Arthur wary of Twenty20 overkill
South Africa coach Mickey Arthur today branded Twenty20 as a domestic cricket product after admitting his team would have used Wednesday's abandoned match as practice for the NatWest Series.
Despite millions of pounds being pumped into the 20-over game across the globe, it has yet to impact on the international scene via regular fixtures.
Such is the scarcity, in fact, that the rain-wrecked match at the Riverside would only have been South Africa's second Twenty20 match of 2008.
"In a way we use this to sharpen up our disciplines ahead of Friday," said Arthur.
"Twenty20 is very much on its own as a lottery which can go either way.
"We fully regard the one-day series as being five matches and that starts on Friday."
Although England host the Twenty20 World Cup next year, the short version's impact on the world scene has been limited to the equivalent of entrees to one-day series.
"It plays a huge role at domestic level and the injection of Twenty20 has been fantastic for world cricket," said Arthur.
"Perhaps domestically is where the target market for it is.
"Internationally it is good to play a world tournament once every two years and to have a little international to almost launch your one-day campaign.
"Domestically it could be the lifeblood of the game, and has a huge amount of relevance and importance there.
"But I don't think there should be overkill of Twenty20 at international level, simply because it is the lifeblood of the domestic game.
"Overkill would take a little bit of the gloss off it, so we have to watch out how much we expose it at international level."
South Africa, whose practice sessions have been restricted mainly to indoor facilities, are hoping brothers Morne and Albie Morkel can prove their fitness ahead of the series opener at Headingley on Friday.
Test bowler Morne is suffering from a side strain and Morkel from a shoulder complaint - both were ruled out of plans for the Chester-le-Street contest.