Former West Indies pace bowler Ian Bishop expressed concern over international cricket’s future after Cricket South Africa (CSA) recently withdrew from the ODI series against Australia next year.
South Africa were due to play three ODIs against Australia in January 2023. The matches were part of the ongoing World Cup Super League. However, CSA opted to put its new franchise T20 league over the team’s qualification for the next 50-over World Cup in India.
CSA opts for T20 franchise league over bilateral ODI series
This is the third attempt by the country’s cricket board to establish a sustainable T20 league after the Global T20 League failed to hit the stage in 2017. The Mzansi Super League, which was conducted in 2019 and 2020, was scrapped after failing to attract broadcasters for the third year deal.
Since the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) started the Indian Premier League in 2008, their rival administrators have emulated them in setting up their own franchise tournament.
The Big Bash League (Australia), Pakistan Super League (Pakistan) and The Hundred (England) are some of the prominent franchise leagues across the globe other than IPL.
South Africa clearing their schedule is clearly showing commitment to franchise cricket: Ian Bishop
Bishop, who played 43 Tests and 84 ODIs for West Indies, believes cricket will soon adopt the football method, where club competitions are in the spotlight throughout the year and international matches have a specific window.
“From an egalitarian point of view, you want the purity of international cricket to continue. But the economics of cricket is also an important factor. So, how do we marry the economics and the good for the good of the game? Franchise cricket is showing us that they need a window,” Bishop told news agency IANS.
“IPL needs a window, CPL needs its opportunity, Big Bash needs opportunities for its best players to bring in that revenue stream. But I can see down the road where there is going to be a clear demarcation for that period of the franchise like football, in international cricket. South Africa clearing their schedule is clearly showing that the commitment to franchise cricket is assuming significant importance on a country’s agenda,” he added.
England all-rounder Ben Stokes’ recent decision to retire from ODI cricket raised eyebrows about the format’s significance along the line.