Srinagar: Former Team India coach Ravi Shastri has made a bold prediction about India’s star all-rounder Hardik Pandya in the wake of recent ODI retirement by England cricketer Ben Stokes.
Ravi Shastri is currently who is working as expert with Sky Sports, claimed that all-rounder Hardik Pandya may follow Stokes’ route and walk away from the ODI format after the 2023 World Cup in India.
Pandya underwent lower back surgery in 2019 and played purely as a batter. He resumed bowling regularly with a fresh IPL spell with Gujarat Titans and went on to regain full fitness during India’s recent tour of England.
“50-over format might be pushed back but it can still survive if you focus just on the World Cup. From the ICC’s point of view, paramount importance should be given to World Cups, whether it is T20 World Cup or 50-over World Cup, the bucks have to increase. Test cricket will always remain because of the importance it brings to the game. You have players already choosing what formats they want to play. Take a Hardik Pandya. He wants to play T20 cricket and he is very clear in his mind that ‘I do not want to play anything else,” Shastri said.
“He will play the 50-over cricket because there is a World Cup in India next year. After that, you might see him going from that as well. You will see a similar thing happening with other players, they will start choosing formats, they have every right to,” added Shastri.
Shastri said that if Cricket governing body will not act soon it is going give it a knockout punch.
“The main issue that we have to look at right now is the reality, what is happening right now. There are things that are being said by former players, someone like me, 5-10 years ago, that is already happening. If you are not going to see the reality, then it is going to give you the biggest knockout punch that you have ever got,” he said.
“It is not just administrators who run the world game, but administrations who run different boards around the world, they have got to see the reality, the volume of cricket and what is the demand, go with the economics of the sport,” said Shastri.
Earlier this month, Cricket South Africa had decided to pull out of their ODI series against Australia to ensure their players would be available for their new domestic T20 competition.
“Shastri also underlined the role of franchise cricket, which could play a major role in boards curbing International cricket. The IPL is set to have a two-and-a-half-month exclusive window and the lucrative T20 tournament will probably come to the fore amidst ICC’s Futures Tours & Programme (FTP),” he added.