ICC chief warns against T20's growing threat to Tests

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Johannesburg, May 16: As the IPL fever soars in India, the new ICC chief Haroon Lorgat has expressed his concerns over the growth of Twenty20 format which might affect Test cricket's sanctity.

''I sat in on the ICC cricket committee meeting this month and they were very clear that Test cricket should remain the pinnacle of the game. And I agree,'' Lorgat said yesterday. The shortest version of the game has made rapid progress in recent times since the inaugural ICC Twenty20 World Cup in September took place. The BCCI took the lead and started the Indian Premier League with money pouring in from everywhere.

Now the Pakistan, England and Cricket Australia are also planning to follow the Indian board's footsteps and are looking to start their own Twenty20 tournaments.

''It's a form of the game we can use as a wonderful opportunity to grow cricket globally, though we will have to manage the load that Twenty20 takes on against Test and 50-over cricket.

''We might be having too much of it at first, but I hope going forward we can keep a sensible balance between Twenty20 and the other formats,'' Lorgat said.

Meanwhile, New Zealand legend Sir Richard Hadlee has also urged the game's governing body to ease growing fears over the traditional five-day format and ensure that IPL is a stand-alone tournament.

''For the benefit of the global game, it is important that there is a window of opportunity for the IPL to be played and that it does not clash with any country's international commitments,'' Hadlee said.

''For that to happen, the Future Tours Program organised by the International Cricket Council needs to be reformatted to accommodate the IPL,'' Hadlee added.

UNI

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