Former Australian cricketer Ian Chappell doesn’t think Test cricket will go extinct anytime soon. However, he certainly believes some of the best players in the world will be lured to choose lucrative T20 leagues instead of the longest format of the game.
With the announcement of two new T20 leagues to be played in the UAE and South Africa, there has been a huge debate over whether players will choose club over country. The decision of Ben Stokes to withdraw from ODI cricket and Trent Boult from New Zealand’s central contract has given further air to this debate.
Speaking to Wide World of Sports on Saturday, here’s what Ian Chappell had to say about the future of Test cricket:
“(Test cricket) won’t die in my lifetime. But who’ll be playing it? That’s the big question. If you haven’t got your best players, is Test cricket worth watching? The answer is probably no. Test cricket is a good game, but it’s got to be well played.”
Ian Chappell on the challenge boards will face to keep hold of their players
Ian Chappell also spoke about the cricket boards like that of the West Indies, who have had payment issues with their players for quite some time now. The 78-year-old reckons such issues will always make it difficult for these boards to hold on to world-class players as they would often prefer to earn more money.
On this, Chappell stated:
“I think a lot of the older players will get offers from that area, and that will be a real challenge for nations like Australia who have a lot of good players, and also for nations that can’t afford to pay their players the best rates.”
Ian Chappell also stressed how the schedule of the aforementioned T20 leagues might clash with that of the Big Bash League (BBL). In such a scenario, the Australian players will need to make a choice between the two leagues.
The Aussie legend opined that since a number of IPL franchises are the owners of these teams, Cricket Australia might find it extremely difficult to convince their players to stay back for the BBL:
“Then you’ve got the problem of the IPL franchises owning teams in different leagues around the world. If you’ve got a decent IPL contract and the choice is between Australia and your IPL franchise’s UAE team, well are you going to put your IPL contract at risk.”
Will international cricket lose its relevance with the arrival of more such T20 leagues? Let us know in the comments.