May calls for cautious approach from ICC

Twenty20 won't bring in the money - FICA

Cricinfo staff

September 28, 2007

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Adam Gilchrist believes players' skills show out more in the longer formats of the game © Getty Images
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The growing popularity of Twenty20 cricket could cause financial headaches for the ICC, according to the Federation of International Cricketers' Associations (FICA). Tim May, the chief executive of FICA, said it was important in the short-term that countries stuck to the ICC's recommendation that they play no more than seven Twenty20 internationals a year.

May said Test and ODI cricket must remain strong and too many Twenty20 games would increase the risk of injuries and player fatigue. He also said the money brought in by one-day internationals could not be overlooked.

"Twenty20's success may work against the game in the medium-to long-term because it might dilute the role of 50-over cricket, which is the financial base for international cricket," May told AAP. "It might in fact replace that and the financial models that are going around tell you that no matter how popular Twenty20 is at the moment, it doesn't produce the financial returns that the 50-over game does."

May said for the wellbeing of players and the game itself, administrators had to accept that some "meaningless" limited-overs tours should be scrapped as Twenty20 became more popular. He was speaking as Australia headed straight from the ICC World Twenty20 to India for a seven-ODI series. "Something has got to give somewhere along the line, something must give," May said.

John Buchanan, the former Australia coach, said the 50-over format should be overhauled to make it more attractive to spectators now hungry for Twenty20. He suggested giving two sides two innings each within 50 overs, awarding bonus points for high scoring rates, and using interchange benches.

"Fifty-over cricket needs revamping to survive because it's a format that everybody's grown pretty accustomed to and, in a sense, pretty tired of," Buchanan said. "You need more strategies into that game you need more excitement, which Twenty20 is now delivering to allow 50-over cricket to capitalise."

Adam Gilchrist believes players' skills might diminish if the hierarchy of Test cricket, ODIs and Twenty20s does not remain. However, he said the increasing number of Twenty20 matches played at grassroots level could change the game.

"There is a bit of a concern for the interest in one-day cricket just because I would imagine the majority of social cricket will become Twenty20 where as teams had 40 overs or 50 overs a side," he said. "In terms of skills, undoubtedly the longer a game goes the real skills will come out as opposed to Twenty20."

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

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