ICL: Indian Cricket League


World cricket never healthier, says ICC chief

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International Cricket Council (ICC) chairman David Morgan said here on Thursday that, for all its problems, “world cricket has probably never been healthier.”

And the Welshman added five-day Tests had nothing to fear from the growing popularity of Twenty20, the shortest form of major international cricket.

akistan, one of cricket’s leading nations, has become something of a global pariah amongst the rest of the sport, with neighbours India on Thursday the latest side to cancel a tour there because of security concerns.

That followed Australia’s refusal to go to Pakistan in March and the ICC’s postponement of the eight-nation Champions Trophy the Asian nation was due to host in September. Meanwhile worries remain over the fitness of Zimbabwe, thrashed 5-0 last month in a one-day series by Sri Lanka, for international cricket.

The troubled African side appear no nearer a return to Test matches since it withdrew from the five-day game more than four years ago because of a collapse in playing standards. Several senior Zimbabwe players had been lost at the time following acrimonious allegations of racism and financial mismanagement, with the state of Zimbabwe Cricket’s books an ongoing sore point for many within the game.

And fellow strugglers Bangladesh’s record — they have now lost 50 out of their 57 Tests to set aside against one win, over Zimbabwe — is a concern too. But Morgan, who was speaking after receiving his Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) medal at a Buckingham Palace ceremony, said: “I think world cricket has probably never been healthier.

“Some people worry about Twenty20, but I think Twenty20 cricket is a great opportunity for the game.”

Morgan, a former chairman of the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB), was among those urging the England team to return to India after last month’s terror attacks in Mumbai, which killed 172 people.

“I don’t think it (Twenty20) threatens the longer form of the game, and you will have seen that from the game in Chennai — which went to five days and was a great Test match,” Morgan said. “Test match cricket is still the biggest challenge for cricketers.”

Morgan, who received his award from Prince Charles, the heir to the British throne and holder of the title Prince of Wales, said it had been vital for international cricket that England had returned to India.

Former England batsman Geoffrey Boycott was among those who opposed such a move but Morgan, 61, said: “I believed firmly that if the security advisers judged it was safe and secure for the England team to return then the England team had a duty to return, and the captain Kevin Pietersen and the management team saw it as a duty — and they fulfilled it.

“It’s a great credit to the cricketers and their support team that they went back to India. It’s very important that terrorism is not seen to be winning.”

Source:Cricket News

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This entry was posted on Sunday, December 21st, 2008 and is filed under General, Cricket.

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