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Last Updated: Wednesday, 24 September, 2003, 10:16 GMT 11:16 UK
Would Test guests work?
By Scott Heinrich

Terry Alderman
It is almost accepted Zimbabwe, like Bangladesh, are not going to win a game
Alderman gives touring Zimbabweans a vote of confidence
James Anderson bowling to Mark Ramprakash in a Test match in Dhaka? Surely not.

As unlikely as it seems, that would be a legitimate scenario if former Australia Test bowler Terry Alderman had his way.

It is his idea that developing Test nations such as Bangladesh and Zimbabwe should be allowed overseas players to make them more competitive.

"I like this idea of drafting players," Alderman said ahead of Zimbabwe's arrival in Australia for a split Test and triangular one-day series.

"I can't see anything wrong with that in helping the fledgling nations.

"It is never going to happen, but I would like to see them do something like that.

Bangladesh's Devon Malcolm takes 7/41 against England in Chittagong, November 2003
Zimbabwe's Stuart Law makes 335 against Australia in Perth, October 2003
Zimbabwe's Carl Hooper makes 150 against West Indies in Harare, November 2003

"No front-line Australian player is going to put his name in the hat to go and play for Bangladesh.

"But someone coming towards the end of a career or some of our one-day players who are on the periphery who want to play at the highest level."

The scheme would offer an international lifeline to players like Stuart Law, Lancashire's prolific run-scorer who has played just one Test for Australia in a first-class career spanning 15 years.

The thought of straight-driving Glenn McGrath over the fence and into the Aussie selectors' box may well appeal to him, but Law is unconvinced.

"It would be flattering to be asked, but at almost 35 it wouldn't be right and I would rather play Test cricket for Australia," Law told this website.

Stuart Law
I would rather play Test cricket for Australia
Stuart Law

"It's a pie in the sky idea, though I could see it possibly working for some people depending on circumstances.

"But it would open a can of worms. What if a player plays well against his own country? Are they then allowed to take him back and pick him for the next game?"

Law said the best way for budding Test nations to improve was to be pitch-forked into competition against the world's best.

"Bangladesh got flogged in Australia recently, but they would have learned far more from that than having an outsider or two in their team and doing a little bit better," he said.

"It is up to each Test nation to put their 11 best players on the field, and it is up to them to have the best people available off the field as well.

"Don't worry about Bangladesh. They've got the right people in their camp now and they will become a force to be reckoned with in a couple of years' time."

Until then, whether Alderman likes it or not, it looks like they will have to learn the old fashioned way.

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