Kevin Pietersen’s retirement from the shorter version of the game will be a major dent on England’s chances of retaining the Twenty20 World Cup in September.
Worse still, there is a clause in England’s contracts which rules our players who retire from either Twenty20 or the one-dayers from being eligible for both formats.
Pietersen is willing to play Twenty20s. But his contract will keep him out. Silly really when you consider that Pietersen is a fantastic Twenty20 player and was in prime form in the Indian Premier League.
That is the way cricket is run by the some administrators who would be better off tending to their gardens instead of warming chairs and coming up with stupid clauses.
England have put this clause to ensure a pool of players who can fit into both formats. But there doesn’t seem any logic, as every team must field the best available player. It once again underlines how rigid and backward looking are the various boards running cricket.
Take the example of the Indian board regarding the one-off payment for former cricketers. Kapil Dev’s name was passed by because he was involved in the rebel Indian Cricket League and did not apologise for it. This is indeed a laughing matter. In one stroke, the Board of Control for Cricket in India has struck out one of the most outstanding cricketers not only in India but also the world.
Kapil has taken this on the chin. The money wouldn’t matter to him as much as the recognition it brings with it.
Then there is West Indian Chris Gayle who spending his peak years as a Twenty20 player for franchises when he should in the West Indian colours. The standoff between him and the WI board has gone on for too long. There are faults on both sides but a little bit of flexibility would have resolved the matter quickly,
Once again it is a matter of stupid officials, with no credentials whatsoever in the game, making decisions which affect the fortunes of the team.
This has led to former legends like Michael Holding to question the logic of the board. Ramnaresh Sarwan also revealed the trauma he faced after the board questioned his commitment.
A young fast bowler like Jerome Taylor may also not wear the West Indian cap as he too is under the cosh from the board.
Such is the position of West Indies cricket that coach Otis Gibson is fast becoming the most hated man among many good cricketers.
Admittedly, the West Indies are faring a little better than before but the bottom line is results. “Well played sir” doesn’t count in modern day cricket.
Sadly, the attitude of boards all around the world is driving cricketers away from the tradition international games.
Players like Dwayne Bravo, Kieron Pollard and scores of others prefer tournaments like the IPL instead of wearing their country’s colours and cap.
This may prove alarming unless proper action is taken. The latest headache will be for the New Zealand board when the IPL will clash with their tour to England next year. The possibility of sending a second string team there is fast becoming a reality.
Cricket schedules have become so demanding that something has to be done quickly to ensure credibility at the highest level.
But the greed for money and unimaginative managements will always put cricket in a quandary.