Steve Waugh worried about the impact of T20 cricket on the game

Ever since the Twenty20 (T20) format came into existence, it has been seen as a potential threat to the established forms of cricket that is the Test cricket and One-Day International (ODI) cricket. The issue only became graver with the advent of club-based franchise cricket, which gave birth to the ethical dilemma of club vs country amongst players.

Since then, there have been numerous instances of players picking their T20 franchises over country for obvious reasons — money. Former players and cricket experts believe this is a dangerous situation which needs to be addressed immediately. In the same regards, former Australian captain Steve Waugh recently spoke during an interaction with the Indian media at the Laureus World Sports Awards in Berlin.

Worried about the impact that T20 cricket is having on the game, Waugh said that the “loyalty to money” which T20 leagues around the world are promoting has made it impossible for any country to strike the perfect balance between all three formats of cricket. He, however, feels India, Australia and England are closest to getting the balance right. “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,” Waugh said

“Somebody like Brendon McCullum retired from Test cricket even though I feel he still had three-four years in him. He is just working for superannuation right now, for his family, which is alright. Overall I feel there is no loyalty to the team, there is loyalty to money now. I don’t blame the players but it’s tough on the fans,” Waugh added. England’s legendary all-rounder Sir Ian Botham, who was also present on the occasion, agreed to what Waugh said and added that T20 should be kept at the “bottom of the shelf”, further commenting that the way things are going, T20 is in the danger of becoming a lottery.