‘ODIs are really under the pump at the moment, got to protect the game’ - Glenn McGrath shares concerns over future of ODI format

'We need to look at how we keep people coming to these games' - reckons Glenn McGrath.

Former Australian cricketer Glenn McGrath
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Former Australian cricketer Glenn McGrath. (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)

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Australia’s legendary pace bowler Glenn McGrath has raised concerns over the future of the 50-over format after just over 4000 fans were present in the stadium for the final ODI at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) between Australia and England recently. Although the Aussies had already sealed the series, spectators have always been turning up in large numbers at the mighty MCG stadium which has a large capacity. 

Also the fact, that the recent T20 World Cup final at the same venue had witnessed 80,462 fans adds to McGrath’s worries. The growth of the T20 format and an urge to protect the Test format’s class has now left the ODI format’s future in jeopardy and already a lot of renowned cricketers are opting out of the format. England Test captain Ben Stokes emerged as the recent big name to call time on his ODI career.

“It was so disappointing to see crowds like that, ODIs are really under the pump at the moment. Melbourne is classed as the sporting capital of Australia, if not the world, they absolutely love their sport. So for them to turn out in the numbers they did speaks volumes about where we’re at,” told McGrath as quoted by Cricket 365 while speaking on the future of the format.  

I would still put the ODI World Cup as more important than the T20: Glenn McGrath 

Glenn McGrath went on to pick the scheduling as one of the reasons for the concerns over the 50-over format and explained how every format needs due respect.  

“The international schedule is tough enough. I think they have to respect every series and every game, it has to mean something.” 

He further mentioned about the importance of protecting the 50-over format from tailing off and wished for it to earn back its fans while recollecting his memories from the ODI World Cup.

“We’ve got to protect the game. T20 cricket is always growing, it’s fast, quick, and exciting and Test cricket really is the ultimate. I think those two formats will stand the test of time. 

“I do hope ODI cricket carries on, I’ve got a lot of great memories of it and I would still put the ODI World Cup as more important than the T20. But the format is under the pump and we need to look at how we keep people coming to these games.”