21st May: Chennai Super Kings v M. Indians, 14:30 GMT
24th-28th May: 2nd Test, Headingley
The book talks about England having three genuine world class all rounders in the last 40 years. David Tossell compares you to Ian Botham and Andrew Flintoff - how do you rate yourself?
It makes me laugh when they leave me out of the debate – there may be reasons for that, I have no idea. When I walked away from the game I felt every bit as good as Ian Botham and Andrew Flintoff. Having said that you never want to underestimate the incredible good Ian Botham has done. I have got a huge admiration for him: not only was he a very, very good cricketer, but boy he has done out a hell lot of good in fields outside of the game in terms of funds he has raised and I have a bit of a soft spot for him.
As far as Flintoff is concerned he is a bit of a Johnny come lately. I don’t think he lived up to his potential. I would have liked to have seen a bit more of him. Perhaps he was overused, overworked a bit, but I am perfectly happy to put my numbers up against his any time.
Looking at the future of cricket, and putting you in charge of the ICC, in what direction would you take world cricket?
Number one, we have got to try and get the ICC right. We have a situation at the moment where the ICC is dominated by India. They tell Zimbabwe, Bangladesh and one or two other countries what to do and they always get the vote. It’s very hard, but somehow we have got to change things at that level. We have got to get some concesus there first.
If it was me one thing is that we are playing too much cricket. I would be getting all the countries from the world and saying hey listen, what is this nonsense of giving Indian domestic cricket an open window? To give the IPL an open window and reduce by two months the time available for cricketers to play around the world in the current environment is just ridiculous. We have to be careful of what Twenty20 does to the rest of the programme. Sri Lanka has just announced they are going to be playing in Twenty20 competition, we’ve got the Big Bash down in Australia, England are going to come up with one. There is going to be a time when we could see a lot of fine cricketers and big names moving across to play Twenty20 cricket only and make more money than the guys playing all year round and playing Test cricket and one-day internationals. We have got to look very, very closely and make sure we do not destroy the cornerstone of the game which is Test cricket. For me it is about getting the balance right between Test matches, the one-day internationals and Twenty20 internationals. As for domestic cricket, we can’t allow any domestic competition to hold international players. It is laughable that Gayle and Pollard are playing in the IPL when the West Indies are playing Pakistan – that is just ridiculous.
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