Image courtesy of: Zimbio
England all-rounder Moeen Ali has admitted that he is worried about the future of Test cricket, and even conceded that the recent Ashes series, which Australia won 4-0, was “disappointing” due to the number of people that attended the five Tests.
Moeen is the latest player to express his concerns about the longest format as his teammate Jos Buttler said that Twenty20 Internationals could be the only format in the game in 15 to 20 years’ time, while ex-England batsman Kevin Pietersen feels that only England, India, Pakistan, Australia and South Africa will be playing Test cricket in 10 years’ time.
Despite enduring a dismal Ashes series, where he averaged 19.88 with the bat and 115 with the ball, Moeen feels the highly-anticipated series failed to live up to expectations.
“It’s been a worry for a while but Australia really opened my eyes. I found it disappointing,” he was quoted as saying by the Daily Mail. “I feared (for the future) in the Ashes, actually. The crowds were quite disappointing in general.
“There were a couple of days – Boxing Day, the first day of the series – but even when they won the Ashes there weren’t that many people celebrating.
“That’s when I thought, ‘Actually, we’re struggling a bit’. We’re very lucky in England – after being all around the world and seeing the crowds everywhere else, we’ve got the best fans, we’ve got full houses most of the time.
“But I think the Big Bash had bigger crowds than the Ashes. That’s great for T20 but for Test matches it’s a massive worry.”
However, during the series, a record attendance was recorded during the day-night Test in Adelaide and on Boxing Day in Melbourne, where 88,172 people packed the Melbourne Cricket Ground.
“The Magellan Ashes Series was attended by 866,732 people around the country, making it the second most attended Australian Test series on record, after the 1936-37 Ashes series (948,498), demonstrating the huge interest Test cricket continues to command,” a Cricket Australia spokesperson said.
Meanwhile, England will now take on New Zealand in a five-match ODI series that begins on Sunday in Hamilton.
There is a possibility that all-rounder Ben Stokes could make his international comeback in the match.
Stokes has not played any international cricket since last September as he was detained after allegedly being involved in a street fight outside the Mbargo nightclub in Bristol.
Stokes appeared at Bristol Magistrates’ Court last Tuesday and pleaded not guilty to a charge of affray.
Following his court appearance, the 26-year-old was permitted to travel to New Zealand to link up with the rest of the England squad.
“Just having him back helps the team… having him in the changing room, his presence, the style he plays,” Moeen said. “A lot of people can thrive off him. When we’ve got our best team out I feel we’re one of the best teams in the world and he’s a massive part of that. He can’t wait to get started and we can’t wait to have him back.”