Ponting urges Cricket Australia to save ODIs from becoming history

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Sydney, Feb 22(ANI): Australian skipper Ricky Ponting has urged Cricket Australia (CA) to consider revamping the extravagant prices and over-scheduling to bring fans back to watch ODI games, and to promote the 2015 World Cup to be hosted Down Under.

Ponting claims that ticket and food prices were too high for an ordinary family to afford at the grounds, which was responsible for the dwindling crowds.

The crowds for the 50-over games have been poor, with just over 15,000 turning up at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on February 19 to watch Australia thrash the West Indies by 125 runs to seal their unbeaten summer.

The figure was 39 per cent lower than the 25,463 that came to watch the first match of the series a fortnight ago, which at the time was thought to be a particularly poor crowd.

"With the 2015 World Cup being in Australia, Cricket Australia has to look after the one-day game the best they can and promote it the best they can," The Australian quoted Ponting, as saying.

"The 50-over World Cup is still the pinnacle of the shortened game, there's no doubt about that, but does that mean you have to play 10 one-day internationals a summer or could you get by playing five? I don't think that would make a great deal of difference," he added.

Highlighting the multiple games played in Melbourne, Ponting said that cricket fans would not have the money to support the Big Bash and internationals at the same time.

"I think if we'd played the international games before the Big Bash, we would have had better crowds at the international games. People have only got a certain amount of money to spend on entertainment," Ponting said.

"With the Big Bash games, there were two in Melbourne this year, so when the one-day games came to Melbourne, people had probably already spent their money on the Big Bash."

"There's still a strong interest in 50-over cricket, but with the Big Bash being on during school holidays, people were always going to go and watch that. Playing 10 one-day internationals, as ell, by the end of the summer, I think people were over cricket," he added. (ANI)

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