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England, NZ coaches differ on T20 internationals

February 19, 2018

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (AP) — New Zealand coach Mike Hesson has come out in strong support of the Twenty20 format, saying it forms a “meaningful” part of the international game.

Hesson was responding to comments from England coach Trevor Bayliss who has called for Twenty20 cricket to be removed from the international schedule and confined to franchise tournaments such as the Indian Premier League or Australia’s Big Bash League.

Bayliss, speaking after England’s two-run win over New Zealand in a tri-series Twenty20 match on Sunday, said players and coaches risked blowout because of the demands of T20 matches on top of tests and one-day games.

He highlighted that some members of the current England team had played five Ashes tests and five one-day internationals in Australia before playing four T20 matches in the current Trans-Tasman tri-series. They now face a tour of New Zealand which incorporates all three formats.

“Look, I haven’t changed my opinion on it. I wouldn’t play T20 internationals,” Bayliss told Sky Sports. “If we continue putting on so many games there’ll be a certain amount of blowout with not just players but coaches as well.

“If you want to play a World Cup every four years or whatever it is, maybe six months before you get the international teams and let them play some T20 cricket. But I’d just let the franchises play (beyond that).”

Hesson told reporters on Monday that Twenty20 had an important role to play in international cricket. He agreed with Bayliss that the demands on players have to be managed but said the short format was critical to smaller nations such as New Zealand.

“There’s always a workload issue, I think that’s fair,” Hesson said. “But there’s also a revenue-generation issue as well.

“In some countries that’s not as big a deal but for New Zealand Cricket, to get 35,000 people to Eden Park or whatever it was the other day is huge for us, huge for the game and huge for the promotion of the game. And we certainly get great support for T20 internationals over here.”

Asked if T20 internationals are meaningful, Hesson replied: “Too right they are. Every international you play is incredibly meaningful.

“You’ve got guys that only play T20 and that’s their chance to play international cricket, so I think absolutely it’s meaningful.”

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