Sydney, Jan 4 (IANS) West Indies captain Jason Holder believes parity in earnings will motivate players to focus more on international cricket instead of solely on the lucrative Twenty20 format. Holder was responding to claims by England star Kevin Pietersen that the game’s biggest stars, especially those from the West Indies, were being lost to international cricket because of the lure of the shortest format of the game, T20, reports CMC. Pietersen, a former Test star who now peddles his talents on the T20 circuit, said the International Cricket Council needed to intervene to ensure that there were competitive financial incentives available to players in international cricket. 

“I think it’s possibly a way to keep (Test cricket) alive. Obviously we’re in a situation where the money isn’t great for us at the moment and we’ve been in numerous battles for that but that’s beyond our control at this present time,” Holder told reporters on Sunday. “At the end of the day, hopefully somewhere along the line we can have an increasing pay and be paid a little bit better than at the moment.” Pietersen was echoing sentiments similar to those of the West Indies’ chief selector Clive Lloyd who said Friday the money on offer on the global T20 circuit had resulted in several Caribbean players opting out of Test cricket. The West Indies players like Chris Gayle, Lendl Simmons, Dwayne Bravo, Darren Sammy, Samuel Badree, and Andre Russell are all campaigning in the Big Bash League while in an inexperienced Caribbean side have been locked in a three-Test series with Australia. 

Holder said priority needed to be placed on international cricket and believed players would take this option once there was some balance financially with T20s. “I think we need to strike a balance, and I’m not knocking T20 cricket because I love T20 cricket myself, but we just need to find a way where the country comes first and then we are flexible in terms of allowing people to make money outside of international cricket,” the 24-year-old said. “I don’t think we should be playing hardball and deny people from going and playing, but there has to be a situation where we make international cricket our first priority. I think once we get to that stage the players will buy in.”

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