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Page last updated at 08:44 GMT, Thursday, 15 July 2010 09:44 UK

Players 'do not enjoy' Twenty20

Shaun Tait
Glamorgan signed big money Aussie bowler Shaun Tait for their T20 bid

English cricket chiefs have been urged for a Twenty20 rethink as it is claimed 'not a lot of professionals enjoy it'.

Former Glamorgan batsman Ian Thomas fears this season's longer six-week 16-game campaign is leaving fans and players with Twenty20 saturation.

"We have to keep the spectators happy as we are an entertainment industry but what are we doing to best prepare English cricketers?" said Thomas.

"There has been a lot of T20 cricket and the schedules need looking at."

The Daffodil county signed big-name Australian fast bowler Shaun Tait specifically for their T20 campaign as they targeted the shortest form of the game due to the potential prize-money and commercial riches.

Glamorgan have benefitted from bumper crowds and their opening Twenty20 Friday night triumph against rivals Gloucestershire on 4 June attracted a record 7,424 crowd.

Chairman Paul Russell also pointed out Glamorgan benefitted financially from the money-spinning corporate market as their hospitality boxes at the Swalec Stadium were a regular Twenty20 sell-out.

"Filling hospitality boxes is as important as big crowds in financial terms," said Russell.

I don't know whether extending the Twenty20 campaign was the correct decision but what we've done at Glamorgan is to make the best of the decisions

Glamorgan chairman Paul Russell

"We've also been very happy with the crowds."

The England and Wales Cricket Board extended the T20 campaign for this season from 10 to 16 games and Glamorgan finish their campaign against Kent in Cardiff on Friday night.

Glamorgan's heavy defeat to Somerset on Wednesday confirmed that Matthew Maynard's men cannot qualify for the knock-out stages of the potentially lucrative competition.

Most of the Welsh county's home fixtures have been screened live on S4C, but Glamorgan have still benefited from bumper crowds by their standards.

But some of their rivals have suffered poor attendances as the sporting public vote with their feet about their feelings of T20 cricket overdose.

And Thomas fears for the standard of cricket at the end of a long and intense Twenty20 campaign.

"There are not a lot of professionals that enjoy playing Twenty20 cricket," said the BBC Radio Wales pundit.

"It is a difficult format of the game as it can destroy your confidence and it can destroy your technique for bowlers and batters alike.

"My worry is that guys are getting caught up in the hustle and bustle of the corporate and commercial world - but we have to look at the bigger picture of developing cricketers.

Ian Thomas
Ian Thomas played for Glamorgan between 1999 and 2005

"The aim of English cricket is to develop cricketers to play Test cricket, one-day international cricket and the add-on of Twenty20."

Thomas once jointly held the Twenty20 Cup record from 2004 to 2006 after scoring 116 not out for Glamorgan against Somerset Sabres and now he hopes the ECB consider spreading the games out for the sake of spectators and players.

"I know the guys are tired as they've had no breaks," said Thomas.

"I don't mean to sound pitiful as playing cricket is a fantastic way to make a living, but we must have that view of how we develop cricketers for England."

Russell was at a meeting of county chairmen last week and the issue of Twenty20 county cricket was discussed.

"Our information from the last chairman's meeting is that they will stick with the format for another year and have another crack at it this," said the Glam chairman.

"Stability is more important than continual hopping and changing trying to find right decision."

And Russell told any cricketers who are feeling the wearying effects of their commitment to T20 cricket to knuckle down to the busy schedule.

"You are a professional sportsman, you chose this way of life so you do what it takes," he said bluntly.

"When I was working I didn't particularly like working a 48 hour weekend without sleep to get a contract, but that is the life you choose so those are the things you do."



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see also
Trescothick eases Somerset to win
14 Jul 10 |  Counties
England seal World Twenty20 title
16 May 10 |  England
New-look English Twenty20 agreed
16 Jul 08 |  Counties
Twenty20 'to conquer world sport'
24 Apr 08 |  England
BBC Sport Wales coverage
03 Oct 11 |  Wales


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