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Chris Gayle, Kieron Pollard and a host of other West Indies players have missed out on the Test series against England due to commitments with the IPL. Rob Smyth, writing in the Guardian, says that West Indies will find it difficult to beat England at home considering they have been stripped of their best talent by the lure of Twenty20.
The largest group are in India, playing in the IPL. Although other sides have suffered – most obviously Sri Lanka with the retirement of Lasith Malinga – no side embody the struggle between Test cricket andTwenty20 better than West Indies. Chris Gayle, who has again illuminated the IPL with a series of outrageous assaults, played the last of his 91 Tests in 2010. The irrepressible all-rounder Kieron Pollard has never played a Test, and focuses on the short form to such an extent that Holding once said: "Pollard, in my opinion, is not a cricketer."
Not that Holding begrudges the hired guns their bounty. "You can't blame any cricketer for wanting to secure their future. The ICC needs to make sure these Twenty20 tournaments are well structured and don't interfere with other people's cricket. Test cricket may still go on but it will soon become irrelevant. That is the direction I see it going unless the ICC grabs hold of the game and does something about it."