Pakistan legend Imran Khan has blasted the modern game, insisting that the standard of Test match cricket has declined in recent years.
Citing players electing to pursue the riches of Twenty20 rather than play Tests, he has called on cricket’s administrators to take a serious look at the international schedule.
The 57-year-old said: “The calendar is already being carved up in an ad hoc way, dictated by money and short-term compromise. We need to sit down and come up with a coherent long-term strategy – a worldwide calendar of attractive events that both appeal to spectators and preserve Test cricket and the future of our game as a whole.
“Soon you will find a lot of players skipping series – key players – simply because of the amount of cricket. And yet in six weeks of playing Twenty20 cricket in the IPL, some players made more money than I made in my whole 21 years of international cricket. If you have that sort of money available, a player can first make his name in Test cricket and then retire and save himself for Twenty20.
“In these circumstances, I would do exactly that. I can imagine fast bowlers saving themselves. Shoaib Akhtar doesn’t want to play Test cricket, he wants to play Twenty20. Shahid Afridi only really wanted to play one-day and Twenty20. And now Andrew Flintoff too.
“So what does that tell you? It shows that players will save themselves for where the money is. And the danger is that you will have Test cricket being reduced to very ordinary cricket that could die.
“If your stars don’t continue to play in Test cricket, you will just see standards going down. That’s the danger; and the way things are going it could happen.”