DateLine: 24th July 2009
Former West Indian great Clive Lloyd feels Andrew Flintoff has set a dangerous example by quitting Tests for elongating his T20 and ODI career.
"Would some of these guys have retired if there was no Twenty20? It is obvious if I'm being paid USD 1.5 million and I don't have to put in too much work then, yes, I'll go the other way," the West Indies legend said at the ICC History Conference at Oxford on Thursday.
"It is a bit unfortunate Flintoff decided to leave Test cricket and he knows his body and know how bad his ankle is but he is a tremendous cricketer. But the point is he is not going to play for Lancashire - he will play for England in the ODIs and Twenty20. The point is it is destroying the fabric of the game," the former West Indies captain said.
Worried that more players may tread the path of Flintoff, Lloyd said he would be happy if international cricketers retired late in their career.
"When a player retires in his prime and when you have poured all that money on him to get him where he is now and then he leaves that is a bother for me.
"Like Dwayne Bravo, if he decides to leave halfway (into his career) that is not a situation I would like. I would like a situation where people leave later on and there is a natural progression of young players. But I can tell you there are a few more people coming up shortly to announce retirements if this goes on," he warned.
Lloyd also gave the example of the current West Indies side and said the huge amount of money being paid in lucrative T20 tournaments is affecting the traditional format of the game.
"We are suffering from that at the moment and I think other countries, too, might. Our countries are probably the second-best players in the world. We are paying guys an obscene amount of money -- USD 60,000 for one Twenty20 game when he might not bat or bowl. It is destroying the other two components of the game," he said.
"If Test cricket is the type of cricket we want people to recognise the game by then we have to put a little bit more money into it so players are better paid. We can't just think it will chug along."