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March 20, 2002 | 1041 IST

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Too much cricket hurting the game: Kapil Dev

Kapil Dev, one of the cricket's all-time greats, said too much international cricket is being played and the quality of play is starting to suffer as a result.

Dev, 43, said in New York on Tuesday that with cricket being played more than 10 months a year, the standard of the game was being hurt. He said that he would like to see 10 Test matches and 20 limited-over games and this was "the right combination" to be played by each country every year.

Dev, attending a gathering of global sports greats, said the quality of the game was being affected because players were injured as a result of the number of games that were now being played. "When the top players are injured and can't play, then the quality of the game is affected," he said.

Asked why so many extra games were on the schedule, Dev said "it appears that the administrators do not want to stop them. Perhaps the reason is money. There has to be a benchmark."

Dev, during his career, scored 5,248 runs, averaging 31.05 and he retired had taken 434 Test wickets at 29.64, then a world record.

Cricket playing nations have gradually played an increased schedule of Tests and ODIs since the breakaway World Series Cricket competition made peace with the established cricket administrators more than 20 years ago.

Before, countries usually played a five Test series once a year or in some cases once every two years. But with network television taking a bigger interest in cricket, countries now face a much heavier schedule of international matches.

Dev also spoke about the conflict between India and Pakistan over Kashmir, saying there should be peace and past disagreements between the two countries should be forgotten.