Australia’s Ian Chappell feels T20 format is casting a dark shadow over Test cricket

England will be touring Australia for a Ashes series later this year | Getty

Even though T20 format is called the modern savior of cricket, purists still continue to love and watch Test cricket. While many fans love T20 cricket owing to the short time duration, a lot of cricketers and pundits rate Test cricket highly.

The former Australia cricketer Ian Chappell is one of them as he believes the T20 format is casting a dark shadow on the longest format of the game.

There’s a T20 World Cup to be played in the UAE and then, after some spirited negotiations, hopefully a credible Ashes series in Australia. The difficult negotiations over the Ashes series were mostly brought about by the Covid pandemic, but more and more the T20 format is casting a dark shadow over Test cricket,” Chappell wrote in his column for ESPNcricinfo.

T20 tournaments involving countries require only days to complete and therefore are far easier to negotiate in the current chaotic climate than a long Test series,” he further wrote.

Since a T20I series takes a lot less time than a long Test series, the former Australia skipper believes new countries are more inclined towards playing the shortest format as compared to Test cricket.

Because of the short time-span involved, T20 is a game better suited than Test matches to countries that are not traditionally cricket-playing nations. Hence the involvement of tyros like Oman and Papua New Guinea in the upcoming T20 tournament,” the 78-year-old said.

The T20 format is also more lucrative and popular when compared with Test cricket in countries other than Australia and England. Considering most administrators are myopic when it comes to matters other than the bottom line, this is a critical point in any planning for the game’s future,” he added.

Newer teams are more inclined towards playing Test cricket | Getty

The ex-cricketer then pointed out this makes Test cricket to be played only in traditional Test cricketing countries and the same is not the case in the nations which have recently gotten the Test status.

All of these factors point to future Test series being mostly played among the traditional cricket countries. It’s hard to see the long form of the game prospering in the latest Test-playing nations, Ireland and Afghanistan. They don’t have a first-class infrastructure capable of supporting a player development system of any great depth,” Chappell said.

There’s also an inclination among the older Test-playing nations to avoid contests against these newer teams where possible, as they are generally a costly proposition. It’s a bleak picture for Test cricket, which has been exacerbated by the pandemic-created chaos,” the ex-Australia cricketer further said.

Chappel then suggested a new system to be drafted which could help weaker teams to be competitive in Test cricket and also opined that to have a perfect balance between financial needs and player welfare will require creative thinking.

Players are now – as they should be – less reluctant to speak out and act on mental health issues. This is going to be critical in future planning. Not only do administrators need to give serious thought to what for too long has been an absurdly congested schedule but hitting the right balance between financial needs and player welfare will also require some creative thinking,” the right-hand batter said.

That could mean introducing a draft system whereby the weaker Test teams can acquire outstanding players from other countries to boost their competitiveness. This could be a way for talented players from outside of the Test-playing nations to experience the thrill of the longer game. The current imbalance between the strong and weak Test-playing countries is another hindrance in promoting the five-day game,” Ian Chappell concluded.