Australia could one day have separate Twenty20 and Test teams playing simultaneously, according to the chief executive of Cricket Australia James Sutherland. The gap between the formats has grown and only five of the 11 who lost the World Twenty20 final to England are regulars in Australia's Test outfit.
Sutherland believes the separation will continue to grow, with more and more Twenty20 specialists likely to appear. The Australian reported that Sutherland outlined the vision in his keynote speech at a Cricket Australia conference in Queensland on Tuesday.
"While hosting Tests here, Australia could have its Twenty20 team touring somewhere else," Sutherland said. "It is difficult not to see a generation of players coming through with an eye to becoming Twenty20 specialists. As more Twenty20 cricket is played there are clearly opportunities for players to choose to be specialists.
"Taking it through to its natural extension, if you have a specialist team then why can't you have a specialist Twenty20 team and a specialist Test team [playing] at the same time? In rugby union, for example, the ARU has a sevens team and a Wallabies team."
However, while such an idea might suit older players who retire from first-class cricket to pursue a Twenty20 career, such as Dirk Nannes, it could make for some tough choices for younger men. Steven Smith, for example, has made his name as a Twenty20 player but his Test hopes could be scuppered if such a concept was in place.