Will play-offs save Test matches?

September 15, 2010 at 8:44 am Leave a comment


The ICC are no strangers to meddling with the cricket calendar, particularly in recent years with the growth of the popular, and lucrative, Twenty20.

But in a wide ranging review of cricket’s match infrastructure it looks like the ICC are looking at all forms of the game, rather than just T20.

The headline grabber is the prospect of a Test match league, with the top four teams after a four year period entering a play-off, with a final, pencilled in for Lords, to decide who becomes the first international Test champion. Of course the cricket betting odds will make Australia favourites, but it should be an exciting competition.

Elsewhere a reduced 50-over World Cup and an expanded World T20 would also be introduced. The 2007 50-over tournament dragged on for far too long and a ten team tournament from 2015 seems ideal. T20 has more scope for shocks than the longer format of the limited overs game, so extending that competition is understandable.

However, it is the attempt to revive Test cricket that is the most significant for me. It is the games bread and butter and the game at its most pure.

But it has been lost in the ever expanding quest for modernisation, with first one-day matches and then T20 given a greater importance when it comes to innovation and investment. Consequently Test matches have been stuck in the cricketing dark ages, with an image of being stuffy and boring. Attendances are dropping all over the world, with expectation of England, and so revenues and profits are falling, leading to more T20 and one-dayers being squeezed in. It would be a great shame if Tests died out because of this.

Hopefully though the ICC can arrest the slide and give Test cricket, which produces the most dramatic moments the sport can give, a much needed shot in the arm.

Meanwhile, the Ashes cricket betting still makes Australia strong favourites to win the series.

England will have to be at their very best if they are to get anything from their trip down under.

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Entry filed under: England.

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