Brendon Mccullum and Mike Brearley have expressed their concern over Test cricket's ongoing loss of ground to T20s and cited AB de Villiers' withdrawal from the Test side as a symptom of the trend. McCullum has urged the ICC to institute a Test Championship to stop the slide and revive Test cricket.
Former New Zealand skipper Mccullum, who is a member of the MCC World Cricket Committee, is worried about the situation of Test cricket. In the current times, new T20 leagues are springing up every year, while on the other hand, the charm of Test cricket is fading away. To regain that glory, the 35-year-old has batted for the World Test Championship.
"I don't see T20 leagues as the devil, by any stretch," McCullum said as quoted by PTI.
"But it's how we continue to make sure Test cricket continues as an important game at the same time. That's where there's probably a tipping point: what's more important? These leagues or the international game?”, the right-handed batsman said.
"The actual health of the game is outstanding but the perception in some parts of the world is that the entertainment of Test cricket is diminishing. So we're trying to ensure there is context to every Test and we feel the Test Championship would bring that in and we encourage the ICC to continue to bring this to the table."
Players are choosing the shorter form of the game rather than Test cricket with the extreme case of the West Indies players preferring T20 leagues over playing Test cricket for their country. Along with Mccullum, Former England captain Mike Brearley, in his final meeting as chairman of the MCC World Cricket Committee, talked about the dangerous situation where players "from countries lacking the funds to pay their top players well" will see them "choose these domestic tournaments ahead of making themselves available for their countries."
"For international cricket to flourish, competitive levels need to be close and teams need to be able to field their best players. The committee is worried that with the spread of privately owned T20 leagues and the rapid increase in remuneration, more players from countries lacking the funds to pay their top players well will choose these domestic tournaments ahead of making themselves available for their countries," Brearley said.
McCullum sees the absence of AB de Villiers from the South African Test side against England as an alarming situation and said it was "another red-flag moment" for Test cricket.