Former Australia captain Ian Chappell is of the opinion that the shortest format of cricket is casting a shadow over Test cricket especially in the current scenario of the Covid-19 pandemic. He further added that Test cricket will survive but it will be played between very few countries.
T20 is an ever-growing format in international cricket and only two five-match Test series in the World Test Championship 2021-23 is a proof of it. Sharing his views on the current state of Test cricket, Ian Chappell said that the T20 format is casting dark shadows over Test cricket and T20 tournaments are easier to negotiate in the current chaotic climate due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
"There's a T20 World Cup to be played in the UAE and then, after some spirited negotiations, hopefully a credible Ashes series in Australia. The difficult negotiations over the Ashes series were mostly brought about by the Covid pandemic, but more and more the T20 format is casting a dark shadow over Test cricket," Chappell wrote in a column for ESPNcricinfo.
"T20 tournaments involving countries require only days to complete and therefore are far easier to negotiate in the current chaotic climate than a long Test series,” he further added.
T20 World Cup 2021 is to be jointly hosted by UAE and Oman. The tournament will commence on October 17. Chappell also remarked that as T20 matches are completed in a shorter time span, they are better suited to countries that are non-traditional cricket-playing nations.
"Because of the short time-span involved, T20 is a game better suited than Test matches to countries that are not traditionally cricket-playing nations. Hence the involvement of tyros like Oman and Papua New Guinea in the upcoming T20 tournament," he stated.
The former Australia cricketer is of the opinion that T20 cricket is more lucrative for players and also said that the cost of infrastructure to produce Test players is prohibitive in non-traditional cricket-playing nations.
"The T20 format is also more lucrative and popular when compared with Test cricket in countries other than Australia and England. Considering most administrators are myopic when it comes to matters other than the bottom line, this is a critical point in any planning for the game's future. The cost of the infrastructure required to produce Test players is prohibitive to non-traditional cricket countries. On the other hand, there's a good chance they can run a T20 competition and actually attract fans - which will provide an income stream," Chappell explained.
Looking at the scenario of world cricket, a few nations are in the top-brass of Test cricket currently. Commenting on the current situation, Ian Chappell said that Test cricket will survive but it will be limited to a few countries.
"All of these factors point to future Test series being mostly played among the traditional cricket countries. It's hard to see the long form of the game prospering in the latest Test-playing nations, Ireland and Afghanistan," he concluded.