Indian cricket legend and World Cup winning captain Kapil Dev believes that the enormous sums of money that are being amassed by the rapidly growing T20 leagues around the world should be utilised to advance and safeguard the longer formats.
In an interview with The Sydney Morning Herald, Dev said he thinks Test cricket is “fading out”.
Aware of the changing landscape of international cricket and shifting priorities of cricketers, the International Cricket Council placed the onus on the member boards to strike a balance between domestic and bilateral cricket, in order to better manage the workload of players. However, according to the former India captain, the ICC now has a “bigger responsibility” to administer the sport.
“The ICC has a bigger responsibility how to manage this game,” Dev said. “It’s going the way as football in Europe. They don’t play against each country. It is once in four years (during the World Cup). Is this what we’re going to have, the World Cup and the rest of the time playing club (T20 franchise) cricket?”
The Indian Premier League franchises and subsequently, the investments in the brand-new T20 leagues in South Africa and the UAE have significantly altered the landscape of international cricket in recent months. In fact, Cricket Australia’s five-year strategy, which is centred on addressing the impact of privatisation and growing T20 leagues on the global cricket scene, reflects the same.
Concerned about the fading importance of bilateral cricket, Dev said, “In a similar way, will cricketers eventually be playing mainly the IPL or the Big Bash or something like that? So the ICC have to put more time into that to see how they can ensure the survival of one-day cricket, Test match cricket, not only club cricket.”
He added: “Club cricket is OK for a while. The Big Bash is OK. But the South African league is coming, the UAE league is coming. If all the countries are going to play the club cricket, then international cricket will be only for the World Cup.”