England Lions are in the process of playing (and losing) ‘unofficial ODIs’ against Australia A. Even though it’s of no consequence whatsoever, we aren’t happy with that label.
ODI stands for one-day international, but if two sides defined by their players being from particular countries play each other, is that necessarily an international match? We suppose it is, but to us the label ‘one-day international’ describes the top level of one-day cricket and nothing else.
This is kind of a joke anyway with few nations fielding their first choice team in any given ODI. Selectors tend to resort to the logic of saying that whichever players are picked, that by definition constitutes a ‘first choice XI’ because otherwise they would have picked someone else. Even so, at least there’s some pretence of selecting the best team, whereas Australia A and England Lions are, at best, second best.
As far as we’re concerned, England Lions and Australia A are playing plain old one-day matches. We don’t need to upgrade them to internationals and then downgrade them by labelling them ‘unofficial’.
There are so many things by which to be irritated in life, but sometimes it’s important to really latch onto the least consequential and least logical of those in order to distinguish yourself from everyone else.