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Friday, March 13, 2009

Ponting fears for future of Tests

Cricinfo reports that Ricky Ponting fears for the future of Test cricket

The Australia captain Ricky Ponting has warned of a "really dangerous" future for Test cricket. "I gave the Bradman Oration last year and I stated that what I want for the next generation of Australians is to do what I've done: play 150 Tests and represent their country for a long time," Ponting told the Wisden Cricketer. "But something in the back of my head says that their focus could switch from that to being attracted by the glitz and glamour of Twenty20 and the money that might be around."

A survey conducted by the Australian Cricketers' Association found that the majority of centrally-contracted players were not convinced that representing Australia will be the pinnacle of their sport in a decade. The results appeared to confirm Ponting's statements.

Further details are here:

A surprising 20 percent of Cricket Australia's 25-man contract list said that the baggy green cap would not be Australian cricket's ultimate accolade in ten years, while another 33 percent were unsure. Additionally, 47 percent of Australia's elite cricketers rated "balancing playing for your country and competing in the new T20 competitions" as the most urgent issue facing world cricket.

That topic came comfortably ahead of "volume of cricket for your country" (33 percent), "playing conditions" (13 percent) and "ICC governance" (7 percent). Sixty percent also said they would have consciously tailored their games "to the demands of Twenty20 to take advantage of future earning potential", were they still at the beginning of their careers.

The survey results appear to confirm what has long been touted: the financial rewards of the twenty-over game will, for many players, prove more enticing than the prospect of national selection.

To a cricket traditionalist like me this is disappointing. Yet even I acknowledge that, in the current IPL fuelled environment, it is hardly surprising.

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