Wasim Akram
Former Pakistan bowler Wasim Akram.

Former Pakistan fast bowler Wasim Akram believes that three formats of international cricket is “unsustainable” and that 50-over one-dayers might have to be scrapped as they no longer draw crowds to stadiums around the world.

England all-rounder Ben Stokes announced his retirement from ODIs this week after deciding to focus on test cricket and the game’s shortest format, Twenty20.

Akram, a devastating bowler in his prime and the first to claim 500 ODI wickets, said Stokes retiring from ODIs was sad but that he understood the reasons.

“Even as a commentator... one-day cricket is just a drag now, especially after T20. I can imagine as a player. 50 overs, 50 overs, then you have to pre-game, post-game, the lunch game,” Akram said on a BBC podcast.

T20 is easier

“T20 is kind of easier, (in) four hours the game is over. The leagues all around the world, there’s a lot more money. I suppose this is part and parcel of modern cricket - T20 or Test cricket. One-day cricket is kind of dying. It is quite tiring for a player to play one-day cricket... So players are focusing on the shorter format and the longer format obviously (with) Test cricket.”

When asked if administrators should focus on Tests and T20s Akram said: “I think so. In England you have full houses. In India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, South Africa - (with) one-day cricket you are not going to fill the stadiums. They are doing it just for the sake of doing it,” he added.