James Sutherland hopes ICC’s Test Championship brings more relevance to Test cricket

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James Sutherland hopes ICC’s Test Championship brings more relevance to Test cricket

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SportsCafe Desk

11/16/2017

Cricket Australia Chief Executive James Sutherland has lamented the sad state of Test cricket but he is hoping that the Test Championship brings the format more relevance. He also pointed out India’s massive inclination towards T20I, stating that it has a significant flow-on impact on World cricket.

Sutherland is of the opinion that Test cricket is currently in an alarming state and lack of commercial viability is the root of it. He, however, believes that ICC’s new Test championship will bring back a much-needed interest among people and make the longest-format of the game much more releva.

It was last month when the ICC had announced that a Test league has been agreed by all the member nations, where the top nine teams will be playing series over two years with the top two teams qualifying for a World Test League Championship Final. The league is due to start after the 2019 Cricket World Cup, though its full details are yet to be decided.

“In 15 years’ time I sincerely hope that this league will create extra relevance and drive and importance for Test cricket, ideally the championship has significant incentives for countries and players to stay involved in Test cricket, and the rewards and recognition from that will also be seen and reflected in fans coming and continuing to stay connected to the game,” Sutherland told The Grade Cricketer podcast.

The former Australian cricketer also cited India as an example where one of the most commercially lucrative cricket markets has so little inclination towards the format.   

“As a starting point if you go to India, the country where there is supposedly the most lucrative commercial market, the current valuations on a Test match, five days of Test cricket, is exactly the same as the valuation on a three-hour Twenty20 international match,” said Sutherland.

“That’s a perspective on what the market in the biggest country in the cricketing world sees as the value of Test cricket, and that has a significant flow-on impact to other countries… So the alarm bells are ringing for Test cricket and that’s one of the reasons why I think this context around Test cricket is so important with this league championship.”

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