That 50-over cricket is dead is beyond debate. Sure, it's still limping around, haranguing passers-by with beery breath and shouting about its World Cup next year, but it has been filleted by T20, which - it has long been obvious - is just 50 over cricket with the boring bits removed. It's a format out of time.
But T20 has its own inherent problems, the first being the speed at which players have learned how to play it: it will mature as a form far more quickly than 50 over cricket did. Once it has, its only promise for the future is of greater excess - faster bowlers, bigger hitters. It lacks a dimension beyond that. Then there is its commercial problem: it offers less ad breaks.
The solution has been pretty obvious for some time*. Find a way of extending the game, add in a tactical element and make sure that the crowd get plenty of star-power for their money. In other words, a 40-over game made up of two 20-over innings per side. If Giles Clarke and the ECB were as clever as they think, they would have introduced it by now [instead they have entered a war with Lalit Modi which neither will win]. Cricket Australia are about to beat them to it. If they do, expect next year's 40 over comp to follow suit.
* I blogged on it before this, but can't find where.
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