Can the ICC World Cup 2019 witness the 500-run sealing breached during an innings?
The possibility is not ruled out. The organisers in fact have geared up for the possibility as their remains a void of a mere 19 runs between the highest ever ODI innings score – 481 for 6 by hosts England against Australia at Bristol last year – and the anticipated 500-run mark.
The gigantic scores on flat decks during the ongoing England versus Pakistan series has prompted the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) to redesign the official fans’ scorecards during the World Cup to accommodate up to 500-run team totals.
One of the old world charms at any English ground are 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 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 redesigned with a tally of up to 500,” reported British newspaper Daily Telegraph. Hosts England have one of the best batting line-ups in ODIs, with the highest ever team total of 481 for 6 against Australia in Bristol last year.
In the ongoing series against Pakistan, England had scored 373 for 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 for 9 but the hosts chased down the target inside 45 overs.
With flat tracks expected during a hot English summer, 500run total for the first time might not be out of reach. “Cricket is constantly evolving,” ECB chief executive Tom Harrison 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.