One-day cricket under threat from Twenty20: Cairns

New Delhi, Sept 24 (UNI) Former New Zealand all-rounder Chris Cairns today said the 50-over cricket is under serious threat from the latest Twenty20 version.

Cairns was in the capital to launch cricket TV programme Superskills which will feature five teams of three celebrity cricketers each -- including India's Virender Sehwag, Suresh Raina and S Sreesanth -- to fight it out in five basic skills.

He said with the successful hosting of the World Cup in South Africa and good spectator turn out, the shortest version of the game would give a serious competition to the 50-over version and Test cricket to a lesser extent.

''It is great to watch the Twenty20 version. It (fifty- over) version will come under fire from Twenty20 in three to four year's time.

''ICC knew it and had imposed a cap on the number of Twenty20 internationals to be played by each country,'' said the 37-year-old who had played two Twenty20 internationals before retiring early last year.

He said the newest version was suited for the younger lot with its slam and bang nature, lots of hard running between the wickets and while fielding, and it was wise for Sachin Tendulkar, Sourav Ganguly and Rahul Dravid to have stayed away from the World Cup.

''Twenty20 is ideal for young talents and youngsters are doing well for India. I think beating Australia in the semi-final was fantastic.

''Yuvaraj's six sixes in an over (against England) was unbelievable. Chris Broad was an up and coming bowler but Yuvraj whacked him for six sixes. It was amazing, I am happy that I was not the bowler,'' Cairns quipped.

He said he did not ''honestly'' think New Zealand would reach the final and said Pakistan were the deserved finalists.

The 2000 Wisden Cricketer of the Year also denied that the inclusion of Twenty20 in the already crammed internataional schedule will increase the vulnerability of cricketers to injuries becuase ''cricketers are paid well to take care of injuries.'' UNI

Story first published: Monday, September 24, 2007, 16:05 [IST]
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