Australian batter Usman Khawaja said One-Day International cricket is dying slowly with the other formats sustaining in a busy scheduled calendar year.

The future of ODI cricket has been in the spotlight after star England all-rounder Ben Stokes retired from the format this week. Stokes played his last ODI match for England in the first game against South Africa at his home ground in Chester-le-Street.

The Durham player announced the decision on the eve of the match to not play the 50-over format any longer.

Ben Stokes retirement
Photo Credit: (Getty Images)

I feel like ODI is probably the third-ranked of all of them: Usman Khawaja

Khawaja, who hasn’t played any white-ball format for Australia since 2019, said the ODI cricket is least preferred after Tests and T20Is.

“My own personal opinion – I know a few of the guys are very similar – you’ve got Test cricket, which is the pinnacle, you’ve got T20 cricket, which obviously has leagues around the world, great entertainment, everyone loves it, and then there’s one-day cricket,” Khawaja was quoted as saying by news agency Australian Associated Press.

“I feel like that’s probably the third-ranked out of all of them. I think personally one-day cricket is dying a slow death…there’s still the World Cup, which I think is really fun and it’s enjoyable to watch, but other than that, even myself personally, I’m probably not into one-day cricket as much either,” he added.

Usman Khwaja (Image Credits: Twitter)
Usman Khwaja (Image Credits: Twitter)

Usman Khawaja explains what it is to play all three formats in present times

In 2021, a year where the T20 World Cup was staged in the deserted United Arab Emirates and the inaugural World Test Championship final was held in Southampton, the focus on ODI matches by full-time ICC members was comparatively less. A total of 74 ODI matches, including the ones played by associated members, were played last year.

On the other hand, the shortest format was played on 334 occasions while there were 45 red-ball fixtures on the international stage, not to forget that associate members do not play any Test matches. The T20 franchise tournaments are the heart of the world and pay heavy rewards to the administrators. Each country is having its own major tournament to maximise its profits like the IPL for the BCCI or The Hundred for England.

“Not impossible, very tough. So much travelling. If you’re playing all three forms of the game, you’re not at home at all really. And then the demands on your body, mentally, physically and a lot of the guys might be playing also the IPL,” Khawaja said.

“There’s a lot of cricket going on. Yes, you get to pick and choose, I guess, in certain respects what you want to play but look it can be very tough at the moment,” added Khawaja, who played 40 ODI matches for Australia.

Cricket South Africa withdrew from the three-match ODI series against Australia in January next year in order to start their own franchise tournament in the same period. The South Africa board risked the chances of its men’s team qualification for the 2023 World Cup as the matches against Australia were part of the World Super League.

Also Read: South Africa Clearing Schedule Shows Commitment To Franchise Cricket On Country’s Agenda – Ian Bishop



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