Former Test captain says the game must compete with other sports to secure young talent.
Returning Cricket Australian board member Mart Taylor said the future of the game in Australia hinges on offcials spending money from the recent television deal wisely.
Channel Nine recently re-secured the rights to broadcast the game on free-to-air television for $600 million, but Taylor warned that the cash injection can be easily squandered if proper planning is not put in place.
The former Test captain and opening batsman said, on the back of the current side lacking runs at elite level, the money needs to be spent on identifying young batting talent.
“We have to look very closely at how we spend that money so we can get our team back to the best in world cricket,” Taylor said.
“We’re going to have a really close look at our younger age groups to see if they’re producing the necessary talent coming through.
“At the moment, to be absolutely frank, I don’t see the batting talent coming through that I’d like to see in Australian cricket.
“We’ve got to do something there. I don’t have any answers at this stage but I think it’s an area we have to keep exploring.”
Taylor is in no doubt that cricket is now one of the best options for young sports men and women in the country, especially on the back of the marketing machine that is the shortest form of the game.
“The one big positive about the T20 revolution is that it (the television deal) has made playing cricket at the top level very attractive to young people,” he said.
“There was a time not so long ago that there was really only the top 12 to 20 players who could call themselves full time cricketers.”
However Taylor said there can be too much emphasis placed on twenty20 cricket, saying ti can stunt a players’ growth in certain vital aspects of batting.
“As much as people tell me you can switch from one to the other you can’t help but think that the idea of batting a session individually for 20 runs has almost gone out the door,” he said.
“That tough period of grinding it out, I think batsmen still do that but they length that they tend to survive for before they play that big shot is shortening all the time.”