Shaun Pollock warns against overdose
Dubai: It may have been over three-and-a-half years since he retired from international cricket, but former South African skipper Shaun Pollock still gets a kick out of winning irrespective of his role and the game's format.
The mentor and bowling coach of recently crowned Champions League winners Mumbai Indians was in Dubai on his way to South Africa and tells XPRESS exclusively why he thinks there may have been a Twenty20 overkill of late.
"Too much of anything isn't healthy. T20 itself is great for the game. We now have a format to take everywhere and anywhere in the world. We are introducing big audiences and lots of sponsorship dollars to the game that we wouldn't have otherwise. That can only be a good thing. There is a balance to be struck though," he said.
Pollock pointed to the low turnout during the CLT20 in India to illustrate his point.
spreading it around
"Personally, I think the Champions League offers the BCCI and the IPL a great opportunity to export the game to new markets. Let's take the league around the world, to a new country every year. With teams from the West Indies, India, England, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa all taking part there is no reason why they can't just pick up the format and take it anywhere in the world. That way it keeps every year fresh and the fans in India won't have yet another event to support.
"Fact is they'd just had 60 or so games in the IPL in March. The feeling was that many of them were wondering what the difference was between that and the Champions League. It's a shame that the crowds were a little disappointing throughout the event and it's something that needs to be looked at. It just goes to show that even the Indian cricket-loving public can grow sick of the T20 format," he said.
Nevertheless, the former all-rounder was happy at how the tournament unfolded.
"It was truly some of the best cricket that I've seen in the T20 format for a long time. Most of the games were close, and the standard of some of the hitting was incredible. Truly exceptional," he said.
With South Africa hosting Australia in a series that only contains two Test matches, Pollock believes Test cricket could be in danger of selling itself short.
"I believe there have been scheduling issues with this series which is the reason why they are only playing two Tests. It's a shame. We have to be careful that we aren't selling Test cricket short and for me it is and will always be the ultimate test of a cricketer's ability. There's isn't much that you can tell from a two-Test series but I think we [South Africa] will have too much for Australia on this tour," he said.
Chosen as the Wisden Cricketer of the Year in 2003.
Is the leading wicket-taker among South Africans, taking over 400 wickets and scoring over 3,700 runs in 108 Test matches
Also picked up 393 wickets and scored 3,519 runs in 303 one-day Internationals