Adam Parore: Forty overs better for both spectators and players

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It's time cricket's bosses revisited the 50-over game.

The World Cup is starting next weekend, but trimming the limited-overs version to 40 overs makes a lot of sense.

The problem with the 50-over game is the collection period in the middle of each innings.

That block from about the 15th or 20th to 40th overs can be desperately dull as batsmen, having had a flying start, simply set out to accumulate, take few risks, and prepare for the final rush in the closing overs.

No one seems to have worked out a way to avoid that mindset and at a time sports are competing for the hearts and minds of fans who must be entertained, that is a big problem.

The 40-over competition in England is popular. Auckland's English-based allrounder Andre Adams has spoken out in favour of that version rather than the "boring" 50-over game, in which, incidentally, he will be part of the team trying to win the title in Christchurch tomorrow.

There is a format which has developed over time for playing 50-over cricket to its most efficient.

Personally, I think 40 overs is a better spectacle and takes out that 10-15 overs of stuffing around.

When I was playing it, I can't say I liked the 50-over game. It was long enough to be quite difficult, physically and mentally. They were big, long days. Although they called it limited-overs, it was just as hard as a test match day because it was slightly extended beyond a traditional seven-hour test day.

I found test cricket a lot easier because of the pace of the game, which was such that you had a bit more time and it was less formulated.

In ODI cricket it's very easy to isolate players and their various skills. Fifty overs is a bit long for what you're trying to achieve.

In terms of entertaining fans and providing a spectacle, I think you can provide it a lot better in 40 overs. At the very least, there seems to be a compelling argument to have a hard look at it.

I also doubt an eight-hour contest is commercially relevant these days. I suspect broadcasters would support that too.

An eight or nine-hour presentation is going to cost a lot more than a four-hour job too.

What chance New Zealand at the World Cup? We've never won it in nine previous attempts and I doubt that will change over the next few weeks.

Ross Taylor has talked about having to win only three knockout games - once they have got through the group play - to take the title.

That's true, but when was the last time New Zealand won three ODIs in a row?

You could argue that if, say, Taylor scores a century in the quarter-final, Jesse Ryder does it in the semifinal and Brendon McCullum races to the ton in the final, New Zealand would have a big chance.

But how many ODI hundreds have New Zealand scored recently, Ryder's effort at Eden Park last Saturday excepted?

In my book, as a rule the best teams win World Cups. You don't fluke it.

By and large, teams which arrive in good form and can carry that through the tournament triumph.

And right now that's certainly not New Zealand.

- NZ Herald

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