South African great and former captain Graeme Smith has joined the list of people who have voiced their concerns for the purest format of the game. Smith feels that Test cricket needs more time and money being invested into it by the cricket boards around the globe.
Test Cricket is at a very critical phase in its reign of 141 years old and the over growing popularity of T20 is a danger sign for economics and financial stability of the red ball game across the world.
Smith has also said that T20 cricket should only be played in the domestic T20 leagues around the world and international cricket should focus more on Tests and ODIs.
Echoing the unpragmatic, Smith was recently quoted as saying, “Maybe the ICC needs to look at six months of T20 cricket domestically and six months of international cricket. I don’t think T20 cricket should be played at the International level. My opinion is to retain domestic T20 competitions and have international cricket, Test, and ODIs and have a World Cup every couple of years,”
“There needs to be an investment. Maybe spend more money marketing Test cricket. So much money is spent in marketing the T20 format. Maybe there can be money marketing the stories and histories in Test cricket, What’s great for the game is someone like Virat Kohli who wants to do well in Test cricket and be successful and set standard for everyone else. As long as people like him consider Test cricket valuable, it’s important for the rest of the world.”
Smith, a purist by heart, also slammed the 100-ball format idea by England Cricket Board for their shortest format domestic league from 2020.
“To be honest, I don’t think anyone understands this 100-ball thing. Yes, you want to keep it exciting, but T20 is such an exciting format already. We must be careful not to make life too complicated for fans who watch the game and then don’t know what’s going on. English cricket is trying to find a format that can be theirs and make some money in the game and be different. That might be right for them, but is it right for the global game? I don’t know,”
He is against floating the idea of removing the toss in the ICC Test Championship, too.
Smith made his views clear by stating, “It would be sad to see home advantage go. When you tour England, you got to cope with the swinging ball, their press, crowds, you come to India, you know it’s going to spin and be hot. You got to get used to the food and all those stuff. That’s what makes the game unique -- winning in all these places,”
“The problem now is that teams are touring so badly. Some of the greatest memories of my career are the two series I drew in India, the two each I won in Australia and England and the victory in Pakistan. So the memories you got of winning in those tough situations is hugely rewarding. I hate to see that go out of the game.”
(Inputs from Hindustan Times)