Twenty20 format may replace ODIs, says Akram

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KARACHI, Sep 21 (Reuters) Former Pakistan captain Wasim Akram believes Twenty20 cricket could eventually replace one-day internationals.

Akram said the success of the ongoing Twenty20 World Cup in South Africa could have spark greater interest in the format.

''Twenty20 cricket already has the potential to replace the ODIs as the most populist version of the sport,'' Akram told Reuters today.

''The Twenty20 World Cup has been a big success in terms of the interest it has evoked and people coming in to the grounds. You didn't get such big crowds and excitement even in the World Cup in West Indies.'' The left arm pace bowler said he enjoyed watching the Twenty20 matches.

''For a cricket lover it is the ideal format. The match finishes in around three and half hours and there is plenty of excitement and tension for the spectators and viewers,'' he said.

''To me one-dayers have tended to become boring and predictable.'' However, he did not think the format could be seen as a challenge to Test cricket.

''Test cricket will always remain the 'real cricket' for the players and purist fans around the globe. It can never be replaced.

Even the advent of one-day internationals didn't affect its popularity and following.'' REUTERS BJR SSC1347

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