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Thread: How did ODIs start?

  1. #1
    Cricket Web Staff Member Richard's Avatar
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    How did ODIs start?

    While doing some research for this week's Ask The Spider I came across a fair bit of interesting information I'd never given much thought to. Apart from a few bits and pieces here and there (the fact that the first ODI was a 40-eight-ball-over game between Australia and England in 1970/71 because of a washed-out Test; that the 1975, 1979, 1983 and 1987 WC finals were all in their own ways memorable; and the odd few other lesser things) I've never really thought much about pre-1990s ODI cricket - it's something that hasn't interested me.

    However, I had a look and found some interesting things:
    The first four days of the MCG Test between Australia and England in 1970/71 had been rained-out, so a limited-overs international was arranged to take place instead of the scheduled fifth day, to appease the public more than a meaningless single day of Test cricket would have. The game was played over 40 eight-ball overs, as opposed to the one-day cricket the English players had been playing domestically for the last 8 seasons which consisted of 60 six-ball overs. This reduced the English standard of 360 deliveries to 320, a foreshadow of the 60-over game being reduced to a 50-over game (unified once the six-ball over became standard) to fit the daylight hours outside the UK.

    As a follow-up, England and Australia played the first series - of three matches - to follow the return Test series 1972. This was played over 55 six-ball overs. In 1972/73, New Zealand took the cue and organised a ODI against Pakistan, again following the 40-eight-ball over formula. England played four ODIs (two each against New Zealand and West Indies) in 1973, sticking with the format of the previous two summer, and repeating the trick against India and Pakistan in 1974. To celebrate Australia's overdue recognition of New Zealand as a cricketing power, the Kiwis again organised two ODIs against them to accompany the Test series in 1973/74 (these, curiously, were 35-eight-ball over affairs). England played another one-off game in Australia on their 1974/75 tour, plus two in the ensuing series in New Zealand (the Australian one was 40 overs, the Kiwi ones 35, both with eight balls per over).

    Finally, the ODI game was established for good in the English summer of 1975, with a two-week World Cup, involving all the Test-playing teams (England, Australia, West Indies, New Zealand, India and Pakistan) plus a soon-to-be-elevated Sri Lanka team and an assortment of countries making-up East Africa, the first instance of "minnow" teams being involved in the format. Even so, just 27 ODIs were played in between the Cups of 1975 and 1979. The first time the game moved outside Australia, England and New Zealand was when Pakistan arranged a return fixture against the Kiwis, following the Kiwi formula of 35 eight-ball overs. Pakistan kept the Kiwi formula for their three-match series against England in 1977/78. The first time the now standard 50-six-ball over format was used was by West Indies, who hosted a one-off against Pakistan in 1977 and two games against Australia in 1978. A true taste of the future of the ODI game came when Pakistan hosted India (three curious 40-over six-ball over games were played out) in 1978/79. The last of the 40-eight-ball over ODIs were played between Australia and England the same season.

    A considerable number of new things happened in the first game after the 1979 World Cup. In 1979/80, Australian cricket was reconciled following Kerry Packer's World Series Cricket, but the Australian board instituted his successful idea of a ODI tri-series, the first being between Australia, England and West Indies. This also saw the first 50-six-ball over ODI cricket in Australia, and the first coloured-clothing and day\night ODI anywhere. However, this tournament was still the only ODI cricket played that season, apart from a one-off on West Indies' tour of New Zealand. This too saw the Kiwis adopt the standard 50-six-ball over format.

    England continued to play 55-over ODIs at home in 1980, and in fact kept the format until 1995 (as well as playing the games in white clothing until 1998, with no day\night matches or tri-series until 2000). Elsewhere, the 50-over format instantly became standard, though Pakistan once more played 40-over games against West Indies in 1980/81, and in fact continued to do so until they hosted their first tri-series in 1994/95, whereupon they finally switched to the 50-over orthodoxy. India finally hosted the format (they played 50 overs from the start) in 1981/82, playing England. The game went to Sri Lanka for the first time (these inaugural games were 45-over matches) the same season, as England moved on to the island after their India tour. The 1983 World Cup saw the 60-over game used for the last time, as well as the last Cup in England until 1999. 223 games had been played up to the end of this tournament, spanning more than 12 years; this tally was more than doubled (254) in the next 4 years up the end of the 1987/88 Cup. The explosion in popularity of the short-form game had begun. The return of South Africa and the addition of Zimbabwe to the regularly-playing fold in 1991/92 added the final elements.
    Particularly surprising was that the first 50-over ODI in Pakistan didn't come until 1994/95!

