New Zealand skipper Kane Williamson says increasing cricket volume could be a reason for the low attendance during the recent England-Australia series and that future bilateral series need “more context” to draw fans to the stadiums. A sparse audience witnessed the recent ODI series between the Ashes rivals Down Under. Only a handful of fans gathered at the MCG for the final game. The series had begun less than four days after England’s T20 World Cup triumph Down Under.
“It was a shame to see, but it also shows how much cricket is held. Because the ICC tournaments are undoubtedly incredibly popular and there has been a lot of cricket. They (Australia) also had a World Cup. So, there was also a lot experience in their country.
“So we need to make sure that there is a lot more context possible in games, especially the bilateral series,” Williamson said against India on the eve of the opening of New Zealand’s ODI.
The proliferation of T20 leagues around the world and a hectic international calendar have sparked a debate over the existence of 50-over cricket.
Asked if ODI cricket is slowly dying, Williamson said: “It’s tough.” “But yeah, it’s going to settle somewhere. I don’t know what it’s going to look like. A lot of teams now have two teams at the moment.
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“I don’t know where it will settle, but there are always talks to make it more appealing in whatever context, like changing rules, etc. So…” England’s T20 World Cup triumph has sparked the debate about split coaching and choosing different players intensified. different formats and the Kiwi Skipper feels that the packed schedule also plays a role with players needing a rest.
“Yes, it seems to be happening more and more and you can understand why. There’s so much going on and you can’t do everything. That’s why you see a lot of teams with that kind of make-up.” Williamson’s reputation as a T20 player, a modern batsman, has come under scrutiny following his disappointing performance at the T20 World Cup and the 52-ball 61 in the second T20I against India.
“I still love playing all three formats and enjoy switching between them. As a player I want to keep improving and I definitely have the motivation.
He was also released by Sunrisers Hyderabad ahead of the player auction.
“As for the auction, we’ll have to wait and see. It’s definitely not up to me. People make their decisions based on their teams and what they want and that’s how it works.” New Zealand take on India for a three match series as the focus shifts from T20s to ODI cricket with less than a year to go before the 50 over World Cup.
Williamson said his ODI side needs to reconnect a bit.
“After a large amount of T20 cricket, the focus naturally shifts to the next one, which is the ODI tournament. I wouldn’t dare call it preparation, it’s very focused on the series at hand and the team reconnecting.” “There haven’t been a huge amount of ODIs, it’s been mostly T20Is, with some testing. It’s about settling in and getting a good understanding. There’s a change in the environment. These are a few factors.
“But it’s about keeping it fun and simple, going out and expressing yourself and yourself. There’s a lot of ODI cricket coming up,” he added.
Martin Guptill was released from the New Zealand Cricket (NZC) central contract, paving the way to pursue playing opportunities abroad after recently losing his place in the white-ball teams.
Williamson claimed that the veteran hitter has not retired and is still available for the BlackCaps.
“I’ve had a few conversations with him. He’s been incredible for New Zealand. He made the decision to play in other leagues but is still available for New Zealand.
“He’s definitely one of our best white ball players. It’s just trying to find that balance. He hasn’t retired. He’s still motivated to keep playing and getting better.”
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