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June 13, 2008
Adam Gilchrist has predicted Twenty20 will become cricket's "staple diet" in the next ten years and a window may have to be carved into the programme to fit in the traditional contests. Gilchrist has returned to Australia impressed with the Indian Premier League, which he compared with the excitement of the Olympics, and said the concept would be "a landmark in the history of cricket".
"The great discussion at the moment is whether we carve out a window for the IPL," Gilchrist said in the Australian. "I envisage that, potentially, within ten years it could be more a case of trying to carve out a window for international cricket as this format becomes more of a staple diet."
Twenty20 is being flooded with cash - Allen Stanford launched a US$20m series at Lord's on Thursday - and Ricky Ponting, who appeared in the first two weeks of the IPL, is concerned by the huge financial rewards. "I've always been a little bit worried that if money keeps growing and growing and growing in that version of the game then all of a sudden young kids who are 14, 15, 16 now and want to make cricket their career may not even consider playing for their countries," Ponting told the paper.
"They might be trying to get a crack at the IPL or a competition somewhere like that and hopefully make a name for themselves and totally turn their back on the international game. That's what I'm worried about."
David Hussey, the Victoria, Kolkata and Nottinghamshire batsman, told the Age he was "seriously worried" about domestic players chasing the money instead of focusing on first-class contests. "I'm just imploring that the ICC and the IPL all get together and keep a keen interest in Test cricket because that is what this game's all about," he said.
Hussey, who will join the Australian one-day team in the Caribbean over the next couple of days, was signed by Kolkata for US$625,000, but said he remained a traditionalist. "My priority is still the same," he said. "I'm a traditionalist and I always had the goal growing up that I wanted to play cricket for Australia. I've got a little window of opportunity in the West Indies. Hopefully, I get a chance and if I do I will take it with both hands. I desperately want to play."
Gilchrist has suggested caution on making decisions about the IPL's future, but he was amazed by the success of the tournament. "It was quite overwhelming to see an event capture the attention and mindset and imagination of a country," he said. "The only thing I can think of that was comparable was maybe the Olympics when they were in Sydney. But the Olympics was about two weeks, this was 45 days every night."
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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