India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni has expressed his displeasure with the new rules that have been implemented in one-day cricket to make the game more attacking, but Dave Richardson, chief executive of the International Cricket Council, believes that it is too early to sit in judgement whether the changes have had the desire effect.
“I think it will take some time for captains to work out the strategy with respect to the new rules. I think it’s far too early to form any judgement whether it has been successful or not. For me, we have to have a full year’s cricket, after a significant number of ODIs have been played, look at all the facts, and if it did contribute to more attacking cricket, then we will take it forward from there on,” Richardson said on Sunday.
“There’s no doubt in my mind that the 50-over format is still a good product to continue with… To me, it provides the perfect balance, it’s a full day out and you get a result in that very same day. It has a future and a definite place along with the other formats,” he added.
The rule changes in ODIs include giving bowlers some leeway by allowing two bouncers per over, doing away with the bowling Powerplay rule and allowing only four fielders outside the 30-yard circle in the non-Powerplay period.
Commenting on growing clamour for India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni's ouster after series of dismal performances by the team at home and away post World Cup triumph in 2011, Richardson, who himself donned the responsibility of a wicketkeeper-batsman for South Africa in 42 Tests and 122 ODIs, said: “If he is a good captain, good enough to lead, which he is, then he should remain at the job.”
Praising Dhoni the ’keeper, Richardson said: “The only way you judge a ’keeper is by how much he misses and Dhoni doesn’t miss many... In fact, I have always marvelled at his workload. The fact that he is batting at No. 6, captaining the side and ’keeping wickets, I think he has exceptional talent. He also stays calm.”
Moving on to a different issue, Richardson said that Pakistan will have to wait for some more time to bring international cricket back to the country as the ICC thinks that it needs to do more on the security front to win the confidence of the foreign teams. According to Richardson, it’s “premature” to comment if the country is safe to host international matches.
“It’s safe or not that we have to ask the security experts... Obviously, they have got a difficult situation there and I think they still have a lot of work to do in convincing the international teams to tour Pakistan. I think it’s premature to say whether it’s safe to tour Pakistan or not,” Richardson said.
No Test playing nation has toured Pakistan since militants attacked Sri Lankan team in March 2009 in Lahore.
Richardson, however, seemed happy with the resumption of bilateral ties between India and Pakistan and said both the countries should play each other on a regular basis. Talking about BCCI’s reluctance to introduce DRS in the home series, Richardson said the idea behind introducing the technology is to improve the accuracy, reliability and the ball tracking system.
“There are a number of teams and the players who want to have DRS on a more consistent basis. At this stage, the majority of member countries agree with the ICC policy to have it in the series, so when it is used it works well. I think in the longer run, it’s good for the game. To avoid umpiring controversies, our goal is to make sure that if it is used, it should be used well. The policy is ‘don’t force it on the member nations’.”