EDITORIAL | Daily News

EDITORIAL

When the inaugural World Cup was staged in 1975, one-day international cricket was hardly four years old. Back then the shortened version of the game was regarded as a hugely inferior form of cricket – when compared to the five-day Test matches. But now 44 years on, the one-day game is arguably the most popular type of cricket around.

What the advent of T20 cricket in 2003 has done to the 50-over game is that it has brought a new dimension to it. While the improvisation employed by many one-day batsmen will forever displease the purists, the limited-over version has certainly improved the mobility and fitness of professional cricketers around the world.

T20 cricket has raised the level of batsmanship to unimaginable heights that today totals of 350 plus are mere walks in the park for teams like England and Pakistan as they displayed in the recently concluded ODI series ahead of the 12th edition of the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019.

The evolution of one-day cricket over the years is astounding to say the least. It perhaps began in 1996 when Sri Lanka turned one-day cricket into a science, some would say an art. When one-day cricket began most batting sides would opt for a slow, solid start to their innings while increasing the tempo as they went along. Today it is the reverse with Sri Lanka employing the tactic of a pinch-hitter whose task was to attack the bowling from the word go. When these tactics are successful the batting side can expect to score in excess of 280 from 50 overs. Sri Lanka’s dashing approach to one-day cricket took the international game to new heights and enabled them to win the World Cup in 1996.

Since then the game has grown so rapidly that the batsmen of today are able to score to every nook and corner of the cricket field. In modern day cricket South Africa’s AB de Villiers has earned the title as ‘Mr 360 Degrees’ because of his bizarre stroke making capability that enables him to hit the cricket ball to any part of the ground. There is no secret that he is one of the most destructive batsman in world cricket although he has now confined himself to playing only to franchise T20 cricket.

However the 2019 World Cup won’t be devoid of similar cricketers when you have power hitters in the likes of Chris Gayle, Jos Buttler, David Warner, Jonny Bairstow, Andre Russell, Hardik Pandya, MS Dhoni, David Miller, Colin Munro and Fakhar Zaman around.

One-day cricket is all about batsmen who could play crucial roles in the biggest showpiece event that returns to England for the fifth time after a decade. This one promises to be the most competitive of all because it is going to be played in the same format as the 1992 World Cup where teams get more chances and will have an equal chance to qualify for the semi-finals as the ten teams play each other on a round robin system with the top four sides qualifying for the knockout stage.

The World Cup is still the marquee event in cricket. The Daily News and Sunday Observer in collaboration with Sri Lanka Cricket is bringing out this issue crammed with every bit of information that a cricket fan needs, to watch the 2019 Cricket World Cup in the comfort of their homes or wherever they happen to be.

Enjoy the piece of action while it lasts.


 

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