“Test cricket is a good game, but it has to be played well”

Former Australian cricketer Ian Chappell doesn’t think Test cricket is going away anytime soon. However, he certainly thinks some of the best players in the world will be incentivized to choose lucrative T20 leagues instead of the game’s longest format.

With the announcement of two new T20 leagues to be played in the United Arab Emirates and South Africa, there has been a huge debate over whether players will choose club over country. The decision of Ben Stokes to opt out of ODI cricket and Trent Boult from New Zealand’s central contract has given more 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 will play it? That’s the big question. If you don’t have your best players, is Test cricket worth watching? The answer probably not. Test cricket It’s a good game, but it has to be played well.”

Ian Chappell on the challenge boards will face to keep hold of their players

Ian Chappell also spoke about cricket boards such as the West Indies, which have had payment problems with their players for some time now. The 78-year-old believes such issues will always make it difficult for these boards to retain world-class players as they would often prefer to make more money.

Of this, Chappell said:

“I think a lot of older players will get offers from that region, and it will be a real challenge for nations like Australia who have a lot of good players, and also for nations who can’t afford to pay their players at best rates.”

Ian Chappell also pointed out how the schedule of the aforementioned T20 leagues could conflict with that of the Big Bash League (BBL). In such a scenario, Australian players will have to make a choice between the two leagues.

The Australian legend felt that given that a number of IPL franchises own these teams, Cricket Australia might find it extremely difficult to convince their players to stay back for the BBL:

“Then you have the problem of IPL franchises owning teams in different leagues around the world. If you have a decent IPL contract and the choice is between Australia and the UAE team in your IPL franchise, well are you going to put your IPL contract in jeopardy.”

Will international cricket lose its relevance with the arrival of more such T20 leagues? Let us know in the comments.

Edited by Sudeshna Banerjee

Sports Grp1

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