Holding fears for the future of Test cricket

Michael Holding Test cricket

Michael Holding is worried about the negative effect Twenty20 cricket is having on Test cricket

Image courtesy of: Zimbio

Legendary West Indies pace bowler Michael Holding believes Test cricket could perish in the future if the sport’s administrators don’t curb the meteoric rise of Twenty20 cricket.

Holding’s comments come after the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) announced their home summer schedule for 2018, which will feature series against Pakistan, Australia and India.

England will play Pakistan in a two-Test series before taking on Australia in a limited overs series in June. After that, India will come to town for a full series.

However, the limited overs portion will be played first, meaning that from June to July, there will no Test cricket played in England.

Even though England and India will face each other in a five-Test series, Holding pointed out that the longest format has been pushed aside in order to accommodate white ball cricket.

“A strong future for Test cricket? I don’t think so,” Holding was quoted as saying by cricket.com.au. “No, the administrators keep talking about preserving Test match cricket but you name me one thing that they have done to preserve it. Next year (England) are having seven Test matches. Two in May and none in June and July.

“The best part of the summer will be all rubbish (Twenty20 cricket). I don’t even call that cricket. It’s Barnum and Bailey circus entertainment. Test match cricket is a test of your ability and your strength of character over an extended period.

“If you go through the short forms of the game you will see how many bad teams beat the good teams. In Test match cricket you hardly ever see a bad team beat a good team.”

Many have questioned the relevance of Test cricket since ODI cricket and Twenty20 Internationals have the World Cup and World Twenty20 respectively.

However, Holding feels that the classic format of the game can be saved if the International Cricket Council (ICC) were to establish two-division system, which will increase the number of Test playing nations.

“There has to be consequence and relevance to Test match cricket, but it will never happen,” he said. “Money is all that matters to the administrators. The game doesn’t matter. I wouldn’t get rid of Twenty20 but I would limit it to domestic cricket. The trouble is it’s difficult to change now because it’s like a weed run wild.”

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