When is an ODI not an ODI?

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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.


Mike Gatting wasn't receiving the King Cricket email when he dropped that ludicrously easy chance against India in 1993.


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  1. Little Jimmy Taylor scored 79, and not so little Rikki Clarke took 4-55.

    I also note that the “Lions” team featured a chap by the name of Ben Foakes – who is surely a fictional character, constructed by combining the names Ben Stokes and Chris Woakes.

  2. They are one day matches and they are international. It’s just the fact that they are being described as “unofficial” whereas in fact they are simply “Second XI” matches that presents grounds for gripe.

    “Second XI ODIs” they should be categorised as.

    Much as the Second XI multi-day county matches are categorised as “Second XI County Championship”, not “unofficial first class county matches”.


    1. Yeah, maybe.

      Not sure this is a rational gripe though and therefore we’re not sure whether logic has a role.

    2. If it’s not a rational gripe it must be an irrational gripe. And an irrational gripe needs an irrational response, not a reasoned and carefully worked out answer that agrees with your substantive point and offers a sensible way forward for everyone concerned, such as provided by your esteemed and learned friend Mr. Ged. Fortunately, the internet is a veritable trove of irrationality. I’ve cobbled something together that might fit the bill:

      The use of the term ODI in this case is intended to stand for “Operation David Icke”. It has to be unofficial because “They” have to be able to deny it. Freemasons, far side of the Moon, the BCCI, gay marriage, fluoride in our water, Nigel Farage, other slimy reptiles, horse burgers, Norwich town centre, Lucile Ball…

      Is that better? At the very least it should bring some new visitors to the site.

    3. I once had a friend who said (quite seriously) while watching England vs India in 2004 (I think – too lazy to check)’What a coincidence – the last two Indian batsman have the same name, Odi Cricket!’

      I didn’t put him right because I thought that might just be the best thing about the particular game we were watching.

    1. I think you’re mistaken. England’s first XI are only playing in Dunedin, Wellington and Auckland this time around, and none of those games are until March.

  3. Acording to cricinfo, two out of four of England’s games at McClean Park have ended with scores level…..

  4. Just to change the subject for a minute – the Australian Ashes batting line-up is taking shape and it looks delightful.


    Shall we just declare England the winners now?

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