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I hope the astute thinkers could find a way to make sure that Test cricket remains relevant: Brian Lara

I hope the astute thinkers could find a way to make sure that Test cricket remains relevant: Brian Lara

Brian Lara. (Photo by Aalok Soni/Hindustan Times via Getty Images)

Former West Indies cricketer Brian Lara urged the International Cricket Council (ICC) to ensure that Test cricket remains relevant amid the surreal growth of franchise leagues around the world.

With the advent of T20s and the commencement of franchise leagues around the world, some cricket enthusiasts feel that the future of the purest format of the game, Test cricket, could be in jeopardy. The ICC introduced the World Test Championship (WTC) a few years ago to add more significance to red-ball cricket.

While the development has intrigued fans to an extent, it has endured some glaring setbacks. Earlier this year, South Africa sent a second-string team to New Zealand to play a two-match Test series, which was a part of the WTC 2023-2025 cycle as the main players were plying their trade in the Rainbow Nation’s premier franchise-based T20 tournament—SA20 2024.

Lara, who is one of the greatest batters of all time and holds the record for highest individual score in Tests (400*), said that the ICC should monitor the development of franchise leagues and ensure that Test cricket remains relevant in the days to come.

“I think ICC (should) put their head together and find a way where franchise cricket takes over, but in a much more structured way and not in terms of the free fall that is going on at the moment,” Lara was quoted as saying by The Times of India.

“I hope the astute thinkers could find a way to make sure that it (Test) remains relevant. I like the Test Championship and I think it is important to make sure that the game remains relevant,” he added.

Also Read: India maintain top spot in latest ICC ODI and T20I Rankings, Australia atop in Tests

Try to get crowd back into the grounds for Test cricket: Brian Lara

The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) introduced a Test Cricket Incentive Scheme in March 2024. It is an additional reward structure on top of the existing match fee. This has been done to ensure parity with match fees in other formats and leagues. Lara welcomed the move but said that bringing spectators back into the stadiums is a better way to save Test cricket.

Also Read: ICC reveals nominees for April Player of the Month awards

“Incentivizing, or what BCCI is doing because they have the money, is one aspect of it. Of course, remuneration to the players is great to keep them interested in the game. But when you’re walking to a Test match and there’s nobody at that Test match, then it’s not encouraging. Try to get them (crowd) back into the ground,” the former cricketer noted.

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