'Cricket is going the way as football in Europe' - Kapil Dev speaks about rising T20 leagues
It's been a while and there has been a lot of talk about the increase in popularity of the T20 leagues all across the globe. The cricketing fraternity is divided when it comes to this. Some are happy with the increase of the shorter format, while some have questioned it. Some are worried about the future of the other formats and some find it difficult to make players stay and play for their national team. Amidst all of this, now, Kapil Dev believes that the International Cricket Council (ICC) will have to put a great effort to keep the other two formats relevant.
In a conversation with Sydney Morning Herald, Kapil Dev mentioned, " The ICC [International Cricket Council] has a bigger responsibility how to manage this game. It’s going the way as football in Europe. They don’t play against each country. It is once in four years [during the World Cup]. Is this what we’re going to have, the World Cup and the rest of the time playing club [T20 franchise] cricket?"
"If all the countries play the club cricket, then international cricket will be only for the World Cup"
He further added, "In a similar way, will cricketers eventually be playing mainly the IPL or the Big Bash or something like that? So the ICC have to put more time into that to see how they can ensure the survival of one-day cricket, Test match cricket, not only club cricket. Club cricket is OK for a while. The Big Bash is OK. But the South African league is coming, the UAE league is coming. If all the countries are going to play the club cricket, then international cricket will be only for the World Cup."
The International League T20 (ILT20) of the UAE and South Africa's T20 League, both of which are set to take place in January 2023, will directly compete with one another. Both leagues will be in play at the same time as the Bangladesh Premier League (BPL) and Australia's Big Bash League (BBL). Franchise T20 league expansion has led to severe worries about the long-term viability of Test and ODI cricket as well as questions about the future of ODI cricket.
There are now even more concerns about the sustainability of the 50-over game with the ODI exit of England Test captain Ben Stokes due to an unmanageable and jam-packed schedule. Other instances of this kind include: Moeen Ali, an all-rounder for England, calling the ODI format dull. Quinton de Kock of South Africa decided to stop playing Test cricket at the end of the previous year in preference for ODI and T20I cricket. Trent Boult requested his release from the main contract from the New Zealand Cricket Board.