After the World T20 will Test cricket survive?

In Uncategorized on April 3, 2016 by kmflett

After the World T20 will Test cricket survive?


This year’s World T20 cricket finals provided some compelling games, not least the final. It also gave some prominence to the women’s T20 game, though there is more to be done there particularly in getting spectators perhaps.

I’m far from an unequivocal fan of the T20 form of cricket. This year final did seem to feature a good number of very tightly contested games. When that occurs there is compelling cricket to be watched (and listened to on Test Match Special).

I’m not sure if this is partly happenstance, or, perhaps, as likely that players are getting better at T20 leading to closer more tightly contested games.

I have however stopped watching many T20 matches because they were not compelling, indeed they had become very one sided early on. The short form allows little space for sides to recover from difficult positions as can and often does happen in a Test.

I posted on twitter at the end of the West Indies/England T20 final that I still found the long form of the game- Test cricket- more compelling. The ebb and flow of the game (at its best) does as CLR James noted in Beyond a Boundary mirror to some considerable extent the wider rhythms of life

In response several well informed respondents noted that, be that at as it may, the end is nigh for Test cricket.

The reality is that T20 has big money, big audiences and also crucially a timespan that fits media schedules very much better than the 5-day game does. I note well known commentator on twitter arguing that T20 is a ‘great product’. Perhaps but I’m watching a sport not the development of a business model.

It might also be added that the pace of modern life may militate against watching days of Test cricket for many and perhaps now, too many.

We’ll see on that. I think this is a debate and a game in progress.



2 Responses to “After the World T20 will Test cricket survive?”

  1. Good points, Keith. And a good way of bringing CLR James into the conversation, too.

    I’m also a fan of the longer game and much less of the froth and fripperies that is such ‘big bash’ spectacles (I didn’t even know this was taking place until shortly before it did). I’m comforted by a couple of things, however:

    1. The wonderful Joe Root apart, the skill sets required by both short and long forms of the game seem to be substantially different, which should envisage a future for both types, where the right decisions are taken. T20 is in many ways a perfect representation of the modern zeitgeist – but there has to be space for Test cricket.

    2. The short form of the game is a terrific introduction to the sport which can provide a hook for many to the ‘proper’ form of the game – though see above. Where the authorities engage in delivering support for both, both can thrive. It was my son who engaged a fairly reluctant me in this T20 – and he was ‘bloodied’ by the drama of the 2005 Ashes.

    3. There will always be a future for Test cricket where it involves the drama of the Ashes, for instance, or where it matches two sides of more or less equal strength and competitiveness. I do fear for the future of Test cricket where those things aren’t present (and here we do need to re-think some issues – such as, for instance, perhaps the length of the Tests or their timing) so that Test cricket engages people appropriately.

    I think the T20 has been good for cricket, in both the men’s and women’s games – as always, much depends on what happens next to build on that momentum in the long-term so as to deliver a future for all forms of the game. And to ensure that it doesn’t just melt into thin air.

  2. Interesting points

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