In midst of the ongoing debate around a jam-packed cricket calendar and the popularity of longer formats, Ravi Shastri has suggested that red-ball cricket should be cut down to six countries. Shastri also added that quantity over quality should be preferred for the survival of any format.
With the recent retirement of Ben Stokes from ODIs there has been a debate around the current hectic cricketing schedule and players preferring to play shorter formats to extend their careers. Stokes had said in his statement that it was becoming difficult to play all three formats and that has also pointed out the reducing significance of ODIs. Test cricket is also taking its toll on players as some of them are preferring to play only T20Is.
Ravi Shastri has shared his views regarding red-ball cricket saying it should be played only between the top six teams in order for its survival.
"If you want Test cricket to survive you cannot have 10, 12 teams playing. Keep the top six, keep the quality of cricket going and respect quality over quantity. That's the only way you open up a window for other cricket to be played,” Shastri said to Sky Sports.
"Expand teams in T20 or one-day cricket if you want to spread the game, but in Test cricket, you will have to reduce the teams, then it does not matter if England does not go to West Indies or if West Indies does not come to England."
There has been a surge in franchise cricket in recent times with various countries having come up with their own cricket leagues around the world. Some of the players prefer to feature only in limited formats and T20 leagues around the world. There has also been a slump in the viewership of Test cricket in some of the cricket-playing nations. Shastri further elaborated his point saying that Test cricket should be played in a limited number of countries but ICC can use white-ball cricket to spread the game globally.
"If they are in the top-six, they play and if they are not in the top six, they do not play. Whether it is India, Australia, or England, you have to qualify for that top-six, if you want to be around playing Test matches. If you want to spread the game, do it with the white ball, ideally T20 cricket. Bottom line, it is the football model, you are going to have the World Cup, one big one and the rest of it would be different leagues around the world", he explained.