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‘When you don’t have quality…’: Ravi Shastri’s advice to ‘sustain interest in Test cricket’ | Cricket News

NEW DELHI: The Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC) hosted a symposium on Sunday where various perspectives were shared regarding the future of Test cricket and the potential use of the 20-overs format to expand the sport’s reach. One suggestion was to limit Test cricket to only six or seven teams.
The appeal of Test cricket has been waning outside of India, England, and Australia, coinciding with the rapid growth of lucrative T20 leagues worldwide.
While top-level Test cricket still frequently delivers thrilling moments, the shorter and more action-oriented nature of 20-overs cricket has quickly become the preferred format for new fans of the game.
Ravi Shastri, a former Indian player and coach, emphasized the importance of maintaining a competitive Test cricket landscape. He proposed that the only way to achieve this is by restricting participation in the format to the relatively stronger teams.
“When you don’t have quality, that is when the ratings drop, there are fewer people in the crowd, its meaningless cricket, which is the last thing sport wants,” Shastri said, as quoted by Reuters, at World Cricket Connects, an event at Lord’s hosted by the MCC.
“You have 12 Test match teams. Bring it down to six or seven and have promotion and relegation system.
“You can have two tiers but let the top six keep playing to sustain the interest in Test cricket.
“You can spread the game in other formats, like T20,” added the former India coach.
Justin Langer, the former Australian batsman and coach, expressed his fondness for T20 leagues but emphasized the importance of safeguarding international cricket due to its potential influence on the younger generation.
To illustrate his point, Langer mentioned the case of West Indies fast bowler Shamar Joseph, who had memorial debut series in Australia this year.
“…it had Australia enthralled and it brought the Caribbean to life,” Langer said.
“Last week we saw a million people turn up to see India celebrated for winning the World Cup.
“That is bilateral cricket and international cricket.”
MCC President Mark Nicholas summarized the key points discussed, emphasizing that the opinions expressed were not intended to imply that Test cricket was unjustified. He acknowledged that cricket, like any other sport, required financial resources to maintain its existence and continue its operations.
T20 cricket is the behemoth that everybody wants,” he said.
“It is where the new market is, where the fans are and where the money is.
“In cricket, money is seen as a dirty word but it shouldn’t be because it is the only way to sustain the game.”

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