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Holding: Not my cup of T


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LONDON – Michael Holding has come off the long run, continuing his verbal assault on the Twenty20 format and taking aim at the game’s administrators.The West Indies fast bowling legend has launched a passionate defence of Test cricket, which he believes is being seriously threatened by the shortest format  of the sport.“I am not interested in Twenty20 at all,” he told CNN International in an exclusive interview to promote his new autobiography,  No Holding Back!“Maybe I am an old fogey, but I think it is destroying Test cricket,” said Holding who admitted he disliked the format so much that he turned down TV commentary work on the recent T20 World Cup in the Caribbean.“Kids should be playing Test cricket, and then maybe progressing to T20 once established. But now, with all the money available in T20, top young players are not going to be interested in playing the five-day game,” he added.Holding has become the latest international cricket personality to bemoan the Indian Premier League (IPL), and the way it has thrown money at players.“When you can earn US$800 000 for playing six weeks in the IPL, why waste six years trying to earn that sort of money in Test cricket?” he asked.“If this isn’t controlled properly, Test cricket will die. “When I was playing, people said, ‘Test cricket is too slow,’ so they brought in 50 overs-a-side, one-day cricket. Now it’s down to 20-overs. “What happens next? Fifteen overs? Ten overs?”Holding has placed the blame for this development squarely at the doorsteps of the International Cricket Council (ICC).“The ICC needs to look at how football’s governing body FIFA runs things,” he said. “The ICC are letting the Indian Cricket Board dictate how cricket is run, and that is all wrong.“India is where the money is in cricket at the moment, but that doesn’t mean they should have a say in how cricket is governed.”He continued: “FIFA wouldn’t let Brazil dictate how to run football, and cricket shouldn’t let India have more of a say just because they have money there.“Basically, the ICC is governing cricket so badly that soon nobody will pay any attention to them at all. If Test cricket is boring, it is because the ICC are handling the calendar all wrong.”In this regard, Holding has thrown his support behind a two-tiered system in Tests, which may effectively hurt his own West Indies.“Bangladesh are playing a series in England soon, but who cares?”  he asked.“Imagine, if there was a two-division system, six teams in each, with promotion and relegation . . . India to face Pakistan, with the losers being relegated to Division 2 – now that would be a Test series  to watch!” (CMC)