Right after Ben Strokes ODI retirement, a debate started regarding the international cricket schedule and whether it is too much for the players to sustain in all three formats.
Ravi Shastri Backs Hardik Pandya
During his retirement, Ben Stokes had said that playing all three formats is just unsustainable for him right now.
Now, former Team India head coach Ravi Shastri threw his view on the debate, saying the players will start choosing which formats they want to play, and he cited the example of India all-rounder Hardik Pandya.
“50-over format might be pushed back but it can still survive if you focus just on the World Cup. From the ICC’s point of view, paramount importance should be given to World Cups, whether it is T20 World Cup or 50-over World Cup, the bucks have to increase.
Test cricket will always remain because of the importance it brings to the game. You have players already choosing what formats they want to play.
Take a Hardik Pandya. He wants to play T20 cricket and he is very clear in his mind that ‘I do not want to play anything else,” Shastri told Sky Sports on Friday.
“He will play the 50-over cricket because there is a World Cup in India next year. After that, you might see him going from that as well. You will see a similar thing happening with other players, they will start choosing formats, they have every right to,” he added.
The upcoming IPL 2023 is expected to have a two-and-a-half month window, and with South Africa pulling out of Australia ODIs because of the inaugural season of their T20 league, a debate has started over franchise cricket vs international cricket.
When talking about the present-day cricket schedule, Shastri said: “The main issue that we have to look at right now is the reality, what is happening right now.
There are things that are being said by former players, someone like me, 5-10 years ago, that is already happening. If you are not going to see the reality, then it is going to give you the biggest knockout punch that you have ever got.
It is not just administrators who run the world game, but administrations who run different boards around the world, they have got to see the reality, the volume of cricket and what is the demand, go with the economics of the sport.”
“It is franchise cricket that is ruling the roost and it will rule the roost. So do not wait for it to happen, then you get on your high horse and ask what should we do? It would be too late, it is going to happen, there is going to be franchise cricket that is going to rule the roost around the world.
Then how will you have international cricket? You will have to cut the volume, you have to cut bilateral cricket, and go in that direction. You will never be able to stop different players going and playing for different franchises,” he added.
Hardik Pandya will next appear in the T20I series against West Indies in the ongoing India tour of West Indies 2022.