Kevin Pietersen urges ICC to increase Test wages over Twenty20 leagues
Kevin Pietersen has advised the International Cricket Council to increase wages given to players for Tests so that they are better than what's offered by leagues such as the Indian Premier League and the Big Bash League.
"Something has to be done for Test cricket to survive, because I know first-hand, having coached kids from all around the world about a month ago with my foundation in Dubai, that they've got no interest in Test cricket. None," said Pietersen on his arrival to Melbourne back from England.
His comments come before he is due to participate in the Big Bash League Derby where he will duel with Chris Gayle.
He makes a fair point. Even if the wages were equal to that of the shorter versions of the game, cricketers would naturally gravitate to the latter. Seeing as the quicker formats allow a better chance to shine in the spotlight and is less taxing than a full-fledged Test series.
"The ICC controls world cricket and they should say: 'Right, we need Gayle, we need even (Kieron) Pollard, we need (Darren) Sammy, we need (Dwayne) Bravo, we need Andre Russell'. Andre Russell is bowling at 150km/h, whacking big sixes in the Big Bash. He should be doing that in a Test match, he shouldn't be doing it here." said Pietersen.
"It's just a sad state of affairs that these guys here, who are star attractions all around the world and they command big numbers from T20 franchises, it's just sad they're not playing the longer form of the game.
“Test players should be paid a hell of a lot of money. That's the only way they're going to get the guys back playing. They should get paid so much more money than we get paid playing domestic tournaments.” he added.
It is indeed lamentable that one of the classic formats of the sport is being devoid of the blockbuster talent who are capable of drawing huge crowds. There is indeed a disparity in the salaries between these formats of the game, and some of it may have to do with marketability.
Twenty20 being a condensed form of the sport provides more valube advertisment spots on TV to potential sponsors, as opposed to a Test Series. However Pietersen insists that it is in the best interest of the sport to make an investment in keeping the rich tradition of Test cricket alive.