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'Four-day cricket is not going to attract people'

Last updated on: November 4, 2010 09:25 IST

'Four-day cricket is not going to attract people'

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Bikash Mohapatra catches up with Aussie pacer Shaun Tait, who was in Mumbai to consult India physio John Gloster.

It was surprising to see Shaun Tait watching the Ranji Trophy Super League match between Mumbai and Saurashtra at the MCA facility, at the Bandra-Kurla complex, in Mumbai.

Or was it?

The Australian speedster, who gave up first class cricket indefinitely last year to focus on the game's shorter forms, was in India for a different purpose.

Still recovering from a recurring elbow injury, Tait was in the country to consult former India physio John Gloster.

And watching a Ranji game was more out of curiosity than interest.

"I haven't seen much of Indian domestic cricket," he admitted, with a smile.

"I know a few things about it (the Ranji Trophy)," he added, before asking, "Mumbai has won most of the trophies right?"


Image: Shaun Tait
Photographs: Reuters
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'People are mostly interested in T20s nowadays'

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The 27-year-old said he wasn't surprised by the lack of public interest in the country's National Championship.

"Four-day cricket is not going to attract people," he said, before adding, "It's the same in Australia.

"People are mostly interested in T20s nowadays." 

Tait, who had also given up Test cricket in 2008, said it is getting increasingly difficult for the game's longer version to sustain in the face of the T20 invasion.

"It is still the best form of cricket and teams should continue playing the format," said Tait, before adding, "But the landscape of cricket is changing.

"People now prefer to watch T20 cricket."

The Australian, who hasn't played since taking eight wickets (playing for South Australia Redbacks) in the Champions League T20, attributed the same to the success of the Indian Premier League (IPL)

"There is a lot of fanfare for T20 in India," he said. "India's success in the format may also be another reason for it," he added.


Image: Shaun Tait

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'England have the edge over Australia in Ashes'

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With the Ashes series on the anvil, it was imperative to ask Tait about the same.

It maybe remembered here that Tait had made his Test debut in the 2005 Ashes Trent Bridge Test before taking a sabbatical from Test cricket following the one at Perth (against India) in January 2008.

The Australian later admitted that he wasn't tempted to return to Tests and that even the Ashes "doesn't appeal" to him.

However, on this occasion he was more forthcoming.

"England look to a team in good form," admitted Tait, adding, "They have the edge over Australia going into the series."

The Australian was quick to come up with a rejoinder though.

"However, we play our cricket the tough way and I would still like our chances," he said.


Image: Shaun Tait

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'Hopefully, I will be fit for the World Cup'

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With the World Cup just three months away, Tait, who recorded the fastest delivery bowled in Australia (160.7kmph) in February, was hopeful of an international comeback early next year.

It maybe recalled that Tait, drafted into the Australian squad as a replacement for an injured Brett Lee, delivered with aplomb.

He finished the tournament with 23 wickets (@ 20.20) to end up as the second highest wicket-taker in the tournament, even as Australia retained their title.

No wonder, Tait seemed keen to feature in the upcoming tournament as well despite having not played an ODI since July.

"My recovery is going very well," he said, before adding, "Hopefully, I will be fit for the World Cup."


Image: Shaun Tait

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