With the advent of T20 form of cricket, the future of other forms of cricket like Test cricket and ODI cricket has appeared to wear away their original crux. It has been a radical concern since the upsurge of T20 cricket. It spawned a havoc across the globe as players are getting too much acquainted with the genre of short format of cricket but very few realise that such indulgence into t20 cricket has gradually been winding up their cricketing potential. The best example of such kind would be the status of Caribbean side West Indies. The imminent Champions Trophy 2017 had finalised its eight teams taking part in this premier event but the shocking event was the segregation of West Indies from this event.

Caribbean side West Indies’ expulsion from CT2017:

It was so far the lowest ebb in the island’s cricket history as the West Indies have failed to qualify for the 2017 Champions Trophy in England as they were not among the top eight ODI teams as per ICC rankings on September 30, 2015, paving the way for Bangladesh’s entry. It will be the first time since its inception year in 1998 (when Champions Trophy used to be known as Mini World Cup) that an assortment of Caribbean nations will not be a part of a premier event. And such a debacle witnessed by West Indians had been the reasoning of their high involvement in shortest form of t20 cricket. When it comes to T20 format, Caribbean sides are highly asked for as they are the only side highly acquainted with such form of cricket. Hence in the run of Test and ODI cricket they had drifted themselves apart from others.

Remarks of Sir Richard Hadlee on frivolous approaches of T20 cricket:

Sir Richard Hadlee, one of cricket’s greatest all-rounders, made a strong appeal to the decision makers – “Don’t betray our game, cricket is in danger of being consumed by Twenty20, while its guardians are distracted by the new income and booming popularity of the shortest form of the international game”.

Hadlee, having legendary status in his native New Zealand, expressed the exponential growth of T20, particularly the Indian Premier League, possessed the potential to destroy the more traditional forms of cricket. “The IPL is franchise cricket, it’s club cricket, it is not international cricket,” Hadlee told New Zealand’s domestic news agency NZPA on Tuesday. “We are two years into it and you can see potentially that there will be more and more of it. It will consume the game. Once it has gone too far and people have grown bored with it, it will have destroyed Test cricket and probably 50-over cricket”- He also added.

He said the International Cricket Council had to come up with a method by which dealing with increasing problems of congested match schedules caused by the emergence of T20 would be ratified. The possibility the IPL might increase from 56 to 90 games and its playing window from six to eight weeks would only make the situation more difficult, he said.

“We are in grave danger of having the decision makers betraying the game of cricket. Everything evolves and things keep changing but this is a revolution within the game. It’s new, marketable, successful and brings in huge money. The danger is overkill, that you have too much of it and it swamps other forms of the game and compromises them. If one format of the game like Twenty20 consumes the game as much as it is doing now – and potentially in the future – it is destroying the game of cricket as a total concept”- Hadlee revealed.

Initially, it was very much alluring for older players to quit international cricket and focus on T20 commitments, because it shortened their season without diminishing their incomes while also extending their playing careers.
Now, it’s the emerging players who could be tempted not to even strive to represent their countries in Test cricket and make a fortune from T20 deals. “I think Test cricket needs to be protected, because it remains the ultimate game and I think a lot of players today would say they enjoy Test cricket more than anything else. The point is they are also faced with the other forms of the game where for less effort the rewards are 10 times greater”- Hadlee explained.

He feared the power wielded by India within the international game would prevent the ICC making decisions, which would benefit cricket as a whole. “We all know now that Asia, and more particularly India, have a more powerful say because they generate that much more revenue, which other countries benefit from, So, who protects the game? The decision makers on the ICC have to try and control it so that all the games can coexist and live together.”

Hadlee said the sport’s governing body must have the power and the right to control and manage the game, much as the International Olympic Committee rules over the Olympics. “That’s important for the game’s existence, its survival and its future, It can’t be undermined by a country, or other countries. Once country interests are being protected it becomes a destructive element and you have anarchy. There is potential for real chaos.”

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