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Adam Gilchrist believes it is too early to stage a world championship for the fledgling Twenty20 format. He has expressed concern the tournament, to be held in South Africa in September, could detract from the game's "jewels in the crown" like the World Cup.
Australia thrashed England in Tuesday's match at Sydney but it was just the 13th Twenty20 international. Gilchrist, who top-scored with 48, said the extra-short format should be limited at international level.
"I'm still not 100% sure on the World Cup status," Gilchrist told AAP. "We've got to protect the jewels in the crown that are the fifty-over World Cups and then Test cricket as a general game. That's why - I'm sure I will get in strife for this - but I do have question-marks over a Twenty20 World Cup. But that said, it's on the schedule and I definitely will love to go along and play and be part of it, but it is a delicate balance."
He said small doses of Twenty20 would be good for 50-over cricket. "It is going to change the one-day game and it's not going to cannibalise it, it's going to make that format even more spectacular," Gilchrist said. But he agreed with his captain Ricky Ponting that the primary role for Twenty 20 should be to draw crowds in domestic competitions and in developing nations.
Gilchrist also apologised to England for comments he made during Australia's 77-run victory. Gilchrist, who like Ponting was wearing a microphone and in regular contact with the Channel 9 commentators, was asked to throw to a commercial break at the end of the eighth over of England's innings. He responded by saying: "Australia right on top here, England in trouble as they have been all summer, it's 4 for 60."
But the day after the win he admitted he could have chosen his words better. "I'm a bit worried that might come back to bite me at some stage in the near future," Gilchrist said, "so I apologise to all the England people out there that took offence to that."