SA, Oz series too short - Flower

2011-11-12 20:12

London - England's coach Andy Flower is worried that while one-day international series' are often as long as seven matches, some Test campaigns such as the one currently ongoing between leading nations South Africa and Australia are restricted to just two fixtures.

"The intent behind creating the fixture list has to be addressed," he added.

"We want to find out who the best side in the world is and we want to have them competing in exciting conditions and exciting series but at the moment the intent is a financial one and that's why the fixture list is comprised (as it is)."

And the former Zimbabwe star has urged the International Cricket Council (ICC) to do all in its power to preserve Test matches as the sport's premier contests.

Flower is concerned leading international players may follow the example of Sri Lanka fast bowler Lasith Malinga, who gave up playing five-day Tests to concentrate on his one-day career including the lucrative Indian Premier League, a Twenty20 competition.

"There's a great danger. The rewards out there for playing less cricket are obvious," Flower told The Independent.

"The ICC have to address that as a serious problem looming in the future. They have to act very responsibly and make decisions on what's good for the game in the future. I'm not sure that's the case at the moment."

England's next series is against Pakistan in the United Arab Emirates early next year.

It will be the first time the teams have met since former Pakistan captain Salman Butt and bowlers Mohammad Asif and Mohammad Aamer were jailed by an English court for their roles in a 'spot-fixing' betting scam during the Lord's Test between the two nations in August last year.

However, Flower did his best to play down any lingering tensions by saying: "I envisage us playing a good series, played hard but played in the right spirit, and there's no reason why that shouldn't be the case.

"There's been a very public trial and a very serious trial for these young men and it's a sad story.

"None of us are perfect and we've all made mistakes of varying degrees over the years. We should not sit too high on our pedestals."


  • sean.looney - 2011-11-12 20:46

    he speaks the truth. although 20/20 and one day internationals, to a lesser extent, are exciting there is still nothing better than watching the top teams slog it out over 5 days.

  • mengelbrecht1 - 2011-11-12 21:28

    100% correct. A best of three series is the minimum.

      Inky - 2011-11-13 01:53

      The Ashes is the only series that fills the stadiums and England appear to be the only country that does not sacrifice test cricket for IPL, Champions league etc. When test cricket once again fills the stadiums and preference is not given to the 20/20 circus then, and only then should countries be granted longer series.

  • brechiner - 2011-11-12 21:32

    Well said Andy Flower. It is good to see senior cricket people make a stand for Test cricket. There is grass roots support for Test cricket like Testing Times who are actively lobbying the ECB and ICC to increase the amount of Test cricket. People can follow Testing Times on facebook and twitter and get involved with helping save Test cricket.

  • Ian - 2011-11-12 21:37

    well said, a set tour should consist of 5 tests, 5 - 7 odi's and 2 T20'S

  • Pranesh - 2011-11-12 21:53

    Agreed 100%. Well CSA needs to get their house in order, i believe that the Sri Lanka tour is just as short, i stand to be corrected on that one.

      Ian - 2011-11-12 22:01

      @Pranesh, the sri lankan tour is a bit of an improvement, 3 tests and 5 odis, not sure about T20s

      Pranesh - 2011-11-13 07:33

      thanks for clarifying that Ian, well lets hope we get some good cricket during that tour.

  • mani.bodenstein - 2011-11-12 22:04

    give the man a bells.......or two or......47!

  • Stewart - 2011-11-12 23:56

    Three test series should me a minimum however why must the ashes be held over a five test series and the rest of the test playing nations have to play second fiddle and have shorter series's.

  • nico.vanvuuren - 2011-11-13 06:43

    Blame the Ausies for this short series. They are the ones who refuse to tour South Africa during December months when they normally milk the cash cow back at home. Good for CSA for taking a stance on the issue.

  • angus.clarke2 - 2011-11-13 08:21

    Andy Flower makes a seriously valid point. What also needs to be addressed is WHY dis SA have to endure such a long gap between the world cup & their first new season games (over 7 months) while all the other nations have had one & even two series against each other. Is this a deliberate attempt by the ICC to avoid the embarrassing stat of all our players sitting in the top rankings. Obviously with fewer games we will get fewer opportunities to defend the top spots in all the different codes. Come on Cricket SA get your act together & fight harder for our boys & SA's cricket dignity. By the way, why is our marketing so BAD. The Aus-SA games are not even featured in NZ. Why?

  • Martin - 2011-11-13 10:54

    Well said Mr Flower. Two is NOT a series.

  • Jon - 2011-11-13 11:01

    Could not agree more. The smack and giggle stuff has effectively ruined what could be a classic test series.

  • Stirer - 2011-11-13 13:53

    the background to the two-test "series" is the Australian greed in not wanting to let go of having a domestic boxing day test in Aus, to play in S Africa. As Andy says - it boils down to finances.

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