T20 needed to sustain cricket: Pataudi

<img border='0' align='left' title=' ' src='http://www.ndtv.com/convergence/images/thumbnail/ver1/p/pataudi4.jpg' class='caption'> Former India Test captain MAK Pataudi says T20 cricket is a testimony to the game's growth.

Updated: May 31, 2008 10:24 IST
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New Delhi:

Purists may scoff at it but former India skipper Mansur Ali Khan Pataudi says Twenty20 has helped re-invent cricket, which would become an extinct sport if it does not undergo such evolutions to keep pace with the changing times.

Pataudi said Twenty20 cricket is a testimony to the game's growth.

"Cricket has evolved over the years. First it was one-day cricket and now it is time for the Twenty20 to take the centre stage. I think this is what is supposed to happen as if cricket does not evolve it would be extinct," he said.

As debate rages on whether cricket was losing its stature of being a gentleman's game due to the cut-throat competition, Pataudi said the sport was never fit to be called a gentleman's game in the first place.

"Cricket was never a gentleman's game. The foul play has been going on from the early days of cricket. You must remember WG Grace, he himself was a cheat.

"There was a time in the early 1930s when the diplomatic relations between England and Australia were on the verge of being abolished," he told Sahara Samay.

Pataudi, popularly known as the Nawab, described the slap-gate incident involving India teammates Harbhajan Singh and S Sreesanth as "pathetic".

"This Harbhajan-Sreesanth episode is pathetic and the punishment that Harbhajan is awarded with is fair."

The former skipper also felt that it was time to hand over the Indian Test captaincy to one-day skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni.

"Dhoni is experienced enough and is lucky to have greats like Sachin Tendulkar by his side who can advice him. So may be it is time that we give Dhoni the charge of the Test team as well," he opined.

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