Cricket NewsShoaib Akhtar, a former Pakistani pacer, responded to the widely shared photo...

    Shoaib Akhtar, a former Pakistani pacer, responded to the widely shared photo of the Melbourne Cricket Ground’s (MCG) empty stands for the third One-Day International (ODI) between Australia and England.


    A three-match ODI series was scheduled soon after England won the T20 World Cup, according to former Pakistan pacer Shoaib Akhtar, who responded to the viral photo of empty Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) stands for the third ODI between Australia and England by calling it “food for thought.” He furthered his point by pointing out that a cricket match between India and Pakistan in the T20 World Cup was watched by nearly 92,000 spectators at the same location a month earlier.

    There was a low turnout for the three-match ODI series between Australia and England, which the former won 3-0, and few fans showed up to support the home team. “This is a food for thought. An amazing world cup JUST finished. A pushed series champions England had to play in 3 days’ time. But here’s the interest of crowd in an Eng vs Aus match. One month after Pak vs Ind here attended by 92,000 people,” tweeted Akhtar. Many have begun to question the future of bilateral cricket series as a result of the ongoing scheduling controversy in cricket.

    England captain Jos Buttler made a similar comment following the conclusion of the ODI series against Australia, claiming that the series was not intended to serve as a promotion for how to maintain bilateral play. “Just to take care of it, find a way to keep it all relevant. Maybe the ICC tournaments should be a little bit more spread out: it gives you a little bit more time to prepare and it makes them probably a bit more special when they do come around as well. The landscape of cricket has changed dramatically over the last few years, and we’re in a different time. Lots of people are talking about how you keep bilateral cricket relevant and I think this series is a good example of how probably not to do it,” Buttler told BBC.

    “I think one of the biggest things is having overlapping series. We’ve got a group of players preparing for a Test series that shortly starts in Pakistan and we’ve got a team playing here at the same time. In the new year, a Test match [in New Zealand] finishes one day, and an ODI series starts the very next day in Bangladesh,” he added. “I feel a bit for the players, to be honest – the ones who are young and coming into the game at the moment. You want to play all formats and I don’t think the schedule really gives you that chance at the minute.”


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