The future of cricket July 23, 2009

'Obscene' Twenty20 money threatens Tests - Lloyd


Clive Lloyd has expressed disappointment and concern at the impact of Twenty20 on cricket's traditional format, fearing that Andrew Flintoff's retirement from Tests could set a dangerous precedent. Lloyd, the former West Indian captain and current chairman of the ICC's cricket committee, said Flintoff's retirement had set a bad example for younger players and that others would soon follow unless money was not pumped into Test cricket.

"Would some of these guys have retired if there was no Twenty20? It is obvious if I'm being paid $1.5 million and I don't have to put in too much work then, yes, I'll go the other way," said Lloyd on the first day of the ICC History Conference in Oxford. "It is a bit unfortunate that Flintoff has decided to leave Test cricket and he knows his body and know how bad his ankle is but he is a tremendous cricketer. But the point is he is not going to play for Lancashire - he will play for England in the ODIs and Twenty20. The point is it is destroying the fabric of the game."

"When a player retires in his prime and when you have poured all that money on him to get him where he is now and then he leaves that is a bother for me. Like Dwayne Bravo, if he decides to leave halfway [into his career] that is not a situation I would like. I would like a situation where people leave later on and there is a natural progression of young players into the cricket. But I can tell you there are a few more people coming up shortly to announce retirements if this goes on."

Cricket, Lloyd said, was suffering from the "obscene" amount of money being paid in lucrative Twenty20 tournaments, giving the example of West Indies, a good Twenty20 side but struggling to stay afloat in Tests. "We are suffering from that at the moment and I think other countries, too, might. Our countries are probably the second-best players in the world. We are paying guys an obscene amount of money - US $60,000 for one Twenty20 game when he might not bat or bowl. It is destroying the other two components of the game. If Test cricket is the type of cricket we want people to recognise the game by then we have to put a little bit more money into it so players are better paid. We can't just think it will chug along." .

Nagraj Gollapudi is an assistant editor at Cricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Adaiah on July 26, 2009, 11:43 GMT

    Where will the 20/20 teams get their talents from, when test is dead? Will they go back to the backyards and seek new talents. It is in 20/20's interest to co-exist with test. Test cricket is what develops true cricketers, men who do battle for days, seeking to defeat their rivals. This is where skill is developed, character formed, talent tested. I think the storyline of test cricket is a lot sexier than 20/20. 20/20 is a quicky whereas test is long passionate love making. A 20/20 here and there is good. But the main stay of cricket should be the longer version, a cricketer's prowess should be tested by test not 20/20. Long live test cricket. Those of us who love test cricket, PURCHASE A TICKET, NEXT TIME THERE IS A TEST IN YOUR AREA, and go to the match. that will help keep test alive.

  • Niles on July 25, 2009, 22:45 GMT

    As it is in baseball,hockey,football,etc. If the money wasnt there to pay the players then the contracts wont be offered. No promoter is going to bankrupt their company by paying more than he takes in. I f Lloyd and others want to keep test cricket alive buy tickets and sit in the stands, buy the pay-per-views, then money would be there to play the players. Clive Lloyd can get free tickets to any test match in the world does he use them all? Test cricket have been dying since the 80s.Who pays the players?, the fans .what does the fans want?, entertainment. where do we get cricketing entertainment?, 20/20.Yes Mr. Lloyd you too got wealthy off cricket, let the youngster make theirs. It might seems too much for you, but there is more money in cricket today.You Mr. Lloyd need to stop being jealous of today's cricketing contracts.

  • Gary on July 25, 2009, 18:28 GMT

    None of our present crop of players will ever get the level of respect of legend status that Clive Lloyd and company have gotten except maybe Chanderpaul. So when these men speak we should listen. I never liked T20. I will watch it bacause it is fun, but then that's just it fun. Test cricket will always be the standard by which a cricketer is judged.

  • roy on July 25, 2009, 0:44 GMT

    O.K. folks let's keep it simple for these big shot so called cricketers. Compensation should be paid after a series.Meaning, you get paid according to your proformance. Cricket boards are held hostages to players. They demand what they think they should be paid, not what they're worth. West indian players should be thankfull for what they are being paid, because they're a bunch of LOOSERS. Except for Shiv, who deserves every dollar and much more. Just look at his Stats. To a lesser extend Gayle Bravo and Sarwan should be paid by proformance, the rest should get MINIMUM wage.

  • Sham on July 24, 2009, 12:58 GMT

    I disagree with Lloyd. Face it people test cricket is dead! T20/20 is the future and there is nothing wrong in cricketers being paid fairly for providing entertainment. Why should the promoters be the ones making all the money? RIP test cricket.

  • Sampath on July 24, 2009, 5:12 GMT

    Heartiest Congratulations to the Windies Legend for this important thoughts expressed at the greatest forum of the World Cricket. The repercussions of too much T20 can have on the Test Cricket was first highlighted at the ICC Award Ceremony in Dubai last year by Mahela Jayawardena. This was endorsed recently by the Indian Batting Great Sunil Gavaskar. Now its again re-iterated by an All Time Great of Cricket . For how long ICC is going to keep a naked eye on this tragedy ??? .

  • salim on July 24, 2009, 4:28 GMT

    i think its very unfortunate that cricket has reached a point where test cricket is not important to players . ask any great cricketer people recognise u by your TEST STATS than by anything else.i prefer test cricket .its bad when players can give up that for money alone. t20 is fun cricket .test cricket is the real thing. yes i agree players have to earn a living .but dont sacrifice your careers for t20. on west indies cricket everyone is now seeeing is the wicbc is to blame for the impasse.the comments made by players like bravo.wavell hinds and former skipper jimmy adams has open a lot of eyes. but some of the players have to lift themselves. thank u SALIM ALI -TRINIDAD&TOBAGO

  • hayden on July 24, 2009, 1:49 GMT

    firstly i dont buy any theory that the great clive lloyd is just a jealous former player that never got anywhere near the money going around the game today! i believe he just genuinely cares about the future of test cricket and west indies cricket. secondly @second_innings world series cricket also had super tests. you would be hard pressed to find a bigger fan of test cricket than the late kerry packer! what packer did was temporarily divide cricket for the greater benifit of all parties concerned including his lucrative broadcasting rights. what modi and his cashed up ipl team owners are doing is tearing the fabric of international cricket apart for the benifit of indian audiences by making players offers of money that they simply cant refuse when they have families to provide for long after their playing days are up. most national boards cant compete with that kind of money and they are now battling for services of their players whom they have invested time and money in developing!!

  • bilal on July 23, 2009, 20:58 GMT

    Playing test cricket is great experience i know but to watch it being played needs great patience which unfortunately most people don't have. So we can't make test cricket as exciting as t20 for the survival of tests. Why shouldn't we try to make t20s as boring as tests? But how?

  • bilal on July 23, 2009, 20:44 GMT

    Salam to everyone. There are few points i want to raise why t20 is a danger to test cricket. 1) test cricket is not as exciting as t20 is. I mean the numbers of people watching t20 is lot more than those watching tests. So the sponsors and tv channels invest more on t20. That's why the obscene money comes in t20 and it is missing in tests. 2) people will watch england team playing t20 without flintoff as it is entertaining still. But the number of people watching england test will reduce to half when england doesn't have flintoff like players playing. 3) there are very few chances that a test will be exciting, i guess 2 out of 10. While in t20, you can surely have 8 exciting finishes out of 10 games. And it is almost impossible for a five day game to show consistently exciting finishes.

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