Wednesday, October 21, 2009

McCullum supports Test tournament

New Zealand's Brendon McCullum is in favour of the proposed annual Test cricket championship.

The MCC World Cricket Council recently put together a proposal where the top eight Test nations would play in series at the same time in November with the top four going onto semi-finals and finals the following September.

The MCC is due to present its case to the International Cricket Council in November.
McCullum believes something needs to be done to ensure Test cricket is not overtaken by the more lucrative Twenty20 competitions.

"It would be good to see some increased status around the Test matches otherwise it could be in danger," he told Radio Sport.

"All the players love playing Test cricket but unless it's protected and maybe its profile is enhanced then it could be in trouble."

The wicketkeeper-batsman also believes with the money available in the Indian Premier League and the increased profile of other Twenty20 competitions around the world that there could be more players who follow a similar course to that of England's Andrew Flintoff.

The all-rounder turned down a central contract with the England and Wales Cricket Board to pursue other short-term contracts following his decision to retire from Test cricket.

"Just the way the game is evolving and the way that the private investors are trying to take some sort of ownership of the game as well, I can see it heading towards that kind of thing," McCullum said.

"I guess it's exciting opportunities for the players but dangerous times for the administrators. But hopefully all will work out for the best and cricket will be at the forefront of people's minds."

He added: "I'm very proud of playing for New Zealand. I'm very proud of what I have achieved so far and hopefully what I can achieve in the future.

"But it's the reality of how the world moves. You would be a fool if you were oblivious to it."

New Zealand are currently preparing for three one-day internationals and two Twenty20s against Pakistan in the United Arab Emirates next month.

The Black Caps will then host the same opponents in a three-Test series in New Zealand.

The series was originally scheduled to be played in Pakistan earlier this year but was rearranged following the terrorist attack on the Sri Lankan cricketers in March.

New Zealand will also host Bangladesh in February next year before a series against Australia in February and March that includes two Twenty20s, five one-dayers and two Tests.

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