Gilchrist not sold on World Cup

Source -

Australian vice-captain Adam Gilchrist has questioned the validity of staging the inaugural Twenty20 World Cup so early in the game's development.

Gilchrist admitted such comments could get him "in strife" and also apologised for any offence caused by his comments about England while wearing a microphone for Tuesday night's Twenty20 fixture in Sydney.

The first Twenty20 world championship will be conducted in the South African cities of Durban, Johannesburg and Cape Town in September.

To date, only 13 Twenty20 internationals have been played with Australia leading the way on five.

A handful of other established nations including India, Pakistan and West Indies have each played just one Twenty20 international.

Gilchrist admitted he was sceptical about Twenty20 cricket until Tuesday night when he said it was "the first time I've been bitten by it".

"I'm still not 100 per cent sure on the World Cup status," Gilchrist said.

"We've got to protect the jewels in the crown that are the fifty-over World Cups and then Test cricket as a general game."

Gilchrist said he thought there didn't need to be too much more Twenty20 cricket at international level.

"That's why - I'm sure I will get in strife for this - but I do have question marks over a Twenty20 World Cup.

"But that said, it's on the schedule and I definitely will love to go along and play and be part of it, but it is a delicate balance."

Gilchrist said he thought Australian captain Ricky Ponting and the game's administrators were "pretty spot on" in their assessment of Twenty20 at the moment as a great vehicle for domestic cricket and developing cricket nations.

The veteran wicketkeeper wasn't afraid Twenty20 would dominate or even swallow up the more established longer form of one-day cricket.

"It (Twenty20) is going to change the one-day game and it's not going to cannibalise it, it's going to make that format even more spectacular," Gilchrist said.

Gilchrist was quick to apologise for any offence caused when he told the Channel 9 television audience that England were "in real trouble here, as they have been all summer."

"I'm a bit worried that might come back to bite me at some stage in the near future, so apologise to all the England people out there that took offence to that," Gilchrist said.

His team mate Michael Hussey said Twenty20 was a great concept and compared it to the last five or ten overs of a traditional one-day game.

The prolific middle-order batsman, who was recently named the ICC one-day international Player of the Year, talked up the tri-series starting this week which pits Australia against England and New Zealand.

Hussey felt England "most definitely" had more to offer following its mediocre Test and Twenty20 efforts and said New Zealand invariably grew "an arm and a leg" when they played their trans-Tasman rivals.

"I think it's going to be a very tough series, we've got a great rivalry with England and New Zealand always perform very very well against Australia," Hussey said.

However there remains doubt over the health of Brett Lee (chest infection), with the pace bowler remaining in Sydney as the national team headed down to Melbourne for Friday's series opener against England.

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