The future of the sport was discussed with the former India head coach on the fourth day of the final Test of the 2022–23 Border–Gavaskar Trophy in Ahmedabad. After discussing the sport, the conversation turned to the One-Day format’s current state. In the third session of the fourth day, commentator Shastri made a recommendation on the air to prevent the demise of the longest version of white-ball cricket.
According to Ravi Shastri, who played 150 ODIs for India between 1981 and 1992, the number of overs in ODI cricket should be lowered to forty for each side in order to survive in the coming years. “For One Day cricket to survive, I think it should be reduced to forty over the game in future, and the reason I say this is because when we won the World cup in 1983, it was a 60 over the game. Then the attention span of the people diminished and it became a fifty-over game. I think the time has come for it to become now a 40-over game. Evolve with the times. Reduce the format,” Shastri said.
The former India coach also expressed his opinion on T20 cricket and domestic leagues. He said the T20 format is important for the development of the sport due to its ability to extract high revenue. Shastri added that the bilateral T20 contests should be played on a few occasions as a lot of leagues are there in the arena to promote the T20 game. “T20 format I think is the key,” he said.
“It is the injection the game needs to evolve. It’s the cash cow for the sport. But I think there also the bilaterals should be reduced. There are enough domestic leagues around the world that promote the T20 game. We should let those leagues happen and then have a World Cup, just in between. Very few bilaterals, if needed before a World Cup or something of that sort. Then you can sustain all three formats.”
On Test cricket, Shastri said “Test cricket will remain Test cricket and it should be given paramount importance. It’s the real thing. I think there’s a place for all formats within India. Especially in the subcontinent. Especially in places like Australia.” After the conclusion of the fourth Test, India and Australia will move toward the three-match ODI series that will be played from March 17 to 22.