Ponting defends 50-over format

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Brisbane, Jan.22 (ANI); Australian cricket captain Ricky Ponting has vigorously defended the 50-over game's relevance ahead of his team's five-match series opener against Pakistan.

The two teams meet for the first match here on Friday.

"I would hate to think about the day 50-over cricket isn't played any more and I don't think that will ever happen," Ponting said.

Cricket Australia have been pleasantly surprised by the overwhelming success of the domestic Twenty20 competition.

The 15 preliminary matches played between the states in the last three weeks attracted almost 280,000 spectators - an 85 per cent increase on last year's competition.

In contrast, some domestic one-day games have drawn crowds of just over 2,000.

It has prompted the likes of Shane Warne - who is heavily entrenched in Indian Premier League Twenty20 - to demand Australia dump the 50-over game, just like England.

England's county system have introduced 40-over-a-side clashes.

But Ponting couldn't see the point of England's new format ahead of the 2011 World Cup one-day tournament.

"I am not sure why, it doesn't make a lot of sense if you are trying to bring guys on for World Cups," he said in Brisbane on Thursday.

"I know it is happening in England at the moment where they are playing 40 over cricket but I think it (50 overs-a-game) is a wonderful game.

Ponting said he couldn't see the one-day game's appeal dropping off but hinted that he may reassess after their two Down Under series. (ANI)

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