ICC tells future of Test Cricket

Greg Barclay, the chief of the International Cricket Council (ICC) has warned that the number of Test cricket matches might be reduced in the coming days. He attended the thrilling second day of the England-New Zealand first test match. And, while enjoying the game, he exploded the saddening news for the Test Cricket Lovers.

Hinting at the future of Test cricket that looks diminishing with time, Barclay defines the reason as the dominance of franchise and domestic leagues. The ICC chief who will complete the two-year tenure in his post, reveals that it is challenging to squeeze bilateral series between Test cricket and franchise leagues.

“The growth of domestic leagues are forcing things from the bottom and … what is getting squeezed is bilateral cricket, and so we are trying to fit everything in,” Barclay told the BBC’s Test Match Special.

He added,

“There will be some unfortunate consequences from a playing experience and a revenue point of view for some of those countries who won’t get the amount of cricket they might hope to have and they won’t get exposure, particularly against India and to a lesser extent Australia and England. So we will see a squeeze. In 10-15 years’ time, I still see Test cricket being an integral part (of the game) – it may be that there is less of it,”

He further stated the big threes of cricket India, England, and Australia will remain unaffected whereas, the rest of the Test-playing nations are likely to suffer in terms of playing less number of cricket matches. Visibly, the shortest format of the game is getting more attention as the franchise cricket is being dominant generating extra revenue for the boards.

“Some countries may have to make room and play less Test cricket. Some of the smaller full members will have to accept that they can’t pay the amount of Test cricket that they wanted to, so we may see a lessening of that – four or five a year – whereas England, Australia, and India, I think, will be playing Test cricket as they are now.

“If you look at strategically the way that cricket is going, there’s no doubt that white-ball cricket, short-form cricket, is the way of the future. That’s the game that’s sought after by fans, that’s where the broadcasters are putting their resource, it’s what’s driving the money,” 

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