Speaking at an ICC event before the World Trials Championship final between India and Australia, Ponting raised the issue of West Indies players opting for franchise cricket over international duty for financial reasons. He highlighted the need to address this disparity, saying, “Their payment system in the Caribbean compared to some franchise leagues, it doesn’t match, and Sri Lanka will be the same and Bangladesh will be the same.”
Ponting revealed ongoing discussions within the ICC to address this issue, acknowledging the organization’s role in creating a fairer payment structure. He suggested that the equalization of payments between countries test cricket would attract players from these nations and incentivize them to represent their country, adding: “There is a role for the ICC to play here…to make payments a bit more even across the international test of cricket to attract players of these different countries who want to play for their country.”
While acknowledging that countries like India, England and Australia offer better financial rewards for Test cricket, Ponting pointed to the lingering passion for the format among young cricketers in those countries. He said: “In India, the feeling I have is that most of these young people yearn to wear the baggy blue cap, and the same in Australia.”
Ponting’s remarks underscore the need to address financial disparities and provide adequate incentives to players from smaller Test nations, ultimately ensuring the long-term viability and growth of Test cricket in the face of lucrative franchise leagues. .
(With PTI entries)