File photo of the Indian Test team.© AFP
With T20 leagues expanding around the world, there seems to be a likely major shift in the way cricket competitions are going to be held in future. To add to the list of tournaments like the Indian Premier League, the Pakistan Super League and the Big Bash League, now UAE and South Africa too are starting their own T20 cricket leagues. With so many franchise leagues around the world, most of which have generated huge commercial interest, several experts have predicted that cricket might be going the football way where players engage in club competitions for most part of the year.
India’s 1983 World Cup-winning captain Kapil Dev thinks that the finance being generated by franchise T20 leagues should be utilised to conserve Test cricket.
“I think it’s fading out,” Dev told the Sydney Morning Herald and The Age. “The ICC has a bigger responsibility how to manage this game. It’s going the way as football in Europe. They don’t play against each country. It is once in four years (during the World Cup). Is this what we’re going to have, the World Cup and the rest of the time playing club cricket?”
Dev added that it is ICC’s responsibility to ‘ensure the survival’ of Tests and ODIs. “In a similar way, will cricketers eventually be playing mainly the IPL or the Big Bash or something like that? So the ICC have to put more time into that to see how they can ensure the survival of one-day cricket, Test match cricket, not only club cricket,” he said.
“Club cricket is OK for a while. The Big Bash is OK. But the South African league is coming, the UAE league is coming. If all the countries are going to play the club cricket, then international cricket will be only for the World Cup.”
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