Karachi:Former Pakistan captain Zaheer Abbas fears the 2011 World Cup might be the last 50-overs event before the ODI format dies a premature death.
The traditionalist in Abbas is alarmed by the overwhelming success of Twenty20 and the way Indian and English cricket boards are promoting the slam-bang format.
If such thing continues, one day cricket would die in two year's time, warned Abbas.
"If powerful boards like India, Australia and South Africa push for more Twenty20 cricket, I fear it might be the end of one-day internationals in the next two years time," Zaheer said on Friday.
Former players like Shane Warne are demanding ICC to do away with the one day format, while the England and Wales Cricket Board has already dropped the 50-overs format from its 2010 domestic calendar.
"I remain a traditionalist at heart and I don't like what I see. I fear for the future of one-day internationals. The 2011 World Cup might well be the last time we see 50 over matches being played anywhere," he added.
Hailed as the 'Asian Bradman' for his stylish batting and appetite for big scores during his playing days, Abbas said the growing popularity of Twenty20 cricket would eventually sound the death knell of traditional cricket.
"The way money is coming into Twenty20 cricket and the way countries like India and England are pushing and promoting it...if these boards want, they have enough clout in the ICC to change the format of the ODIs completely and reduce the number of overs in matches," he said.
Abbas said while Twenty20 cricket was essential for cricket, it must not be given preference over Tests or one-day matches.
"The real test of a player still comes in Tests or 50 over matches. Twenty20 is pure entertainment and you cannot have entertainment and fun all the time," Zaheer said.
Former captain Javed Miandad also felt the same way and said the authorities need to control the amount of Twenty20 matches held every year.
"Look the technical perfections are already suffering and the more we reduce the number of overs the more it is less cricket," Miandad, now a senior official in the Pakistan Cricket Board and the team's batting consultant, said.