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Page last updated at 13:57 GMT, Saturday, 14 June 2008 14:57 UK

Pietersen fears for 50-over game

Kevin Pietersen
Pietersen snubbed lucrative offers to join the Indian Premier League

England batsman Kevin Pietersen thinks the growing presence of Twenty20 cricket is threatening the future of the 50-over one-day game.

"In a couple of years (50-over cricket) will probably be something of the past," he told BBC Sport.

The 27-year-old also said the Twenty20 format was improving longer forms of the game by speeding them up.

"You're going to get Test matches ending in three-and-a-half or four days and guys scoring 400 in one-dayers."

If there is one sport that can conquer America, it is Twenty20 cricket

Kevin Pietersen

South African-born Pietersen, whose 42 runs helped England beat New Zealand by nine wickets in a Twenty20 international at Old Trafford on Friday, was unequivocal when asked whether the 50-over version of the one-day game was being threatened.

"For sure. The way that cricket is going now, Twenty20 is definitely here to stay," he said, before referring to the impact made by Sir Allen Stanford creation of a 50m, winner-takes-all annual series between England and a 'Super Stars' team in Antigua.

"With the finances and the funding [from Sir Allen Stanford], the exposure that got around the world, and the media frenzy that will take us to Antigua is going to be absolutely incredible.

"I definitely think the longer form of one-day cricket will, in a couple of years, probably be something of the past."

Sceptics fear the rising growth and popularity could spell the end of Test match and four-day county cricket, but Pietersen feels the longest form of the sport is safe from any threat.

"We [as cricketers] are entertainers," he said. "Everybody, I think if you asked them, would rather watch Twenty20 cricket.

"But Test match cricket will always be there because that's where you make your name.

"Everybody remembers your Test stats and not too many people remember your one-day stats."

The Hampshire player also spoke about the impact that huge sums of investment - most notably Stanford's - are having upon cricket.

"If there is one sport that can conquer America, and that market, it is Twenty20 fixtures," he said.

"That's where we want to take cricket. Everybody who loves the sport must surely want it to be a worldwide game."

see also
New Zealand in England in 2008
12 May 08 |  Cricket
Stanford plans global expansion
12 Jun 08 |  Cricket
Swann hails 'cricket revolution'
11 Jun 08 |  Cricket
England bag 50m Twenty20 bonanza
11 Jun 08 |  Cricket

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