Sydney, Sep.17 (ANI): Experienced Australian seamer Stuart Clark has warned that he can only hope the next generation of Australian cricketers values playing for their country ahead of chasing the almighty dollar on offer in the Indian Premier League and next month's Champions League.
Skipper Ricky Ponting, who said he expected more people to follow in the footsteps of English all-rounder Andrew Flintoff and pursue the shorter version of the game, backed up Clark.
According to the Daily Telegraph, former one-day star Michael Bevan also weighed into the money-v-country debate when he questioned how much longer cricketers would be prepared to support the Test scene now that there were lucrative alternatives.
"What scares me the most is where does it leave the game if people just go chasing large sums of money for a bit of hit-and-giggle," Clark told The Big Sports Breakfast.
"I think we as players all owe it to Test cricket to try and keep it afloat. I know the administration is working hard at it, but I personally hold grave fears for where the game is heading," he added.
Clark said he had noticed youngsters at NSW getting excited about the money at next month's Champions League in India, which offers a three million dollar purse to the winner and could earn the players 130,000 dollars each - the equivalent of a top-end state contract.
Ponting said more players could snub Test cricket to copy Flintoff.
"I think it probably could happen more and more especially with guys retiring from Test match cricket and wanting to play only the shorter versions of the game," he said.
Bevan, who scored nearly 7000 runs in 232 one-dayers for Australia, told The Daily Telegraph: "I'd like to hope there is a strong allegiance shown by the players to Test cricket, but up until what point they continue to do that I'm not sure." (ANI)