India head coach Ravi Shastri has said that cricket can be restructured on the lines of club football where fans enjoy weekend fixtures and international games are only limited to tournaments like World Cup. He demanded that authorities must cut down on number of bilateral series as they are becoming less significant. He suggested there is enough franchise cricket to fill up the roster, adding that he doesn’t remember a single white-ball game.
“I would like to see less and less bilateral T20 cricket. Look at football. You have the Premier League, the Spanish league, the Italian league, the German league. They all come together for the Champions League. There are few bilateral football friendlies now. The national teams only play for the World Cup or World Cup qualifying and other major tournaments like the European Championships, Copa America and the Africa Cup of Nations. I think that’s the way T20 cricket should go. Spread the game in different countries, and take it to the Olympics. But cut down on those bilateral games and give time for the players to rest, recuperate and play Test cricket,” Shastri told ‘The Guardian.’
He said more and more cricketers within Indian team ‘believe the same.’
“They (Team India players) all believe the same. There is enough franchised cricket. That is working. But what is the point of bilateral? In my seven years with this Indian team, I don’t remember one white-ball game. If you win a World Cup final you will remember it and that’s the only thing left for me as a coach. Otherwise, you bloody cleaned up everything across the globe. I don’t remember a single white-ball game. Test matches? I remember every ball. Everything. But the volume is too much. We beat Australia 3-0 in the T20 series. We beat New Zealand 5-0 in New Zealand. Who cares? But beating Australia in two-Test series in Australia? Winning Tests in England? I remember that,” he said.
With Shastri’s tenure in its twilight stage, his predecessor Anil Kumble is likely to succeed him. A top BCCI source has confirmed that Kumble and Laxman will be asked to apply. “Anil Kumble’s exit needs course correction. The manner in which the CoA succumbed to the pressure of Kohli and removed him, wasn’t the best example set. However, it also depends on whether Kumble or Laxman are ready to apply for the job.”