Ian Chappell. (TOI Photo)NEW DELHI: Flagging concerns about cricket's future, former Australian captain Ian Chappell says the sport's administrators would do well to not add T10 to the smorgasbord of choices that they already offer.
Chappell, one of the finest minds to have played the game, is of the view that an "all-encompassing debate" on cricket's future is long overdue and that a "firm decision" on how many formats are best suited to the game should be arrived at, at the earliest.
"Debate on this subject should have been held long ago. It's not too late now but the list of attendees has grown, given the relative strength of the women's game, and the substantial influence of climate change," Chappell wrote on ESPNcricinfo.
"Playing styles have changed drastically in a few decades and still there is no blueprint for cricket's future. Much as it did during the World Series Cricket (WSC) insurrection of the 1970s, the administration lurches ahead, driven mainly by knee-jerk reaction.
"The WSC (World Series Cricket) insurrection was over pay and conditions but it was the 50-over game that eventually prospered. Now T20 is the headline format, with Test cricket receiving occasional favourable mentions from players," he added.
Chappell also touched upon Ben Stokes' abrupt decision to retire from the ODI format, saying it was not unexpected but a concern nevertheless.
"Played well, the 50-over game makes for a good cricket match that is rewarding in its entertainment value. Those are generally the sentiments of older players, who knew only two formats.
"Current players often place the IPL, in particular, and T20 in general, at the top of the list when it comes to satisfaction.
"This is why the future of the game needs thoughtful consideration. A firm decision is needed on how many playing formats are best for cricket. Once that is decided, it then needs to be confirmed how the formats should move ahead to ensure the game evolves," he said.
The players should be involved at all times when it comes to promotion of the sport, the Australian great said.
"Any positive promotion of the game should be done hand in hand with the players, and this includes women cricketers. An international players' association, with Indian representation, should be a mandatory part of cricket's future."
Chappell added, "Cricket's history needs to be carefully considered before a firm decision is made on the future pathway. The limited-overs game evolved because of a perceived boredom with Test cricket.
"Then T20 grew rapidly on the back of supposed stagnation in 50-overs cricket. This raises the question of what happens if fans become bored with the 20-over game."
"Cricket is already dabbling with T10 leagues and it's not hard to imagine the game embracing more of that format. T10 should be regarded as overdoing the entertainment quotient and not a format the professional players should embrace."
Chappell said T20 cricket can be unfulfilling for a cricketer owing to the lack of overs and time, but he understood the need for a current player to provide for his family.