Don’t kill off T20 golden goose, says Oz players’ body chief

October 31st, 2010 - 2:41 pm ICT by ANI  

Sydney, Oct. 31 (ANI): Australian Cricketers’ Association chief executive Paul Marsh has warned that the game’s administrators in the country should avoid an overkill of Twenty20 cricket in the aftermath of a landmark decision to open up domestic Twenty20 to private investors.

Marsh said that while he welcomed Cricket Australia boss James Sutherland’s announcement on Friday that the board had approved minority holdings in each of the Big Bash teams to be held by private investors from next season, he cautioned against overscheduling of Twenty20, which would “kill the golden goose” in the same way that years of meaningless ODI fixtures had all but destroyed the 50-over game.

“If there’s one lesson we’ve all learnt in recent years, it’s that more games doesn’t necessarily mean a better product,” Marsh told the Sydney Morning Herald.

“One-day cricket’s been flogged. I don’t think there’s too much wrong with the product, but the way it’s been scheduled, the lack of context, too many games, are the main reasons there’s been a drop-off in consumer interest. I hope those lessons are taken on board with T20 and they don’t kill the golden goose,” he added.

The Sun-Herald revealed a week ago that CA was set to approve a privately backed eight-team IPL-style Twenty20 league, which already had interest from investors and was being heavily pushed by the state associations, particularly NSW and Victoria.

The Sun-Herald has since obtained a confidential CA discussion paper revealing that an alarming drop in television ratings, share of crowds and challenges to revenue and participation rates meant the privatisation of Twenty20 was largely unavoidable.

The new competition, Sutherland said, would be “owned, controlled and managed by Cricket Australia”, and the teams would still be majority owned by the governing body.

However, privatisation, even on a minority basis, still inevitably meant a dissolution of centralised power. (ANI)

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