Thursday, January 21, 2010

Twenty20 a virus, says Miandad

Former Pakistan captain and coach Javed Miandad has labelled the shortest format of the game "a virus" which could signal the death of Test cricket. Miandad believed that with Twenty20 leagues around the world offering vast amounts of money, international cricket - particularly the long form of the game - was becoming less attractive to the players, and he called for the ICC to step in.

"Twenty20 cricket is a virus and if the ICC doesn't restrict matches of this format it will finish Test cricket, as leading players will no longer want to play for their country," Miandad told AFP. "With the introduction of Twenty20 leagues, the notion that 'country comes first' is also hit for six because when there is a choice between national duty and more money, players will choose money. Some of the Australian players could have represented their country longer but retired to play Twenty20 leagues two years ago.

"When Twenty20 cricket started, I had smelled this format will damage cricket. Now the game will not see quality players, as they are now more attuned to play the big-hitting game than the traditional and classical way."

Interestingly enough, Miandad's comments came at a time when Pakistan players were ignored for the third season of the IPL with none of the franchises bidding for the available 11 players during the auction in Mumbai on Tuesday. The apparent reason was because the teams were not sure of their availability due to visa and other problems.

However, Miandad said the players "should not be bothered" by the snub. "They must concentrate on their national duties as country always comes first."

He also expressed his concerns about India having a dominant say in world cricket affairs. "I fear a day will come when world cricket will be run by India alone," Miandad said. "So I fear if Australia, England, Sri Lanka and the West Indies don't realise this, world cricket will be at the mercy of India."

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