Pietersen urges ICC to counter T20 lure, increase Test wages

Melbourne: Former England skipper Kevin Pietersen feels ICC needs to lure cricketers to longer version of the game by creating Test wages that trump what T20 leagues such as IPL and BBL offer to the players.

On the eve of his duel with fellow big-hitter Chris Gayle in tomorrow’s Melbourne Big Bash League derby, Pietersen lamented the dwindling interest in Tests among kids.

“Something has to be done for Test cricket to survive, because I know first-hand, having coached kids from all around the world about a month ago with my foundation in Dubai, that they’ve got no interest in Test cricket. None,” said Pietersen after arriving back in Melbourne from England.

Star cricketers Chris Gayle and Dwayne Bravo will turn up for the Renegades tomorrow even as the West Indies team gears up for the third Test against Australia at Sydney on Sunday.

“The ICC controls world cricket and they should say: ‘Right, we need Gayle, we need even (Kieron) Pollard, we need (Darren) Sammy, we need (Dwayne) Bravo, we need Andre Russell’. Andre Russell is bowling at 150km/h, whacking big sixes in the Big Bash. He should be doing that in a Test match, he shouldn’t be doing it here,” Pietersen was quoted as saying by ‘Sydney Morning Herald’.

“It’s just a sad state of affairs that these guys here, who are star attractions all around the world and they command big numbers from T20 franchises, it’s just sad they’re not playing the longer form of the game.

“Test players should be paid a hell of a lot of money. That’s the only way they’re going to get the guys back playing. They should get paid so much more money than we get paid playing domestic tournaments,” he added.