Tom Moffat the Chief Executive of the Federation of International Cricketers’ Associations (FICA) has warned that ballooning T20 cricket leagues are a threat to the talent pool in international cricket.
Moffat has reverberated the claims of many, including the Pakistan Cricket Board, in pointing out that the preponderance of franchise cricket will hurt the international game by depleting the talent available for international fixtures.
He also expressed concerns that the next Future Tours Programme finalised by the boards will do little to curb that trend.
“We have highlighted flight of talent away from international cricket as a critical issue for the game for a number of years, and it is now starting to impact on bigger countries, not just the smaller ones,” FICA chief executive Tom Moffat told Reuters.
“Solutions to this issue require collective global thinking, collaboration, and compromise, to ensure a balanced global calendar that enables international cricket and domestic leagues to co-exist.”
There is growing concern among the boards that contracted players will be willing to abrogate playing for their countries in favour of lucrative T20 cricket leagues, a fact FICA is well aware of.
New Zealand pace bowler Trent Boult may already have set the trend earlier this month when he negotiated a “significantly reduced role” with the national team so he could prioritise Twenty20 cricket.
Many prominent West Indies players have turned in T20 while the top Afghan players are mostly seen in franchise cricket including Pakistan Super League (PSL).
Players torn between representing their countries and making money to support families is leading to earlier retirements from at least one form of cricket. South Africa’s Quinton de Kock quit test cricket last year, while England test captain Ben Stokes dropped the 50-overs format last month citing an “unsustainable” workload.
“Cricket has a small player employment market it’s the same group of players that are in high demand in both the domestic leagues and international cricket landscapes.”
“There is no doubt that the volume of cricket is unlikely to be sustainable for multi-format players, especially in the big countries, moving forward,” Moffat added.
“Ultimately the game needs to make a decision as to whether it wants to come together to meaningfully regulate domestic leagues at a global level through the ICC,” he said.