Australias baggy green cap losing its magic among upcoming players

March 3rd, 2009 - 4:18 pm ICT by ANI  

Sydney, Mar 3 (ANI): Fewer than half of Australias elite cricketers believe representing their country will be the ultimate professional accolade in 10 years.

The Australian Cricketers Association has revealed the uncertainty in an annual survey of state and national representatives, the Sydney Morning Herald reported.

The survey also found players believe that the club versus country debate, the importance of international cricket compared to club-based competitions such as the Indian Premier League, was the most urgent issue facing world cricket.

While more than 90 per cent of all players consider Test cricket is the most important form of the game, the rising influence of Twenty20 cricket is evident in their expectations for the future.

When asked whether playing for Australia would be the ultimate achievement in 10 years time, 47 per cent of Cricket Australia-contracted players said yes.

While that was the most popular answer - only 20 per cent said no - the remaining 33 per cent were unsure, a response former national coach John Buchanan said was disturbing.

State players were more optimistic about the merits of national selection, with 71 per cent believing it would still be the pinnacle in a decade, although Buchanan believed that was due to state players not being on a world stage, and therefore less exposed to the opportunities to play elsewhere.

In response, Cricket Australia chief executive James Sutherland conceded that the whole cricketing landscape has changed a bit over the past 12 months or so, with players” ability to snare lucrative Twenty20 contracts.

ACA chief executive Paul Marsh believed Test cricket would remain the place where players primarily earn the respect of their peers, but said Twenty20 cricket was where the opportunities are now coming for the players.

Sutherland said the interest in club-based Twenty20 cricket was partly on weight of numbers. (ANI)

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