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Cricket Australia changes tune on Test value

Peter English

October 12, 2010

Comments: 55 | Text size: A | A

Michael Hussey strokes one on the off side in the nets, Mohali, September 30, 2010
Michael Hussey's Test preparations were upset by his long stay in the Champions League © AFP
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Cricket Australia has downgraded its rating of Tests as the most important form after its chief executive James Sutherland said there was now "a fine balance" between the priorities of five-day fixtures and the Twenty20 Champions League. Sutherland's comments come after Michael Hussey was not allowed to leave the tournament in South Africa early because his team, Chennai Super Kings, had reached the final.

Staying for the decider, which Chennai won last month, meant Hussey and Doug Bollinger did not arrive in India to prepare for the first Test until three days before the match. Bollinger suffered a stomach injury during the game in Mohali and Hussey felt out of touch.

"Michael Hussey made it clear to CA before and during the CLT20 that his strong preference and preferred intention was to leave earlier than the final to prepare for the Test series in India," Sutherland said. "It was only because of our requirement and the performance of his franchise that he stayed until the end of the CLT20 final.

"Michael had nothing but the best intentions of preparing for and playing for his country as his absolute priority but there was a fine balance between a high profile, elite club T20 competition and preparing for international cricket."

Previously, interrupting the preparation for a Test was unthinkable but Twenty20 is changing the rules. Cricket Australia is one of the organisers of the Champions League and Sutherland said it was important for all three formats to prosper.

"In this case, the scheduling was difficult, particularly after the decision to play Tests in the current series, and it is a fact of life that scheduling of elite cricket - which we have sometimes described as being as difficult as trying to play chess in three dimensions - will create tough decisions from time to time," Sutherland said. India's MS Dhoni and Suresh Raina experienced the same length of preparation as Hussey and Bollinger.

Peter English is the Australasia editor of Cricinfo

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© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by Chris_Howard on (October 13, 2010, 9:43 GMT)

And, it's no irony that Australia just lost the Test series 2-0 and Australia's fall down the Test rankings continues. No wonder. It's time to go, James Sutherland.

Posted by popcorn on (October 13, 2010, 9:06 GMT)

I hope you are happy with the coffers of Cricket australia full of IPL and Champions League money,Jimmy Sutherland,while Australia lose both Tests to India,lose Dougie Bollinger and Mike Hussey to T20. Sic. Dougie would have won the Mohali Test dor us and wiould definitely be a good partner to Johnson and Hilfenhaus. Enough of you, Jimmy Sutherland. Retire.

Posted by silly_mid_on on (October 13, 2010, 7:33 GMT)

It needs to be a separate game, like Rugby League and Rugby Union. Let the players decide their cricket pathway.

Posted by ste13 on (October 13, 2010, 7:26 GMT)

There is nothing strange in Mr. Sutherland's comment. Australia are declining as test cricket force, so let them play the game they are capable of. India interest in the game has grown since they are number 1 in the world, so we should not worry. It is just Aussies problem that they are moving outside top five test nations.

Posted by sreeb on (October 13, 2010, 6:46 GMT)

magic of test cricket is that you have a the best of talent in display and you got the right people to test that (bowlers and batters, these days even fielding is become an integral part of the test match.). I am really proud to be an Indian and ardent fan of cricket Australia for playing such a wonderful series, IN THE RIGHT SPIRIT. thats how you see things in prespective.. i can hardly remember the chaos from past few months in test cricket (Pak Vs Eng). Series such as these (Ind Vs Aus) helps keep test cricket alive. I was there for the 1st day in chinnaswamy stadium and it was a very goood crowd cheeering and supporting both the teams. Bangalore Rocks in this spirit.We support the game more than the Individuals (ofcourse Sachin and Ricky were stupendous). I was able to see one of my all time fav Punter(ricky) bat for 70 odd runs thats was a great thing for me, wish i was there on 2nd and 3rd day so that i can see God (Sach) bat too :(

Posted by howizzat on (October 13, 2010, 6:28 GMT)

Hussey should have read his priorities well before. If he cannot adapt, then he should have opted out from one of them. If he say I will play only half CLT20 then it amounts to greed and injustice to CSK as well. The iternary is before you in advance and player has no voice in scheduling it. So its kiddish on part of Mike and is rather a rude shock from Australia's most matured player. Afterall its an excuse. Clerke also set his priorities well and came well prepared but performed well below par. If Aussies think its only ASHES that matters to them then they will have it like this, in every other country. As far as Aussie cheif is concerned, thank God he finally understood that T20 is here to stay and abalance between T20 and Tests is needed.

Posted by   on (October 13, 2010, 5:35 GMT)

If you Aussies feel so upset then Boycott the Ashes Series this winter !!!

Posted by popcorn on (October 13, 2010, 3:36 GMT)

It is time for Jimmy Sutherland to be shown the door. EVERY Australian Cricketer value the Baggy Green - Jimmy has never worn one, so how will he know? Mike Hussey and Dougie Bollinger have been victimds of T20. Dougie's fitness cost us the first Test against India at Mohali.Mike Hussey has played poorly in both Tests. Jimmy is more excited by money - not the pride of playing for Australia in Test Cricket. He is a wham,bam,slodgers park ,man. Hit him out of the Cricket Australia park for a six, before HE CREATES A MESS>

Posted by   on (October 13, 2010, 2:26 GMT)

It has come to a time where longer is Cricket Australia concerned with the Green and Gold, but simply and purely the Gold. Maybe it shouldn't be the Baggy Green but the Baggy Gold?? This would surely represent the view of the Administration, and indeed a number of players that choose to play 20/20, which you have to respect the Australian Players who choose to not take part in these Competitions. 20/20 is comparable to backyard cricket, where as Test's are your Grade/Club Cricket. 20/20 should not be played on a International Level, as it is more refined for the money, not the skill, and if it must exist, only as competitions such as the IPL and Champions League. Cricket needs a return to be a 'Gentleman's' Game, and where playing for your country is a Privilege, not a Right, where you play for the passion of the game, and not as an ends to a mean. We need less Test Series' but more Test Matches, 2 is not adequate for the importance of Test Cricket. Bring on more 4-5 Match Test Series!

Posted by MasterClass on (October 13, 2010, 1:32 GMT)

It's confirmed. CA & Sutherland are bonkers! Huss whining about CLT20 is disgraceful but come on, Test is the ultimate form of cricket and always should be!

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