Mohali:The ongoing one-day international series between India and Australia has played its bit to prove that public attraction to the 50-over format of cricket is still undisturbed, according to Principal Adviser to the ICC I S Bindra.
"Before the start, everyone was treating the current India-Australia ODI series as a benchmark that would decide the fate of the 50-over format. But you see packed stadiums everywhere and most of the tickets for the Monday's match here also have already been sold out," said Bindra.
India will take on the visitors in fourth match of the high-octane series here on November 2.
Bindra, who is also the President of Punjab Cricket Association (PCA), of the opinion that Twenty20 matches were quite successful in attracting new section of audience to the game of cricket.
"T20 format is, in fact, helping attract new spectators. Earlier, those fans who used to watch only NBA, football and Formula One have started taking keen interest in cricket after 20-over games became popular. It is also helping promote the cricket as a whole," Bindra said at a press conference.
"A new fan-base is building up in ODIs because of T20. The second impact of the T20 is that earlier a score of 300 plus was considered safe in the one-dayers, but now even after posting 350 plus score, you can't be sure of winning. That has made the game even more exciting," he said.
On the inaugural Champions League T20, involving top 12 domestic sides, Bindra said, "Local element is very important for such events. We saw the exit of India and South Africa at an early stage, which was bound to impact the spectators' interest."
Bindra has been entrusted with the responsibility of promoting cricket in China and United States Bindra also said that the ICC has requested India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka to send their 'A' teams to the next year's Asian Games to be held in China.
Chinese women cricket team are currently at PCA to hone their skills.
"China is learning the game from bottom upwards. They are first trying to make the sport popular at school and university level while as in the USA they want to make it popular at the top level first.
"The USA also happens to be the second biggest market (after India) as far as revenue generated from the TV rights are concerned," Bindra said.
He said the ICC had requested the full members Boards to try and play some matches at Florida (US) whenever they are touring the West Indies.
"At Florida, we have an internationally approved facility which has come up," Bindra said.
On the pitch for ODI, Bindra quoted chief curator Daljit Singh and indicated that it will be a good batting track. Chiefs of Australia and Pakistan cricket boards, Jack Clarke and Ejaz Butt respectively, will also be watching the Mohali match, Bindra revealed.
Bindra said that the state government would be bringing 2,000 students from different parts of the State to watch the match while 400-500 Australian fans are also expected to attend.
"We have added a new software which ensures that even if the light goes off due to any reason, it can be started within 25-30 seconds. Over the next couple of months, we are also trying to have a back up generator of 1500 KV, which will take care of power needs of the entire stadium in case of a power failure," Bindra said.