New Zealand skipper Kane Williamson said that bilateral ODI series need more context in order to attract fans in the stadiums when asked to opine on recent low attendance for the Australia v England three-match ODI series.
The T20 World Cup winners England played Australia in three ODIs just 4 days after winning the tournament and the series, in which they lost 0-3, saw very few fans filling up the stadiums. Some said that it was a signal towards the demise of the ODI format, while some said that the series was meaningless as it wasn’t part of the ODI super league as well.
"It was unfortunate to see, but it also shows the volume of cricket that's being held. Because no doubt the ICC tournaments are incredibly popular and there has been a lot of cricket on. They (Australia) also had a World Cup on. So, there was a lot on in their country too. So, we must ensure there is a lot more context as possible in games, especially the bilateral series," Williamson said on the eve of New Zealand's opening ODI against India.
Asked if ODI cricket is slowly dying, Williamson said, "It's tough. But yeah, it will settle somewhere. I don't know what it will look like. A lot of teams now have two teams at the moment. I don't know where it will settle, but there are always conversations about trying to make it more appealing in any context like rule change etc so.”
Williamson said that his ODI side needs to reconnect a bit.
"There have not been a huge amount of ODIs, it was mostly T20Is, with some Tests. It is about settling down and getting a nice understanding. There is a change in the environment. These are a few factors. But it is about keeping it nice and simple, going out and express and himself. There is a lot of ODI cricket to come," he added.
Martin Guptill, the veteran New Zealand opener was recently released from his central contract by NZC and Williamson insisted that the batter had not retired from the game and is still available for New Zealand. Guptill was recently dropped from the white-ball side for the India series.
Williamson said: "I had a few chats with him. He has been incredible for New Zealand. He made the decision to play in other leagues but is still available for New Zealand. He is certainly one of our best white ball players. It is just trying to strike that balance. He has not retired. He is still motivated to keep playing and getting better."