No loyalty towards the team, it’s loyalty to money now: Steve Waugh | cricket | Hindustan Times
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No loyalty towards the team, it’s loyalty to money now: Steve Waugh

The “loyalty to money”, which Twenty20 leagues around the world are promoting, has made it

cricket Updated: Apr 18, 2016 20:32 IST
A file photo of former Australian skipper Steve Waugh.
A file photo of former Australian skipper Steve Waugh.(AFP Photo)

The “loyalty to money”, which Twenty20 leagues around the world are promoting, has made it impossible for any country to strike the perfect balance between all three formats of cricket, says former Australian captain Steve Waugh.

Waugh, however, feels India, Australia and England are closest to getting the equilibrium right.

Worried about the impact that Twenty20 cricket is having on the game, Waugh said the incentive on offer in T20 leagues has led to a decline in loyalty towards national duty.

“I think Australia is the closest when it comes to striking a balance, India has the potential and England is also coming up nicely...I think it’s impossible to strike a perfect balance given that there are three different teams. It’s not realistic. I don’t think there would ever be one world no.1 in all three formats of the game,” Waugh said in an interaction with the Indian media at the Laureus World Sports Awards in Berlin.

“Somebody like Brendon McCullum retired from Test cricket even though I feel he still had three-four years in him. He is just working for superannuation right now, for his family, which is alright. Overall I feel there is no loyalty to the team, there is loyalty to money now. I don’t blame the players but it’s tough on the fans,” Waugh said.

His sentiments were echoed by former England captain Ian Botham, who said Twenty20 should be kept at the “bottom of the shelf”.

“Test cricket is number one because it ebbs and flows beautifully but there is shelf life for every format. And I feel Twenty20 should be at the bottom of the shelf. People are saying it was a great World Twenty20 final last month. I say it was a great last four balls, the rest of the final was a drag. I think it was a pretty poor final,” Botham said.

West Indies beat England in a last-over thriller in the World T20 final with Carlos Brathwaite smacking Ben Stokes for four consecutive sixes.

Botham said the way things are going, Twenty20 is in the Botham said the way things are going, Twenty20 is in the danger of becoming a lottery.

“That’s a real threat. T20 could become a lottery because cricket is much more than just 20 overs. Crowds like it but then crowds like Test cricket too. In England every big Test series is sold out, it’s the same in Australia, South Africa or New Zealand” he said.