“Month After Pak vs Ind…”: Akhtar Reacts To Empty Stands For AUS-ENG ODI

Former Pakistan pacer Shoaib Akhtar has reacted to the viral picture of empty Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) stands for the third ODI between Australia and England, saying it is “food for thought” and he also commented on how a three-match ODI series was scheduled soon after England’s T20 World Cup triumph. He also drove home his point by stating that a month earlier, almost 92,000 fans attended a cricket match between India and Pakistan at the same venue in the T20 World Cup.

The three-match ODI series between Australia and England, which the former won 3-0, witnessed low crowd turnout and the spectators did not turn up in numbers to support the home team.

“This is a food for thought. An amazing world cup JUST finished. A pushed series champions England had to play in 3 days time. But here’s the interest of crowd in an Eng vs Aus match.  One month after Pak vs Ind here attended by 92,000 people,” tweeted Akhtar.

The topic of scheduling is being debated for a long time now in cricket and many have started to question the future of bilateral cricket series.

After the conclusion of the ODI series against Australia, England captain Jos Buttler commented on the same, saying the series was not a advertisement on how to keep bilateral cricket alive.

“Just to take care of it, find a way to keep it all relevant. Maybe the ICC tournaments should be a little bit more spread out: it gives you a little bit more time to prepare and it makes them probably a bit more special when they do come around as well. The landscape of cricket has changed dramatically over the last few years, and we’re in a different time. Lots of people are talking about how you keep bilateral cricket relevant and I think this series is a good example of how probably not to do it,” Buttler told BBC.

“I think one of the biggest things is having overlapping series. We’ve got a group of players preparing for a Test series that shortly starts in Pakistan and we’ve got a team playing here at the same time. In the new year, a Test match [in New Zealand] finishes one day, and an ODI series starts the very next day in Bangladesh,” he added.

“I feel a bit for the players, to be honest – the ones who are young and coming into the game at the moment. You want to play all formats and I don’t think the schedule really gives you that chance at the minute.”

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