SYDNEY - Former Australia captain Allan Border has called for an end to Twenty20 internationals outside the World Cup and hopes the 50-over game will not be allowed to "wither and die". Australia's domestic international season began last week when they played three T20s against South Africa with both sides fielding weakened sides in front of disappointing crowds.

To follow that are a five-match ODI series against the Proteas, a four-Test series against India, a triangular ODI series also featuring India and England as well as the Feb. 14-March 29 one-day World Cup. With some fearing that 84 days of international cricket in one summer is close to saturation point, Border made it clear which format he felt was surplus to requirements.

"I wouldn't be playing T20 international cricket at all, I would save that for a World Cup every two years," Border said in an interview with ABC radio. "I think there is enough domestic Twenty20 cricket to fill the programme out quite nicely ... there's Twenty20 competitions in basically every country. Why we have to play international Twenty20 cricket as well as that?"

Border led Australia to the first of their four 50-over World Cup triumphs in 1987 and played 273 matches in the format for his country, retiring before internationals were played in Twenty20. "I'd hate to see the 50-over game wither and die, I really think it's a wonderful game of cricket and I think the World Cup coming up in Australia and New Zealand will be an absolute ripper," he said.

"I think that would be a shame, I think the 50-over game is a superior game to 20-over cricket. I prefer the 50-over game as far as the ebb and flow, the bowler is in the contest a little more, and you can have little periods where you bat or bowl yourself out of the game and then bat or bowl yourself back into the game. That's very difficult to do in 20-over cricket."