For Kirsten, Flintoff's retirement is an ominous sign

Need to sort out priorities of Test cricket, says Indian coach

Gary Kirsten

Kirsten was speaking on Saturday at a gathering here organised by the Indian mission here for local and visiting captains of business and industry who had attended the Doing Business with India Conference.

“It’s quite interesting that we’ve got a Twenty20 World Cup in April next year in the West Indies and Team India don’t play one T20 international game until that tournament starts.

“What should be happening is that we should be going on tour and playing six T20 games and one or two 50 over games. I think that’s going to happen - it’s just a matter of time.”

Kirsten said he believed 50-over games were “here to stay”.

On Test cricket, Kirsten said: “The worrying side that I’m seeing is that a guy like Andrew Flinthoff, a high profile cricketer, has now made the decision to leave Test cricket because he feels that he can get more longevity out of his body and earn a much more money by moving away from Test cricket and playing one-day cricket and twenty-over cricket.

“He’s perfectly right in his decision. Why not? The one area that is concerning me about where Test cricket is going is that if you are going to be paying playing substantially more to play IPL as opposed to playing a Test match for their country, it’s a natural progression that the guys are then going to say ‘I’m not interested in bowling 25 overs in a day when I can bowl four overs for  six days period and earn three times as much.’” Kirsten said the “bottom line” was that every country needed to look at Test cricket and say how important it was to them.

“Team India plays six Tests this year. Is that sufficient or are there other priorities? I don’t know. We do need to look at the economics, but if we are going to keep Test cricket going like we wanted to, we need to sort out the priorities of Test cricket and (whether it) stands above anything else (like) T20 cricket.”

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