Moeen Ali expressed helplessness at the current state of ODI cricket, stating it was evident the format was heading towards doom but there is not much that can be done in the face of dwindling interest. He went on to explain how he views the future landscape of cricket and its consequences.
The conversation around ODI cricket continues to scale up in intensity as more and more people get convinced about the format's inevitable extinction. The latest to join that list is World Cup winner Moeen Ali, who clinched the title with the England team in 2019 under Eoin Morgan's tutelage. The all-rounder has since retired from Tests and dedicated his future to white-ball cricket but feels that the term would be narrowed down to just T20s in the near future.
“It just feels like it’s going that way and there’s nothing almost you can do because I think the interest in 50-over cricket is not there as it probably once was. So yeah, having won it in 2019 it’s a difficult one because I genuinely feel in two to three years' time, nobody’s going to want to play it," he told Cricket365.
The speculation around ODIs began with the growing popularity of T20s, and the two consecutive World T20s in 2021 and 2022 have seen international cricket mainly being played in the game's shortest format. At the same time, franchise competitions like the Indian Premier League have continued to grow bigger than ever while new ventures such as the South African T20 League and the United Arab Emirates International League T20 have also shown up on the horizon.
The final warning bell came in the form of Ben Stokes' retirement from ODIs after he confessed the schedule was becoming too hectic for him. Ali has predicted that might become a common trend in the coming days given there seems to be no respite in the international calendar.
“It’s a bit like our domestic stuff here at the moment, there’s the Hundred while the 50-over is going on and there’s not that much interest in it compared to the County Championship, the Vitality Blast and the Hundred." he said.
“International cricket in all three formats is by far the best cricket to play. There’s no doubt about that, but I do worry there are so many tournaments out there that players are retiring more now and you’ll see more retiring soon."
“At the moment it’s not sustainable in my opinion. Something has to be done because I fear losing the 50-over format in a couple of years, because it’s almost like the long, boring one if that makes sense. It’s almost like you’ve got T20s, you’ve got the Test matches, which are great and then the 50 overs is just in the middle there’s no importance given to at the moment. So yeah, I think there’s too much. Personally, I feel like there’s too much going on,” the veteran concluded.