, perhaps going by that logic all six leaders of the States are first timers. New rules and everyone is learning on the run, by experience. Here are some of the key new rules :

• Teams bat 45 overs in stages of 20 overs and 25 overs
• Ten wickets per team across the whole match, not for each stage
• Each team's second batting stage resumes exactly where their first ended
• Bowlers may bowl up to 12 overs each
• Twelve players per side; teams can bat any 11 and field any 11
• Maximum of two bouncers per over
• A new ball from each and at the start of the innings
• No powerplays
• Fielding restrictions: Overs 1-5 = 2 fielders outside the circle; 6-20 = 4 outside; 21-25 = 2 outside, 26-45 = 4 outside
• One competition point awarded to team that leads after 20 overs each; a further four points awarded for a win

Though field restrictions are not entirely new to this format, the powerplays came in much later. First it was the bowling powerplays then came the one to be decided by the batting team – now all are gone with the wind. There was a time when spinners would come either closer to the 15th over or after that and would bowl the middle overs – some teams ventured with opening with spinners occasionally and some spinners have even bowled at the death – now when would be the best time to utilize your spinners ?

There were times when the 12th man would charge in with a drinking water bottle, not for questing the thirst but for passing some instruction, IPL had strategic break – no need for all that now as the break would allow teams to regroup and rework the plan and strategies.

The famous quote of ‘11 fools playing’ has also lost its relevance in more than one way as now it is 12 though it is only 11 who can bat. That would sound death knell for the bits and pieces all rounders who usually bat at 6 or 7 and bow a bit or more.

Where all these changes would take the game is totally unknown – even Cricket Australia which augured these changes might not have ready made answer. At the end of the season, this could either be a roaring hit or back to the drawing board scratching for success !!

In the first match of the new format, Tasmania scored 252 for 9 in 45; their innings was suspended at 105/3 at 20. Queensland were bowled out for 245; their innings was suspended at 91/3 at 20 overs.

Sounds pretty interesting…………..

Regards – Sampathkumar S


  1. "Sounds pretty interesting…………"

    It's not. I went to a came last week (WA v NSW) was exciting at the end but was hard to follow. 12 overs maximum per bowler, but 5 bowlers have to be used. Doesn't add up. And the 12 player thing has been tried in Australian domestic one day cricket and for ODI's and has been just as quickly scrapped.

    Would of been better to opt for a 40 format, not split innings and 8 maximum each.


  2. Game not came by the way.