Sydney: An internal poll of national-level and state players in Australia reveals that they have emphatically rejected the idea of splitting innings in the one-day international format, a plan put forward by Cricket Australia and to be introduced domestically in the Ford Ranger Cup next summer.
The majority of respondents to an online Herald poll also resisted split-innings cricket, with 52 per cent calling for no change and 22 per cent wanting ODIs eradicated altogether. Various split-innings suggestions received minimal support of eight or nine per cent.
According to the Sydney Morning Herald, the cricketers want fewer one-dayers and more context for the games they do play, such as adding championship points.
Australian Cricketers` Association chief executive Paul Marsh will meet CA in the next fortnight and deliver the players` message.
"While the survey has yet to be finalised, it is clear from the preliminary result that the players are not supportive of the split-innings format," Marsh said last night.
"They do believe there are issues with the current format. However, the overwhelming feedback is that the biggest problem with one-day cricket currently is in the way it is scheduled. It lacks context and there is too much one-day cricket," he added.
Marsh did praise CA for exploring new ways to liven up the one-day format, which has steadily declined since the introduction of Twenty20.
"I applaud CA for having a look at ways to make it better, they understand what the issues are with one-day cricket, and have done a lot of good research," Marsh said.
He added: "I`m just not sure at this stage their solution is right."
The biggest challenge facing CA, aside from the player revolt, is the lack of willingness by India to change a format, which generates billions in revenue.
One-day cricket is the most popular format among sub-continent fans and the television ratings deliver a glorious windfall for the Board of Control for Cricket in India.
If the BCCI resists the split-innings idea, which is highly likely, there is no chance it will be ratified by the ICC.