Indian T20 Leagues Have Hurt New Zealand Cricket - Fleming


Wellington, Mar 4: Former New Zealand captain Stephen Fleming blames Indian Twenty20 League for playing a big role in denting the country's cricket team but feels a proper use of available resources could help them make a mark in international cricket.

"The Twenty20 leagues in India have played a big part. We lost players that possibly should still be playing. But it still highlighted the fact we need to be aware of how we use our resource and how we introduce resource," Fleming said.

The most successful New Zealand captain said the Cricket Board had to dramatically rebuild its team after the exit of many senior players instead of going about it in a planned way.

"The introduction of new talent has been exciting. But it has been a bit frustrating as well. It is just a shame that New Zealand Cricket had to rebuild in such dramatic fashion rather than having a more planned exit for senior players and a bit of development programme for younger players.

"We are too small a country to lose a bunch of players at one go. We just have to be more careful about how we go about the succession plan with our players," he said.

"When you lose so many players at once, it always leaves a hole. And with New Zealand Cricket, we don't have the resources to fill players in straightaway. It takes time and that is why you see the drop in performance and sudden spurt of good shows," Fleming said.

"I guess my long-term view and hope would be that once we get a good side, we introduce players at a rate where you don't have that big drop-off and have the highs and lows. You need to have a more consistent changing of the guard rather than all at once," he added.

Fleming, however, hoped the young team would be experienced enough to perform well during the 2011 World Cup.

"But I think they have done a good job and the team that we have got now will be good for the future, hopefully peaking for the World Cup," he said.

Fleming said the younger players were a positive lot in cricket in the age of T20 cricket.

"It is great sign that the younger guys are being positive. I think players see the potential in Twenty20 and are now producing games that are a little more attacking and aggressive than perhaps you would have seen 5-10 years ago.

"We are seeing Test cricket becoming more attractive. We are seeing one-day cricket being played in a more aggressive way all because of the introduction of the Twenty20 version. And players also sense the opportunity of earning some very good money if they play a certain brand of cricket. So it is in their best interests to start playing more shots," he said.

Asked if he would like to coach the Indian team in the future, Fleming said "If I am successful in this role, I would. But at this point in time, I want to try my hand at things outside of the game as well.

"I want to see what sort of skills I have been able to develop through captaincy and see whether they can transfer into business. So there are a few things I am playing around with, but I still love the game and am still very happy to be involved in it."

Despite the change in the approach of the batsmen, he said South Africa's record run-chase (434) against Australia would be difficult to upstage.

"We just came off a series against Australia where scores over 330 and 340 were chased down. We thought that was good going. But to get to 400-plus in ODIs is difficult. I can't see it being beaten for a long time," he said.

Did he miss the game? "I miss parts of it, like playing and competing. That is why I look forward to being involved with the ten over games and masters. The IPL provides me an opportunity to do the dual roles as a player-coach. I guess I still am a player to a degree. But I am pleased to be able to step back from the travel and everything that goes along with living cricket," he said. 


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