Melbourne: Cricket Australia may have reservations about allowing its players to participate in the Indian Premier League (IPL) but lured by the easy money on offer, an overwhelming majority of them want to be a part of the BCCI-backed venture.
However, the cricketers Down Under are also concerned about the impact the shortest format of the game might have on the One-Dayers and Test cricket.
In a survey conducted by the Australian Cricketers Association (ACA), more than 80 per cent of the players admitted that they were keen to play in the IPL but almost 70 per cent were also sceptical about the growing popularity of Twenty20 cricket.
A total of 145 cricketers were surveyed by the ACA and a majority of them felt that Twenty20 might end up creating technically weaker players, who would be ill-prepared for the rigours of Tests and ODIs.
“T20 promotes low-skilled, weak cricketers instead of developing hardened, first class/Test match players,” a cricketer was quoted as saying in the Sydney Morning Herald.
Close to 56 per cent players felt the number of Twenty20 games should be kept at what it is now and warned that any increase could spell doom for the “purer” forms of the game.
ACA chief executive Paul Marsh agreed that an overkill of Twenty20 cricket would damage the game’s sanctity.
“We don’t want to get to a point where Twenty20 takes over from other forms of the game because we think it’s going to have a detrimental effect from a skills perspective, from an attendance perspective,” Marsh said.
“And if you start playing too much Twenty20, and attendances and interest drops off in other forms of the game, you may never recover those,” he added.