Tests come first, says new global cricket body chief

May 16th, 2008 - 3:54 pm ICT by admin  

Melbourne, May 16 (IANS) Incoming International Cricket Council (ICC) chief executive Haroon Lorgat said that the sanctity of Test cricket would remain, despite the frenzied grab for Twenty20 dollars, it was reported by the media here Friday. As New Zealand legend Richard Hadlee said Thursday that cricket was at the crossroads because of the game’s latest phenomenon, Lorgat, who will replace Malcolm Speed as the ICC chief executive in July, moved to ease growing fears over the traditional five-day format.

“I sat in on the ICC cricket committee meeting this month and they were very clear that Test cricket should remain the pinnacle of the game. And I agree,” Lorgat was quoted as saying in the Herald Sun.

Twenty20, which began in England in 2003, is making rapid progress as the game’s most popular format. A slew of Twenty20 events have surfaced since the inaugural ICC Twenty20 World Championship in September.

Cricket Australia is the latest governing board to investigate whether it is feasible to follow the lead of the Indian Premier League and the rebel Indian Cricket League and stage its own Twenty20 tournament.

England, the West Indies and Pakistan also want to make up ground and cash in on the Twenty20 rage after India took the initiative.

“It’s a form of the game we can use as a wonderful opportunity to grow cricket globally, though we will have to manage the load that Twenty20 takes on against Test and 50-over cricket,” Lorgat said.

“We might be having too much of it at first, but I hope going forward we can keep a sensible balance between Twenty20 and the other formats.”

Hadlee, one of the game’s greatest fast bowlers, has urged the ICC to ensure the IPL becomes a stand-alone tournament in an already crowded schedule so it does not rob international cricket of its best players.

For this to happen, governing bodies may demand compensation from the Board of Control for Cricket in India because of reduced time to stage profitable Test and one-day international series.

Most countries remain frustrated they do not receive a cent from the IPL, despite providing some of the tournament’s leading talent.

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