Cricket – more than a game?

The recent world record One Day International Cricket performances by both Australia and South Africa in the recent past have caused quite a stir in international circles in respect of the game.
In the aforementioned match both teams averaged in excess of eight runs per over for 50 overs.
Australia, batting first, established a new One Day International Cricket world record when the team amassed 434 for the loss of only four wickets in their allotted 50 overs.
At the time of the record-breaking achievement there were few critics anywhere in the world who would have wagered that it would be easily broken. Yet, before the end of the day’s play, Australia watched hopelessly as the South Africans achieved the mammoth total, losing eight wickets in the process.
All hailed the new world record holders, South Africa.
Former cricket greats, Barry Richards of South Africa and Steve Waugh of Australia have commented on the possible negative consequences of the sudden turn of events in the One Day version of the game.
Indeed, Richards was quick to point out that at the current rate, it seems that we are not too far from registering 1000 runs in a 50 over match.
But Richards who had an outstanding career as a prolific batsman, lamented that while he was sure that the crowds in attendance relish such a run feast, the game may well be the loser in the final analysis.
Richards’ point is that the new approach to the game, actually made even more popular by the introduction of the 20/20 version, favours the batsmen and does little to encourage anyone to turn to bowling as a career option in the game of cricket.
He noted that it must be frustrating to the bowlers and that it served as a disincentive to future cricketers.
As far as the batsmen are concerned the point made by Richards is that the skill component is lost in such run fests.
The approach that yielded in excess of 800 runs in 100 overs in a One Day game is seen as detrimental to the honing of skills among batsmen. There are all sorts of things happening out in the middle that raises the question of whether or not t all fits into the definition of cricket.