A big fan of the traditional form of the game, New Zealand pacer Sir Richard Hadlee has gone on record claiming that he is not a fan of T20 Cricket. He also added that the shortest format of the game will cease to survive if the five-day format is not taken care of.
Hadlee suggested that the foundation of cricket which is Test cricket must be “preserved” and all three formats of the game can exist together if a balance is maintained.
“Test cricket must be preserved. It’s the foundation on which the game is based. So we must look after the five-day game,” Hadlee said as quoted by PTI.
“Certainly with emergence of T20 cricket which is a revolution in the game, all three formats need to live together. They can co-exist but I hate to see that T20 cricket will dominate world cricket,” Hadlee made his stance very clear in response to a question from PTI.
“Probably too much T20 cricket is played around the world. But I hope that the game doesn’t try to just survive through T20 cricket because T20 cricket is not real cricket. Real cricket is Test cricket,” said Hadlee who has as many as 431 Test wickets and 3,124 runs from 86 matches.
Hadlee, however, also highlighted that T20 Cricket has produced more skillful players although they may not necessarily transform into better cricketers.
“I am not saying they are better players but they are certainly more skillful. Because of different formats that they play, they have to adapt to different situations particularly in T20 which is a high-risk game anyway with all the trick shots that they play,” he stated.
“The T20 generation bowlers today have for at least five variations. They bowl different deliveries like knuckle ball, back of the hand slower one,” he said.
“Back in my time, I only had two variations (inswinger and outswinger). That’s all I needed,” he added.
“At 34 or 35, you probably end your career as quick bowler but you can have three or four years left in T20 cricket because if you play Test cricket, you can burn out, get injured and be less effective,” he further said.
“People will retire prematurely to pursue where the money is. That’s not a criticism at all but a sign of times and way the game has gone. I was 39 when I retired and it was Test cricket. That’s it,” Hadlee concluded.