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T20 format is casting dark shadow on Test cricket, reckons Ian Chappell | Cricket News


MELBOURNE: Former Australia captain Ian Chappell reckons that the T20 format is casting a dark shadow on the longest format of the game.
He also said that because of the short time duration involved, the shortest format is better suited to those who are not traditionally cricket playing nations.
“There’s a T20 World Cup to be played in the UAE and then, after some spirited negotiations, hopefully a credible Ashes series in Australia. The difficult negotiations over the Ashes series were mostly brought about by the Covid pandemic, but more and more the T20 format is casting a dark shadow over Test cricket. T20 tournaments involving countries require only days to complete and therefore are far easier to negotiate in the current chaotic climate than a long Test series,” Chappell wrote in his column for ESPNcricinfo.
“Because of the short time-span involved, T20 is a game better suited than Test matches to countries that are not traditionally cricket-playing nations. Hence the involvement of tyros like Oman and Papua New Guinea in the upcoming T20 tournament. The T20 format is also more lucrative and popular when compared with Test cricket in countries other than Australia and England. Considering most administrators are myopic when it comes to matters other than the bottom line, this is a critical point in any planning for the game’s future,” he added.
Chappell also said that the picture for Test cricket looks bleak going into the picture and as the time progresses, there is a chance that only traditional cricket playing nations end up playing the longest format of the game.
“All of these factors point to future Test series being mostly played among the traditional cricket countries. It’s hard to see the long form of the game prospering in the latest Test-playing nations, Ireland and Afghanistan. They don’t have a first-class infrastructure capable of supporting a player development system of any great depth,” said Chappell.
“There’s also an inclination among the older Test-playing nations to avoid contests against these newer teams where possible, as they are generally a costly proposition. It’s a bleak picture for Test cricket, which has been exacerbated by the pandemic-created chaos,” he added.
Chappell then batted for a draft system which could potentially help weaker teams to be more competitive in Test cricket.
“Players are now – as they should be – less reluctant to speak out and act on mental health issues. This is going to be critical in future planning. Not only do administrators need to give serious thought to what for too long has been an absurdly congested schedule but hitting the right balance between financial needs and player welfare will also require some creative thinking,” said Chappell.
“That could mean introducing a draft system whereby the weaker Test teams can acquire outstanding players from other countries to boost their competitiveness. This could be a way for talented players from outside of the Test-playing nations to experience the thrill of the longer game. The current imbalance between the strong and weak Test-playing countries is another hindrance in promoting the five-day game,” he added.

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