The dynamic of cricket has changed over the years. With the popularity of T20s and the introduction of even shorter formats like T10, it is believed that ODI is on the decline. However, the ODI World Cup is still considered the biggest cricketing event. The tournament is set to happen this year, but if we look at the boys in green, they have not played many 50-over games. The question is, what is PCB’s preference in this very regard?
Number of ODI’s played by Pakistan vs India
If we look at the stats, Pakistan has consistently played less number of matches as compared to other teams. From 2019-2023, they have only played 25 games. While their arch-rivals have played the most number of games, which is 54.
Is T20i cricket the main reason why PCB’s preference has changed?
PCB’s preference is playing more T20i cricket. In recent years, there has been a lot of T20i cricket being played. From leagues to T20 World Cup to Asia Cup being played in the shorter format, it won’t be wrong to say that the shorter format is gaining immense popularity.
Pakistan Super League has become a force to reckon with in the last few years. It has truly established itself in the world of leagues. As it is played in the T20 format, the PSL could be one of the reasons that PCB’s preference lies more in 20 overs games as compared to 50 overs contests.
What are some of the other factors?
Moreover, some fans also prefer a shorter format as it takes less of their time and, according to them, it is more enjoyable. The COVID-19 pandemic also led to many plans of the ODI format being cancelled.
PCB has been hosting more T20i series. This means a greater source of revenue for the board. But is this also a good sign for the national team and its fans?
Consequences of playing less ODI cricket
Since Pakistan has played the ODI format comparatively less, they have not had much chance to experiment with their team positions, batting order, and other dynamics. Moreover, it has also led to format mixing. Some players who struggled in the T20 format were not included in the ODI team. Khushdil Shah and Usman Shinwari are some examples.
Babar Azam who is Pakistan teams’s captain and currently the No.1 ODI batsman. He is criticized in T20 for the issues of strike rate. But there is hardly anybody who would dare to criticize him in the 50-over matches. Unfortunately, he has not been able to play a lot in the longer format as PCB’s preference is more inclined towards the T20 series and less ODI series. Some people believe that Babar’s peak is getting wasted, and he would be able to break many records if he got the chance to play more games.
With the ODI World Cup just around the corner, fans are hoping that Pakistan team puts its best foot forward in ODI, and PCB also realizes the importance of the 50-over format.