Zimbabwe cricket captain Heath Streak believes one day international cricket needs to consider new rules and fresh ideas to maximise its spectator interest and appeal around the world.
Speaking ahead of Zimbabwe’s opening game in the VB Series against Australia in Sydney on Sunday, Streak said: ‘One day cricket is a fantastic advert for the game but there is a risk that unless a tight finish is involved, the game can be predictable for players and fans.
‘Spectators now have dozens of sports and entertainment to choose from on their TV screens, so cricket has to find a way of holding its own in a crowded market.
‘For example, as a captain, I’d support the idea of being able to change the current fielding restrictions from the first 15 overs of a match, when you have to have two catchers and only two fielders outside of the circle.
‘If I could use the 15 overs in blocks of say five overs each, it would allow me to experiment more with my bowlers and have new options to try in the field. That might help change the quiet period you often get in games between overs 16 and 40.
‘We saw the instant impact that Twenty20 cricket had in England when we toured there in the last northern summer. Perhaps the ICC could experiment with an international version of Twenty20, which I think would pull in spectators and be an attractive formula for telecasters.
‘With 11 countries playing limited overs internationals there is plenty of scope to experiment with some fresh thinking. Cricket needs to find a way of keeping itself attractive and interesting. Test cricket should always be there as the purest form of the game, but one day internationals provide the perfect opportunity for some creative thinking,’ said Streak, a veteran of more than 170 One Day Internationals for Zimbabwe.
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