T20 is Pushing Worthwhile Forms of The Game Virtually into Background: Glenn Turner

Former New Zealand captain Glenn Turner says the forced break due to coronavirus pandemic has given the administrators who run cricket an opportunity to reassess various aspects of the game.

Turner says the ‘worthwhile forms’ of the game are being pushed to the background with money-churning T20 cricket becoming the priority.

“…money rules and you’ve got Twenty20 dominating to such an extent where it is putting what I consider to be more worthwhile forms of the game virtually into the background,” Turner was quoted as saying by stuff.co.nz.

“That is only happening because of the money that they can get from that and of course the argument too, is that it is getting more people interested in the game. But if you dine at a fast food takeaway, does that mean that you are going to go on to fine dining? I don’t think so and that doesn’t appear to be happening,” he added.

Turner played 41 Tests and as many ODIs between 1969 and 1983 scoring over 4,500 runs with 10 centuries and 23 half-centuries. He though pointed out while money rules modern cricket, the sport is increasingly turning into an image of the society in general where the gap between the top and bottom, in terms of money, is widening.

“More and more money is going to the top end and it’s a bit like society where the gap between the rich and the poor as got greater. Hopefully after this pandemic things are going to be reassessed,” he said.

An assessment, the 72-year-old said, is needed to help those who are struggling.

“I think they should be reassessed in cricket as well because your top players are really taking most of the cream and even the next group are really struggling,” he said. “Then, of course, they (administrators) don’t have the sort of money I believe they need to foster the game further down. That’s the real concern.”

He also lamented the shift in balance of power from board to senior cricketers who he feels are being allowed a freehand. “The power has shifted almost totally to the players where boards step back and let the game be run largely by senior players. Things have turned 180 degrees and I don’t think either is ideal,” Turner said. “But the thing that is happening, which I see as a mistake, is that they are getting full 12-month retainers while being able to sign contracts with as many other people as they can and not making themselves fully available for New Zealand. That’s too big a sacrifice I feel.”

Turner, a former chairman of New Zealand selection panel, also disagreed with the controversial call during the 2019 ODI World Cup final in England.

England were awarded four overthrows when a throw from Martin Guptill deflected from the bat of Ben Stokes to roll past the boundary in the final over. It turned out to be a decisive call as the match ended in a tie before England won in Super Over on boundary counts.

“I think that they gave the wrong result. But to have given out the man of the match at the time for obstructing the field which ought to have happened would have of course changed the result. Now that you are getting third umpires involved and they are seeing replays of things they will be able to make those sorts of decisions in the future I would hope,” he said.