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TWENTY20 FORMAT HAS ‘SAVED CRICKET’ SAYS MICHAEL VAUGHAN

Former England Captain says T20 format has saved the sport, but there is still a place for Test cricket in the modern game

Speaking on the second day of The Telegraph Business of Sport Conference, former England cricket captain Michael Vaughan praised the introduction of a franchise T20 tournament in the UK in 2020. Vaughan said:

“The launch of a new eight-team tournament in the UK is something we’ve been crying out for. T20 has been a success globally but from a UK perspective we haven’t had a huge amount of success. T20 came to the market just over 10 years ago, we invented it in this country and then allowed all the other countries to make a load of money out of it. So we’re a little bit behind the game. In the UK, Twenty20 will be cricket’s moment.”

Vaughan also spoke of the positive impact that the Twenty20 format has had on cricket as a sport, but he still believes Test cricket has a place in the modern game. He said:

“T20 has saved cricket, it’s bringing fun to the kids who are learning and playing the game of cricket. What you tend to find is because of this swashbuckling, exciting brand that has been brought to the game through T20, it’s made Test cricket in my eyes better as well, it’s made it more attacking. The product of T20 is one which is perfect for the modern era, people want a quick fix and it’s finished in three and half hours.”

Despite the growing importance of T20, Vaughan still believes that Test cricket has a future, although administrators need to safeguard the format’s future.

“Now that T20 cricket is taking over cricket, it’s up to the administrators to put Test cricket in a place where the everyday sports fan can understand it more. There should be a league system to make it more compelling than just the Ashes series we have every two and half years. Fundamentally we never have that league system in Test cricket where we can say ‘they are the best team in the world’ because they have beaten X,Y and Z.”

Vaughan also responded to comments made by England’s ODI and T20 captain Eoin Morgan regarding the diminishing importance of playing Test cricket. He said:

“T20 and Test cricket are pretty much two different sports. I have no arguments at all with any player that decides to go down that route. The new market of personality is clearly going to be geared towards white-ball cricket but as we’ve seen over the last few years, the best players play all the formats and they start off by playing Test cricket. There are some standout T20 players but they couldn’t play Test cricket. They’re still very rich and famous. If you’re a young player you’d be silly not to look at that route but the real quality players are across all the three formats. Whether that’s the same case in twenty years, only time will tell.”

The Telegraph Business of Sport Conference is in its third year, for information on future events visit: www.telegraph.co.uk/business/events