The ball that killed One Day Cricket

Anyone here looking forward to the fourth ODI between Australia and England at Perth’s brand new stadium on Friday?

No, me either.

Don’t worry, we’re not alone.


The anti-ODI boat has been filling up for some time, but it reached critical mass last Sunday evening when Steve Smith was given out caught behind by human idiocy.

As Steve Smith walked off the SCG my mind exploded in cacophony of frustration.

Firstly on a personal level, I’d had a sneaky lobster on a Hazelwood/Smith Most Wickets/Runs combo and was already lining up to collect my couple of hundred hard-earned dollars as Smith looked to click into third gear.

Secondly the Aussie in me took over, ropeable that such an idiotic process could rob Australia and it’s heroic captain of the chance to record a massive come-from-behind series win.

Lastly I actually, quite randomly, thought of Kerry Packer.

It’s probably good he wasn’t around to see what happened on Sunday, because he would have keeled over right there and then.

“What the hell is this soft call rubbish? Either he’s out or the umpire has no bloody idea in which case he’s not out…you know what forget it, just put me through to the third umpire I’ll tell him my bloody self.”

ODI’s have faced a constant battle for relevancy in this brave new T20 world and the one thing that could have given the format the injection of interest it so desperately needs was ripped away by a mechanism designed to avoid shocking decisions.

Marvellous irony that.

I turned the TV off before Smith had even got to the boundary rope.

Sure I was annoyed that I’d lost my $20, but the overwhelming emotion was frustration at a world in which we assume (far too often) that smart people are making decisions.

Why in the name of Bradman would you have a system that ties the hands of the official who can make a concrete call by asking the official who can’t to make one?


In an alternate reality where Smith survived that ridiculousness to go on and make a memorable match-winning century, it would keep the series well and truly up for grabs as the nation looked to the new jewel in the crown of Perth to see if their heroes could keep hopes alive for an historic 3-2 Aussie series win.

But back to our reality and aside from West Australians who want to brag about their new stadium and English people who want to (understandably) brag about winning something (anything), who really cares about a dead rubber game that could yield the same frustrations as the last game?

Certainly not this cricket-lover that is for sure, on nothing other than general principle – switch on Cricket Australia before the last of us switch off for good.