File photo of Graeme Smith© Twitter
Former South Africa captain Graeme Smith has suggested that very soon, there may only be five or six countries that will be playing Test cricket. He said that right now, it is the “big cricketing nations” that are contributing to the longest – and oldest – format of the game and that we won’t see too many competitive teams. His comments come in the backdrop of the rapid growth of franchise-based T20 leagues across the world. South Africa and UAE have announced new T20 leagues that will begin from next year.
“With Test cricket, it’s just iconic nations or the big cricketing nations that are contributing to Test cricket at the moment,” Smith was quoted as saying on Sky Sports by news agency PTI.
“But as long as we’ve got competitive teams, you’re not going to have 10, 11, 12, 13 or 14 competitive teams. You might only be down to five or six nations that play Test cricket at this level,” he said.
“The pressures on nations like New Zealand, West Indies, South Africa to stay financially sustainable to keep up with England, India, and the world game to stay competitive is hugely important,” he concluded.
Smith’s comments came during the third day of the first Test between South Africa and England at Lord’s. South Africa thrashed England by an innings and 12 runs to take a 1-0 series lead in the three-match contest.
Graeme Smith is currently the commissioner of Cricket South Africa’s new T20 league, which has seen five franchises being bought by the owners of IPL teams.
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