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THE DEBATE: IS ONE-DAY INTERNATIONAL CRICKET UNFAIR ON BOWLERS?

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YES: Gladstone Small (England seamer in 1987 and 1992 World Cups)

One-day bowlers have to be really brave and strong these days. They have to stick to their guns, and have lots of ideas too. And it’s good that batsmen are able to play so innovatively, with such a range of shots. But the beauty of cricket is when you have a fair fight between bat and ball, not severely weighted one way or the other.  Batsmen are too often able to stand still and swing through the line of the ball. Pakistan were the only team in the Champions Trophy that really got the ball reversing later in the innings, and well done to them. What Hasan Ali produced was terrific. The pitch at Cardiff for the semi-final certainly aided them, but they nullified England’s batting. Generally, though, the white balls did not move in the air that much. When I played with the Dukes white ball in England, it definitely did a bit more than the white balls used elsewhere in the world. [White Kookaburras are now used in all ODIs and T20Is across the world.] You don’t need the ball to swing extravagantly or to have a heavily seaming pitch – just for the ball to swing and seam for longer than it does now. The world game could do with addressing the imbalance, but officials will say we are in the entertainment industry. So as long as the batsmen are smoting the bowling around then I don’t think we will see it change all that much.

NO: Mark Butcher (Former England Test batsman and Surrey captain)

The debate about more help for bowlers is erroneous. The regulations – Powerplays, field restrictions etc – were changed because one-day cricket was bloody boring. There are a lot of high scores. But there are plenty of low ones too. I think generally the success of ODI batsmen shows up the poor standards of world bowling – it has less to do with the ball or the regulations. I did some research on the 2015 World Cup. There were more teams who were bowled out for under 250 than teams who scored more than 350. But it’s more eye-catching to score 350, so it gets more attention. Pakistan showed what can happen if you have a good bowling attack. After the first game no one scored more than 236 against them, even at The Oval. The best bowling attack won the tournament. That’s how it should be for any cricket match or competition. The rule changes in ODI cricket have been introduced to make the game – especially the middle bit of the innings – more entertaining. The 50-over game was dying on its feet. The ODI format still has issues, but the changes have worked. We don’t need to alter them again for the time being. 

Results from last month's debate: City T20: The good, the bad, and the sceptical... which camp are you in?

Good 46%
Sceptical 33%
Bad 21%