A committee of former and current cricketers has warned the game needs “urgent intervention” to sort out its scheduling mess that sees T20 leagues clash with international fixtures.
The MCC World Cricket Committee (WCC), which is chaired by former England captain Mike Gatting and also includes Justin Langer and Graeme Smith, says the game has reached “an important crossroads”.
It urged the ICC to find a better balance between domestic T20 leagues and international fixtures.
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The WCC pointed out that the schedule is “saturated with franchise competitions, which overlay and compete” with the Future Tours Programme (FTP) of international matches.
“Of the domestic tournaments, only the Indian Premier League commands anything like a window to avoid international clashes,” it said.
“Also notable in the new men’s FTP is an alarming and growing disparity in the amount of international cricket played by a minority of member nations compared to others; a situation which is clearly neither equitable nor sustainable.”
Langer, who joined the WCC this year, says the international game must continue to thrive.
“The difference between international cricket and domestic T20 cricket is that the whole nation cares when their country is involved,” he said.
“The best players’ statistics are measured at international level: everyone knows that (Sachin) Tendulkar scored 100 international centuries and that (Muttiah) Muralitharan took 800 Test wickets.
“We need to protect the integrity of Test cricket, and international cricket in general. It is how great careers are judged and it is where true passion and lasting memories are generated.”
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