Jun 06, 2008 at 11:48am IST

T20 threatens ODIs, echoes legendary trio

New Delhi: The success of the Indian Premier League has forced cricket's bosses to re-think the future of the game but what do the players think? Well, for an all-round perspective on what challenges the game faces CNN-IBN's Sports Editor Gaurav Kalra caught up with three legends: Wasim Akram, Rahul Dravid and Sanath Jayasuriya for this exclusive interview.

Sanath Jayasuriya: I think that One-Day cricket and Tests are different. To get the interest of the people, you need to change a few rules and regulations of the 50-over game.

In Twenty20, more people come because in three hours, it gets very interesting with the batsmen playing so many shots. In 50 overs format, few things need to change, otherwise Twenty20 will get over 50-over game.

Gaurav Kalra: Sanath Jayasuriya was the leader of the new age One-Day cricket and now he himself fears for it. One of the other reasons is that the 2007 world cup was criticised for how long it was, how dull some of the matches were and suddenly the Twenty20 World Cup comes and now you have an IPL, are you worried for the future of ODI?

Wasim Akram: Yes, I am. ICC (International Cricket Council) will have to sit down and think what they have to do between 15-35 overs because those 20 overs can be really boring. From a cricketer's point of view it is a different skill altogether.

In Twenty20, you don't need to be astute to think what you have to do and make a strategy. In one-day cricket you need to make a strategy. In T20, it is just go out and hit the ball for sixes. But they have to change rules between the 20-35 over mark because the game gets very slow during that period.

And nowadays after Twenty20, people don't have time to watch singles. Even me, I probably will switch the channel.

Gaurav Kalra: Now Rahul you are surrounded by two gentlemen who have taken a very serious stands on the future of the one-day game, what's your view?

Rahul Dravid: There are 365 days in an year, so if you have a 44-day IPL tournament and people talking about carving out windows, something got to give. There are only that many days an year and people can play only that many games. The first thing that is going to give is one-day cricket because you will see an increase in the Twenty20 games and something has to come from somewhere, you cannot add the number of days in an year. 50-over games are probably going to get lesser if this take off.

I hope Test cricket is not touched and the sanctity is maintained. And the tour programme is not challenged by any other for of the game. Something is going to give and the first going to be the 50-over game to some extent. it might take a bit of time but I see that happening.


Wasim Akram: The only worry I have for youngsters is that when we were growing up we wanted to be Test cricketers but now the youngsters might be thinking that I just want to play the IPL, play for 44 days and make money and move on.

So that's where all the cricket boards need to look into because in the long run, Test cricket matters. That is where you can judge a quality of a cricketer. It is a five-day game and Twenty20 is just three hours.

It is fine for entertainment but the youngsters should know that their aim should be to play for their country and of course for a longer period of time.

Gaurav Kalra: All this hype about Bollywood stars, how important was that the cricket was of a good quality so that this didn't take over?

Sanath Jayasuriya: It is good for the public to see the players and their games and also the Bollywood stars, who have their own teams or are particularly supporting some teams. So it's both good for the team and the people. From a players' point of view we have a responsible job because the onus is on the franchise and what they want to do with the team. So what we were looking at were the cricketing matters.

But on the other hand, we enjoyed as well because we got a chance to see them. When we played in Kolkata we met with Shah Rukh Khan, he talked to us. It was a great chance for other guys like Shaun Pollock who don't know much about Bollywood.

Gaurav Kalra: So Rahul did any Bollywood offer come your way?

Wasim Akram: I think Rahul has the talent.

Rahul Dravid: No, nothing came my way.

Sanath Jayasuriya: Wasim is the talented one.

Wasim Akram: I will leave Bollywood to Shoaib Akhtar, I think he should take over. But I'm all for it. Bollywood with cricket. People like Shah Rukh Khan and Preity Zinta, they have done well, it is a package.

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