    Hope everyone finds that extract as interesting as I do. Any additions\corrections are of course welcome.
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  2. #2
    Hall of Fame Member Goughy's Avatar
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    For a longtime the correct term was not ODI but LOI.

    The article and the post seems to assume they were the same but they were not.
    If I only just posted the above post, please wait 5 mins before replying as there will be edits

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  3. #3
    Cricket Web Staff Member Richard's Avatar
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    Strictly speaking they still are LOIs aren't they? ODI has only ever been a slang term as far as I've been aware.

    Even now there are still reserve days in occasional games (World Cup matches). And TBH I'd much prefer it if we still had the things in every game, much as the current bloated calender does not allow it.

    So what's the difference between old-style LOI and possible-new-style ODI?

    Mind, I suppose Twenty20 Internationals have meant the term "Limited-Over International" could now mean more than one thing.
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  4. #4
    Hall of Fame Member Goughy's Avatar
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    Im only bringing it up as this is a thread looking at the short form of the game.

    You are right though. Strictly speaking ODIs are LOIs but not all LOIs are ODIs though in reality the distinction has disappeared after the general move to 50 overs and no reserve day.

    Going back years though, there were people that would turn their noses up if ODI was used as a term when the game had a reserve day. People less bothered now and the game more uniform.


  5. #5
    State Vice-Captain slugger's Avatar
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    what i want to know is.. why settle on 50 over format.. why was this the final and prefered format..

    it moved between 35 up to 60 overs.. some 8 ball some 6 ball.. what number where they looking for..

    and another interesting point that bemuses me slightly is england had a "day game" for 8 seasons prior to it being played at international level.. if they had played this format for so long why did they hesitate to bring it to international level.. and only after the australian game due to weather problems was it played..

    surely the ecb played it at domestic level because it got the crowds to the game??? otherwise they wouldnt of continued for so long ??

    and england played 20 20 cricket at domestic level from 2003.. however the first int. was between nz and aust..in 2005.. once again england ECB settle for it at one point but hesitate to push it beyound its shores..

  6. #6
    Cricket Web Staff Member Richard's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by slugger View Post
    what i want to know is.. why settle on 50 over format.. why was this the final and prefered format..
    This was presumably the maximum number of six-ball overs that fitted into the time in which there was daylight outside the UK.
    it moved between 35 up to 60 overs.. some 8 ball some 6 ball.. what number where they looking for..
    The eight-ball over was nothing unique to one-day cricket - Australia (and New Zealand) had eight-ball overs in all cricket for a time. This wasn't going to be switched back to six-ball overs just for the limited-overs game, so they played a different number of overs to the six-ball-over standard.

    When the six-ball over became universal, the 50-over game rapidly became so also everywhere outside England and Pakistan, who kept 55-over and 40-over ODIs respectively until the mid-1990s. Why, who knows?

    Personally I prefer 55- and 60-over cricket to 50-over, TBH.
    and another interesting point that bemuses me slightly is england had a "day game" for 8 seasons prior to it being played at international level.. if they had played this format for so long why did they hesitate to bring it to international level.. and only after the australian game due to weather problems was it played..

    surely the ecb played it at domestic level because it got the crowds to the game??? otherwise they wouldnt of continued for so long ??

    and england played 20 20 cricket at domestic level from 2003.. however the first int. was between nz and aust..in 2005.. once again england ECB settle for it at one point but hesitate to push it beyound its shores..
    Just because something is a domestic commonplace event, doesn't mean it has to be played at international level. I still feel that Twenty20 cricket at international level serves no purpose whatsoever and in fact will likely do more harm than good.

    Equally, in the 1960s Test cricket was the only form of the international game and there was no good reason to change that. I've been brought-up with ODIs being not merely part of the furniature but obviously a completely different game to Test cricket. But there was a time when it was both similar and unnecessary at international level.
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  7. #7
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    When was the first domestic one dayer?
    I think they were playing them in the 1960's in england.Am interested to know.

  8. #8
    Cricket Web Staff Member Richard's Avatar
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    Yes, the first was the Gillette Cup in 1963, which has since been the NatWest and Cheltenham&Gloucester Trophy and is currently the Friends Provident Trophy.

    The first ever A-List game of limited-overs cricket was Lancashire vs Leicestershire on 1st May that season.
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    Didn't Bradman have quite a bit to do with that Aus-Eng replacement match?
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