Former Australian great, Steve Waugh has claimed that there is no loyalty with the team in cricket now and all the loyalty is for money.
Waugh said that this ‘loyalty to money’ culture is being promoted by the T20 leagues all around the globe and it has made very tough to strike the perfect balance between all three formats of the game.
But, Waugh thinks, Australia, India and England are quite close to get the balance in all three formats of the game, “I think Australia is the closest when it comes to striking a balance, India has the potential and England is also coming up nicely…I think it’s impossible to strike a perfect balance given that there are three different teams. It’s not realistic. I don’t think there would ever be one world no.1 in all three formats of the game.”
Australia’s world cup winning skipper, Waugh put Brendon McCullum as an example that he had a lot of cricket left in him, but, he hung his boots to earn as he has a family to look after. He thinks cricketers are not to be blamed for this as they have the right to earn, but, the fans are the ones that are at loss.
Ian Botham also spoke similar words to Steve Waugh about the T20 format. He said it should be the least preferred format of the game and should be kept at the bottom of the shelf. He still believes test cricket is the most beautiful version of cricket.
Botham disagreed with people’s opinion about the World T20 final that it was great game, “People are saying it was a great World Twenty20 final last month. I say it was a great last four balls, the rest of the final was a drag. I think it was a pretty poor final.”
West Indies needed 19 off the last over of the innings in the World T20 final and the young West Indian struck four consecutive sixes against Ben Stokes to pull off an amazing win for his team.
Ian Botham is worried that T20 cricket can evolve into a kind of lottery, “That’s a real threat. T20 could become a lottery because cricket is much more than just 20 overs. Crowds like it but then crowds like Test cricket too. In England every big Test series is sold out, it’s the same in Australia, South Africa or New Zealand”
Botham and Waugh have similar thoughts that the current cricketers need to realize the importance of test cricket. Waugh quoted West Indies as an example as how T20 cricket can affect the progress of a team, “There is a danger and we all know that. Look at West Indies. The incentive to play T20 cricket is so much more than Test cricket.”
Steve Waugh hailed Cricket Australia’s stance for test cricket and an unsettled T20 side. The former skipper said Australia deserved an early exit from the World T20 and it does not bother him.
Ian Botham is concerned about the future of 50-over cricket, “I am concerned about what might happen to ODIs. It’s a format I like because it also ebbs and flows like Tests. There is a need to get that balance but I don’t think it’s going to be easy.”