Former Indian head coach Ravi Shastri feels ace all-rounder Hardik Pandya might bring the curtains down to his ODI career after the ODI World Cup scheduled to take place in India next year. With a cramped schedule all over the year, cricketers have started prioritising the formats they want to play. Most recently, Ben Stokes, 31, called time on his 50-over career, citing a tight schedule.
Stokes retirement from ODI has sparked a massive debate on the workload on cricketers who play all three formats of the game. It has put the spotlight on the packed schedule and how the continuous action is taking a toll on their physical and mental health.
Sharing on views on the same, Ravi Shastri suggested players will soon start selecting formats they want to play and walk away from the ones they don’t want to feature in. The former cricketer-turned-coach also cited the example of Hardik Pandya, saying that the all-rounder might retire from ODIs after the next World Cup.
“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,” Shastri said on Sky Sports.
“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,” he added.
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“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,” Shastri continued.
Hardik Pandya recently made a superlative comeback to the Indian team on the back of a title-winning campaign with the Gujarat Titans in IPL 2022. He had fared well in the game since his return, chipping in with both bat and ball.
He will next be seen in action during the five-match T20I series against West Indies, which gets underway on July 29 in Trinidad.