Mumbai: Former India captain and ex-cricket manager Ajit Wadekar has criticised the tendency of some players who report sick and miss Tests before recovering magically in time when lucrative T20 games come around.
"There's a tendency for some players to fall sick and make themselves not available for Test cricket, but they suddenly become fit for [lucrative] Twenty20 [matches]," Wadekar said without naming anyone.
The former cricketer was expressing his views at the panel discussion titled "Cricket across all formats" arranged by Legends Club on the occasion of the late Vijay Merchant's 101st birth anniversary here Friday night.
"There's a tendency for some players to fall sick and make themselves not available for Test cricket, but they suddenly become fit for lucrative Twenty20 matches," the former India captain said.
"Challenges are many in Twenty20. In Twenty20 things happen in a rush. You rush to score runs and take wickets. The shorter and faster the game, maybe, one has become more accurate [in bowling by conceding less number of wides and bowling fewer no balls]," he said.
Thanking Merchant, the then selection panel chairman who elevated him to India captaincy for the tour of the West Indies in 1971 with his casting vote, Wadekar recalled how Merchant subtly told him that he would like him only if he was victorious as captain.
"Had Vijaybhai not used the casting vote in may favour, I don't think I would have captained India in 1971 and followed it with two wins in the West Indies and England.
"Our offices were opposite to each other and I wanted to visit and thank him personally the day after I was made the captain. But he called me to his office and said 'Although I gave my casting vote in your favour it does't mean I like you. I would like you only if you start winning matches for India'."
"He also introduced me to the world of supporting the visually impaired and spastics," Wadekar added.
Former India opener Madhav Apte, a former president of the Cricket Club of India - the home of the Legends Club, said people liked limited overs games, played over 50 or 20 overs, as they guaranteed a result.
"The difference [as compared to Tests] is ... in limited over games, there is a result at the end of the day. Decision making has become fast and that's a challenge, when events move very fast in limited over games," he said.
The other panel speakers were former cricketers Bapu Nadkarni, Vasu Paranjape and Praveen Amre.