New South African coach Gary Kirsten has questioned the use of the Twenty20 format in international cricket, while praising the impact that the shortest version of the game has had at domestic level.
The man who led India to their World Cup crown earlier in the year believes that cramming the international calender with T20 fixtures can only be to the detriment of Test matches and the one-day game.
“I have always had a view that it is a great domestic product,” Kirsten told Reuters in Singapore, where he is attending the Nomura Asia Equity Forum.
“Maybe you can look at the platform soccer works off, where they play mainly domestic soccer through the year and then they have a major tournament at a country level, maybe that’s what Twenty20 can do.
“I think international cricket does really well with Test cricket and the 50-over format of the game and I feel Twenty20 cricket will dilute those products a little bit.
“I think it (Twenty20) is a great product, there are going to be teething problems as we go along as it’s a new product to world viewership and world sporting entertainment, but it’s done remarkably well over a short period of time.”
“The future tours programme doesn’t allow for that much Twenty20 cricket, they are trying to fit them in schedules and trying to find a space for them here or there,” added the 43-year-old.
“You can’t extend tours longer than six weeks and that has been an almost unwritten thing now that they want to keep tours as short as possible,” he said.
The Indian Premier League has proven to be a major success in its four seasons, attracting a huge following and raking in millions of dollars, proving the potential for a good domestic T20 competition.
“I know Australia are trying that now (creating a domestic Twenty20 league), England are trying that, South Africa have their own Twenty20 thing and there is great interest in it and it brings crowds to the game in the domestic format that other forms of the game don’t.
“There is very little support for domestic four-day cricket and domestic 50-over cricket, so I think its great for the local game,” he concluded.Cricket365