Legendary England captain Graham Gooch has stated his concerns for the future of Test Match cricket. Gooch fears for the future of Test cricket, as the popularity of T20 cricket is increasing these days.
Graham Gooch who is the second highest Test run scorer for England thinks the future of Test Match cricket is in danger. Gooch has scored 8900 runs in 118 International matches.
‘T20 cricket started in the UK in 2003 and I have to say I’m slightly amazed that none of its lustre has disappeared,’ said Gooch, who describes himself as ‘an old traditionalist’.
‘It’s gone from strength-to-strength. The crowds still love it as they did then, evening cricket starts at seven o’clock, finishes at ten on a Friday night, so the form of entertainment has brought in a different viewer and it keeps growing.
‘The worry is that the lustre of T20 has not diminished; it’s growing and growing, we’re seeing more competitions pop-up around the world. The Caribbean Premier League happening very shortly, a new league in Canada, the Big Bash and the IPL, the Pakistan Super League in Dubai, and I think South Africa will be starting their own T20 league in September.
‘This is all putting pressure on the traditional game, the five-day game, even the four-day game, first-class cricket, because more and more players are seeing the finances available in T20 cricket. Players are moving towards that form of the game which is a real worry for Test match cricket.’
What you do [to preserve Test cricket], I’m not really sure. You could go to four-day cricket, that might make a difference. How can you make it more appealing? I don’t know.
‘In England we have to put an emphasis on good slots for Test matches and four-day games. Four-day cricket in the UK is the breeding ground for Test players and we have to look at it to maintain that otherwise it will become less important.’
‘That’s just the generations we are now; everything is quicker, everything is more instant, people want it straight away,’ said Graham Gooch
‘They haven’t got the patience or the time to go and watch Test matches, four-day cricket, so you get smaller and smaller crowds. That’s the world we live in at the moment and it doesn’t seem to be changing to attract the younger player, to keep the interest.
‘Clubs have folded around the country, amalgamated. I don’t think it’s because cricket popularity has completely waned, but the pressure on home life, working to make ends meet etcetera means players don’t commit the same time anymore.
‘Families don’t go to cricket and watch all day anymore so there’s much more pressure on players than there used to be.’
Earlier the England Cricket Board (ECB) proposed their intentions on a 100-ball tournament that will most likely to launch in the year 2020."The 100-ball cricket in two years’ time; I can’t honestly say how I think it’ll go,’ Gooch continued.
‘I suspect it’ll get a lot of support at the beginning but it’s forever shortening the game so if you’re an old traditionalist, a bit like myself, I want to see Test cricket survive, I want to see four-day cricket survive.
‘I’m being told by people in the hierarchy that that’s what the public want, that’s what the surveys show – they want an entertaining shorter-form of the game. I’m reluctant to knock it, but it is another nail in the coffin for long-form cricket, there’s no doubt about that.’ Graham Gooch added.
(Inputs from Jersey Evening Post)