AFP | New Zealand coach Mike Hesson defended international Twenty20 cricket Monday after his English counterpart called for it to be cut from the sport’s crowded calendar.
Hesson acknowledged England coach Trevor Bayliss’ concerns about burnout among players and staff but said T20 had an important role to play internationally.
“There’s always a workload issue, I think that’s fair, but there’s also a revenue generation issue,” he told reporters.
“In some countries that’s not as big a deal but for New Zealand Cricket, to get 35,000 people to Eden Park is huge for us, huge for the game and huge for the promotion of the game.”
Hesson also rejected the notion that T20 internationals were not meaningful fixtures.
“Too right they are,” he said.
“You’ve got guys that only play T20 and that’s their chance to play international cricket, so I think absolutely it’s meaningful.”
Bayliss sparked the debate after his side failed to qualify for the trans-Tasman T20 series final, despite beating New Zealand by two runs in Hamilton on Sunday.
The Australian, who was appointed as England’s head coach in all forms of the game in 2015, questioned the wisdom of retaining the T20 format at the top level, citing the burden on top players and coaches.
Instead, he suggested administrators could ease international fixture congestion by leaving T20 to domestic competitions such as India’s IPL and the Australian Big Bash League.
“I wouldn’t play T20 internationals, I’d just let the franchises play,” Bayliss told Sky Sports.
“If we continue putting on so many games there’ll be a certain amount of blowout, not just players but coaches as well.”
Bayliss, who has coached in both the IPL and BBL, said any international T20s should be held in a limited window based around the ICC’s T20 World Cup.
“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 internationals,” he said.
England have struggled for form in the T20 tri-series, missing key players in the wake of the Ashes and one-day international series in Australia.
They edged past New Zealand with a two-run victory in Hamilton on Sunday but failed to qualify for Wednesday’s final against Australia due to an inferior run rate.
The tourists still have a Test and one-day series to come in New Zealand and Bayliss said coaching all three formats on such a marathon tour was challenging.
He said it made sense to split coaching duties between different formats.
“If you go to a swimming tournament you’ve got 1500m specialists and 100m specialists,” he said. “I think it’s definitely the way it’s heading, not just with the players.”
Bayliss announced last month that he would step down as England coach when his four-year contract ends next year.