Sport needs its David Bullards

2008-04-19 00:00

TRADITIONALISTS regard the IPL with the enthusiasm some queens reserve for cheap outfits. Far from welcoming the newfangled version of the game, they have worked themselves up into the sort of frenzy detected in dogs when another canine drops by for a chinwag. But, then, tradition and pomposity have long been brothers in arms. As far as can be told the game will survive, Test cricket will remain intact, ragged children will still dream of glory and only occasionally of riches, and the world will keep spinning (unless Mr Mbeki is put in charge).

Traditionalists also fear that greedy cricketers will dump Test cricket for IPL. No significant player has so far done so. Chris Gayle and two colleagues did threaten to withdraw from the national team, but had second thoughts. West Indian players are poorly paid and notoriously tight. Everyone knows that Test cricket confers legitimacy. Forced to choose between T20 and Test matches, only ageing or inadequate players will take the low road. It’d be like turning down Hamlet to play Mother Goose.

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