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There is a risk of an overkill of T20, says founder

February 05, 2010 10:55 IST

Use Twenty20 cricket as an appetiser before the start of a series but don't overdo it in an already jammed-packed international calender, warned the founder of the format Stuart Robertson.

Robertson was delighted to witness the huge popularity of the format but said the game's administrators should be careful in their scheduling or they face the risk of Twenty20 overkill.

"Twenty20 was always designed as a game for counties or states or provinces and it was devised to address the declining audiences at domestic level (in county cricket)," Robertson was quoted as saying by the Australian Associated Press, a news agency in Melbourne.

"I don't mind Twenty20s being used as a curtain raiser for an international series, to have one or two to whet the appetite for more cricket coming up, so long as they don't overdo it," he said.

"If nothing else gives there is a risk of there being too much Twenty20. Everyone is looking at the attendances, but if it was to expand any further and the Test and 50-overs games did not give, there's a chance you could overdo it, so you've got to be careful."

Robertson, who devised the format a decade ago in his role as marketing manager with the England and Wales Cricket Board, feels a surge in cash-rich private Twenty20 leagues like the Indian Premier League (IPL) might prompt the players to opt for premature retirements.

"If international players are coming out of their careers a bit prematurely then there would be a bit of an issue with it," he said.

"But if it's guys like (Shane) Warne and (Adam) Gilchrist and (Andrew) Flintoff, who are a bit injury-laden and coming to the end of their careers, and want to keep going in Twenty20 and get a bit of reward then that's fine," added Robertson, who is now the corporate director at English county side Hampshire.

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