Dubai:As Australia and England gear up to play the 3,000th one-dayer amid a Twenty20 revolution in world cricket, ICC CEO Haroon Lorgat on Monday insisted that ODIs will "remain strong long into the future".
"Coloured clothing, white balls, fielding restrictions, bowling limitations, powerplays, free-hits and many other aspects of the game have all been introduced but the unshakable core skills required by batsmen, bowlers and fielders are still intact," Lorgat said in a statement ahead of the match tomorrow in Southampton.
"The broad appeal remains strong. ODIs still attract big crowds and enormous television viewing figures. The ODI series between England and Australia that gets underway tomorrow will be hugely well attended and the recent ODIs in Ireland and Scotland were also sell-outs," he pointed out.
Lorgat said with the ODI World Cup coming to the cricket-mad sub-continent next year, the format's future remains bright.
"As we prepare for the 10th staging of the ICC Cricket World Cup in Bangladesh, India and Sri Lanka next year, the importance of this format to the game remains very high.
"I have no doubt the ODI will continue to adapt and evolve - in fact we always encourage our members to trial new initiatives at domestic level to see if they work and above all, I have no doubt the ODI will continue to strengthen long into the future," said Lorgat.
Over the past four decades, India has played more ODIs than any other team with 746, out of which it has won 362 and lost 347.
Australia is the next most prolific team having played 742. However, the Aussies have won an impressive 461 and lost just 249. Interestingly, Australia has tied more matches than any other with no fewer than eight ODIs ending in thrilling stalemate.
The first recognised ODI took place in Melbourne in 1971 between Australia and England.
"That first ODI nearly 40 years ago involved the bowling of 40 eight-ball overs per innings and the structure of the game has been constantly evolving ever since. Over the years various initiatives have been trialled and refined and we now have quite a different spectacle to the one that was first on show," Lorgat said.
The future of ODIs has become a subject of much speculation due to the rise of the Twenty20 format as spectators have shown a prefrence for the shortest version of the game.