Former India wicketkeeper Farokh Engineer is of the opinion that the cash-rich IPL is the 'envy of the world', but he also wants stakeholders to pull Test cricket out of 'danger' zone, saying the traditional format can't be sacrificed for the sake of prospering slam-bang version of the sport
Farokh Engineer, Team India (Pic: AFP)
Former India wicketkeeper Farokh Engineer is of the opinion that the cash-rich IPL is the 'envy of the world', but he also wants stakeholders to pull Test cricket out of 'danger' zone, saying the traditional format can't be sacrificed for the sake of prospering slam-bang version of the sport. While financially strong nations like India, England and Australia remain committed to Test cricket, players from smaller countries are preferring to ply their trade in franchise leagues around the world as they offer better money.
"Test cricket being in danger is not a good thing. It is good that the game is prospering all over the world through T20 leagues but Test cricket should never be sacrificed. That is why the World Test Championship is a showcase to the world that Test cricket can be just as interesting as limited overs cricket. It is a game of chess depending on the conditions. It is the ultimate test for batters. There should be room for both Test and limited overs cricket," Engineer told PTI.
The final is being played at The Oval, where India won their first ever Test in England back in 1971. Engineer had played a big part in that momentous win with a 59-run knock in the first innings.
It is remarkable that even at this age, Engineer continues to watch the game closely, including the T20 leagues around the world, as he feels it is important to keep up with the times.
He played the game when cricketers earned Rs 50 a day, but he could not be more happy that the current generation is making millions in the IPL.
"India have taken a lead in Test cricket and in limited overs cricket we have IPL which is the envy of the world. Indian cricket holds the strings and that makes me hugely delighted," said of one the few Parsi cricketers to have played for India.
He is also of the view that the game was hugely popular even in his heyday and now leagues have taken the game to different locations.
"I watch cricket all the time. It is in my blood. Cricket is an Indian game accidentally invented by the British. I feel the game was just as popular back then but with T20 it has mushroomed to different places.
"IPL is huge money. We got Rs 50 per day for a five-day Test match," he said, recollecting a funny incident.
"I remember batting with Sunil Gavaskar, we had to get 15-20 runs on day four and half hour left, we were getting messages from the dressing room that don't finish the game today, we will lose out on the allowance for day five. We didn't play for money, we played for pride," he recollected fondly.
(With PTI inputs)