Wellington: An opportunity exists for New Zealand to jump onto the burgeoning world T20 cricket circus, but national players chief Heath Mills fears for the overall impact on the game, and the ability of the International Cricket Council (ICC) to manage the already overloaded schedule.
Cautioning against overkill, Mills said he believed there is the chance for New Zealand Cricket to benefit further, working as they have already to align their HRV Cup competition in December around the Australian equivalent so imported players can appear in both.
But he said the picture was changing rapidly and he questioned the survival of the traditional game and whether its guardian, the International Cricket Council, could develop a workable programme to satisfy all parties.
A website quoted Mills as saying: “You can see the individual boards of countries wanting the best for the sport and to have money coming in that will filter to all levels and grow the game. But once you get all those leagues operating and maybe more in other countries like New Zealand, where is there going to be room on an already congested calender for reciprocal tours?”
Mills said he doubted whether the ICC, an unholy alliance of board members, could manage the situation, yet players still regarded test cricket as the game’s pinnacle and the true measure of a player.
“Remember it’s not the players who are setting up these leagues, they are just taking advantage of what is on offer,” he said.
“I am not against the private investment coming into the game. It should help the states and counties but they (the investors) will have a say in wanting the top players to appear. The ICC’s new future tours programme is being worked on and the schedule I’ve seen is pretty chocker,” he said.
He added: “The question I ask is who is capable of managing the big picture and from what I’ve seen I don’t think the ICC is capable of pulling everything together. They are not an independent board but all have their own vested interests.”
Mills believed the T20 model still had a long way to go to fulfil its commercial potential.