If the run-scoring rate in the ongoing England versus Pakistan series is anything to go by, 300 will be a below par score during the World Cup that is started in the United Kingdom on 30 May. In the third ODI, England chased down a 350-plus total with five overs to spare.
And such high scores has prompted the England and Wales Cricket Board to redesign the official fans’ scoresheets during World Cup to accommodate up to 500-run team totals. Yes, they are saying indirectly: be prepared for 500 to be scored in an innings during the 2019 World Cup.
One of the old world charms at any English ground is the printed scorecards that a spectator can buy at the end of day’s play or match by paying a pound or two. It is considered to be a souvenir for the fans.
“Scorecards bought by fans at games have a tally of runs that can be ticked off and for the World Cup they were originally designed to go up to 400. But at an operations meeting last week Steve Elworthy, the tournament director, realised they would have to be be redesigned with a tally of up to 500,” reported British newspaper Daily Telegraph.
It should come as no surprise that the current world record for the most runs in an ODI innings is held by England and came in one of their home ODIs. Hosts England have one of the best batting line-ups with the highest ever team total of 481/6 against Australia in Bristol last year.
In fact, in the ongoing series against Pakistan, England had scored 373/3 batting first in the second ODI in Southampton, only to find Pakistan nearly chasing the target, finishing at 361. In the third ODI at Bristol, Pakistan scored 358/9 but the hosts chased down the target inside 45 overs.
With flat tracks expected during a hot English summer, 500-run total for the first time may just not be out of reach.
“Cricket is constantly evolving,” Tom Harrison, the ECB chief executive was quoted as saying by the newspaper during the launch of the Hundred competition on Wednesday.
“A great example of this was last night. It (England beating Pakistan) was the fifth highest successful run chase ever. We have had to change the scale of the scorecards for the World Cup so we go up to 500. We had to reprint the whole thing because we think this is the tournament where the 500 run barrier will be breached for the first time in 50 over cricket,” Harrison said.
(With PTI inputs)