IPL might hamper the development of Test cricket, says Ponting

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Melbourne, Nov 12 (UNI) After losing the Border-Gavaskar Trophy to India, under-fire Australian skipper Ricky Ponting hit back at the IPL and said the growing stature of the Indian league would jeoparadise the Test cricket as players will choose the lucrative league over country.

''If the IPL keeps growing ... the next generation might opt for franchise over country. Everyone in the game should work towards ensuring that never happens,'' Ponting wrote in his 2008 Captain's Diary.

Ponting further added that by playing in the Indian Premier Leauge (IPL), players can generate huge money and that will hamper the progress of the longer version of the game.

''It will be tougher to retain the public's interest (in Tests) and eventually the golden goose will be no more,'' he said.

Ponting also stated that players will choose IPL over country just because of the money. However, he added that there should be a balance between both so that the countries will not lose their prominent players.

''We cannot afford to lose teams such as New Zealand and the West Indies from international cricket, but my fear is that this could happen if the game cannot strike a balance between Tests and ODIs and the IPL's riches.

''Unless such a balance can be achieved, I could see some countries' cricket teams declining in the way Zimbabwe's sides have struggled over the past few years,'' he noted.

The 33-year-old right handed batsman also asserted that though players want to represent their country but not at the cost of losing handsome perks.

''The best cricketers in the game want to keep representing their country, but if it's going to be costing them (a lot of) money then there are tough decisions ahead - for players and also for administrators,'' he said.

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