NEW DELHI: The governing International Cricket Council (ICC) has played down threats to the game’s 50 overs format, saying a “healthy” number of one-day internationals will be played in the 2023-27 cycle. The proliferation of lucrative domestic T20 leagues have cramped up cricket’s already-strained calendar and England all-rounder Ben Stokes attributed his shock ODI retirement to an “unsustainable” schedule. Earlier this month South Africa abandoned their ODI tour of Australia as it clashed with the launch of their domestic T20 league rising their chances of qualifying directly for next year’s World Cup in India. ICC chief executive Geoff Allardice said structuring of the game’s three formats was discussed at the governing body’s annual general meeting in Birmingham where the Future Tours Programme (FTP) 2023-27 was finalised. “I think at this stage there is some discussion, not specifically about ODIs, but about the mix of formats within the calendar,” Allardice told a video conference. “Countries have been, in their FTPs, are still scheduling a healthy number of ODIs as well. “So in the FTP, I don’t think you’ll see any significant change to the number of ODIs or the proportion of ODIs as being planned.” Australia test batsman Usman Khawaja has said one-day cricket was “dying a slow death”, while former Pakistan captain Wasim Akram called the format a “drag”. Allardice conceded some members put “particular attention on their domestic leagues” but insisted their commitment to international and bilateral cricket was “as strong as it’s ever been”. “Each of them has to manage that balance between domestic competitions, their international schedule and the management of their players. “Each of those boards is in a slightly different situation. So there isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach to that balancing issue.” ICC chairman Greg Barclay acknowledged that franchise-based leagues were expanding fast. “So there’s a lot of pressure on the calendar, but I’m not sure it’s a tipping point,” said the New Zealander. Pak vs SL: Sri Lanka shatter Pakistan’s hopes of winning after Babar setback Sri Lanka is in control of the second Test against Pakistan as the visitors chase a mammoth 508-run target, losing seven wickets so far, including skipper Babar Azam making the Men In Green’s chase near impossible. Pakistan need to chase the huge target today, but that seems unlikely as they are at 205 for the loss of seven — with Nauman Ali, Hasan Ali, and Naseem Shah yet to bat — as Sri Lanka eye to tie the two-match series. Prabath Jayasuriya’s spin attack has been dangerous for Pakistan as he has dismissed four batters, including Abdullah Shafique (16), Imam-ul-Haq (49), Babar (81), and Mohammad Rizwan (37). The hosts are racing against time to bowl the opposition out and level the two-Test series with overcast conditions and looming rain a threat in the port city, after bad light bringing early ends to days three and four. Dhananjaya de Silva, who hit 109 in Sri Lanka’s 380-8 declared second innings, is standing in as captain with Dimuth Karunaratne staying off the field due to his own lower back pain. Sri Lanka extended their second-innings lead to 444 in the second Test on Wednesday after Dhananjaya de Silva and skipper Dimuth Karunaratne, who batted through pain from a back injury, hit half-centuries. The hosts reached 297 for seven at lunch after they resumed day four on 176-5 in Galle. De Silva, on 84, and Ramesh Mendis, on eight, were batting at the break. Overnight batsmen De Silva and the left-handed Karunaratne, who made 61, put together 126 runs to keep the opposition bowlers at bay until Nauman Ali struck with the first wicket of the morning session. Karunaratne had escaped two close calls, which were unsuccessfully reviewed by Pakistan, off Nauman´s left-arm spin but finally fell to the same bowler, caught at short leg where Abdullah Shafique took a sharp reflex catch. Karunaratne, who had back spasms and did not field in the Pakistan innings, got help from the physio during his two hours and 45 minutes stay at the crease as he went past 6,000 Test runs. De Silva stood firm despite losing debutant left-hander Dunith Wellalage for 18, caught behind off left-arm spinner Mohammad Nawaz. Sri Lanka fought back from 117-5 in their effort to hand Pakistan a big target, as they look to bounce back from their opening loss in the two-match series. Pakistan fell behind Sri Lanka by 147 runs after being bowled out for 231 in response to the hosts´ first innings total of 378. Pakistan´s highest chase in Sri Lanka came in 2015, when they made a target of 377 in Pallekele. The tourists chased down a Galle record of 342 in this series´ opener.