Sydney: Cricket Australia has effectively labelled the Twenty20 format of the game as important as five-day cricket in their explanation for damaging the preparations of Mike Hussey and Doug Bollinger for the Test series against India.
Hussey had complained that he and Bollinger were forced to stay at the Twenty20 Champions League in South Africa with Chennai Super Kings rather than prepare thoroughly for the first Test against India at Mohali.
Illustrating T20`s increasing influence, Cricket Australia chief executive James Sutherland said: "Michael Hussey made it clear to CA before and during the CLT20 that his strong preference and preferred intention was to leave earlier than the final to prepare for the Test series in India."
"It was only because of our requirement and the performance of his franchise that he stayed until the end of the CLT20 final," The Sydney Morning Herald quoted him, as saying.
"Michael had nothing but the best intentions of preparing for and playing for his country as his absolute priority but there was a fine balance between a high profile, elite club T20 competition and preparing for international cricket.
"Cricket is lucky to have three strong formats and it is important to us that all three formats continue to prosper," Sutherland said.
Hussey and Bollinger eventually made it to the team hotel only three days before the Test, and Bollinger subsequently broke down with an abdominal strain that ruled him out of the second match at Bangalore.