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For international cricket to flourish, competitive levels need to be close: Mike Brearley, Brendon McCullum

Former New Zealand skipper Brendon McCullum also said that the absence of AB de Villiers from Test series against England was "another red-flag moment" for Test cricket.

By: Express Web Desk | Updated: July 5, 2017 12:00:02 am
 Brendon McCullum, McCullum, Baz, McCullum New Zealand, Bredon McCullum India New Zealand, cricket, cricket news, sports, sports news Brendon McCullum delivered the MCC Spirit of Cricket Lecture in London. (Source: AP file)

In latest developments former New Zealand skipper, Brendon McCullum and former England captain Mike Brearley have issued a warning to the cricketing community of a potential crisis and a threat to the game as a whole due to the rise of privately owned T20 leagues across the world.

Speaking to ESPNcricinfo, Brearly said,  “For international cricket to flourish, competitive levels need to be close and teams need to be able to field their best players. The committee is worried that with the spread of privately owned T20 leagues and the rapid increase in remuneration, more players from counties lacking the funds to pay their top players well will choose these domestic tournaments ahead of making themselves available for their countries.”

“The more this happens, the greater the threat to international cricket, not only to Test cricket but also to ODI and T20s.

“The committee is aware of the gradual encroachment of domestic T20 leagues into cricket’s schedule and the threat this poses to Test cricket. Whereas a few years ago ICC was willing to accept a window for the IPL, now the question is: do we need windows for Test cricket?”

Former New Zealand skipper Brendon McCullum  said, “I don’t see T20 leagues as the devil, by any stretch.”

“But it’s how we continue to make sure Test cricket continues as an important game at the same time. That’s where there’s probably a tipping point: what’s more important? These leagues or the international game?

“The actual health of the game is outstanding but the perception in some parts of the world is that the entertainment of Test cricket is diminishing. So we’re trying to ensure there is context to every Test and we feel the Test Championship would bring that in and we encourage the ICC to continue to bring this to the table.” Brearley termed de Villiers’ absence a “wake-up call”.

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