Test cricket is dying, let's help save it

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Gethelred

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Give this a read, it points out that Test cricket's affliction isn't T20, but the fact that the administrators are not running the boards as not-for-profit entities.
 

greatwhiteshark

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Give this a read, it points out that Test cricket's affliction isn't T20, but the fact that the administrators are not running the boards as not-for-profit entities.
Test Cricket is still the pinnacle of the sport and by a long long way. Crowds still flock to watch good sides play test cricket. The article is correct that Administrators are doing their best to kill it off but it won't happen.
20/20 cricket is a game for mums and kiddies to watch, cricket purists might tune in and have a giggle watching it on tv but they know it's an entertainment product and not really a serious sport.
The best cricketers are still the ones that perform in Test Cricket, you don't get much recognition being a 20/20 slogger (Chris Lynn) although you may make a heap of money being that slogger.
 

Topkent

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Test Cricket is still the pinnacle of the sport and by a long long way. Crowds still flock to watch good sides play test cricket. The article is correct that Administrators are doing their best to kill it off but it won't happen.
20/20 cricket is a game for mums and kiddies to watch, cricket purists might tune in and have a giggle watching it on tv but they know it's an entertainment product and not really a serious sport.
The best cricketers are still the ones that perform in Test Cricket, you don't get much recognition being a 20/20 slogger (Chris Lynn) although you may make a heap of money being that slogger.
That's just not true.
The big IPL players are the biggest names in the sport now. Not the 5 batsman for SA in tests
 

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greatwhiteshark

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That's just not true.
The big IPL players are the biggest names in the sport now. Not the 5 batsman for SA in tests

Who are the best 5 test batsman in the world.
Smith, Kohli, Williamson, Root, Sharma

Are you saying that Finch, Malan, Babar, Conway etc are bigger names than those guys? Surely you jest. Only Kholi who is a gun in all 3 formats is a star.
 

Santana

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Test Cricket is still the pinnacle of the sport and by a long long way. Crowds still flock to watch good sides play test cricket. The article is correct that Administrators are doing their best to kill it off but it won't happen.
20/20 cricket is a game for mums and kiddies to watch, cricket purists might tune in and have a giggle watching it on tv but they know it's an entertainment product and not really a serious sport.
The best cricketers are still the ones that perform in Test Cricket, you don't get much recognition being a 20/20 slogger (Chris Lynn) although you may make a heap of money being that slogger.
Crowds do not flock to watch test cricket. Come back to reality
 

corbies

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Who are the best 5 test batsman in the world.
Smith, Kohli, Williamson, Root, Sharma

Are you saying that Finch, Malan, Babar, Conway etc are bigger names than those guys? Surely you jest. Only Kholi who is a gun in all 3 formats is a star.
None of these guys get a game in the IPL.
 

Santana

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Is the majority of revenue in cricket via attendance?
No, but the point still stands

They do in England and Australia.
Wow, two countries. It's clearly killing it then. And that's not even that true for Australia a lot of the time. If it's not against England or India the tests crowds are usually pretty average, especially after the 1st day.
 

Gethelred

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No, but the point still stands
I'm not sure it does.

See, test cricket is viewed in reasonable numbers these days. You've got online streaming services ran by cricket boards and by media partners sharing Australian or English test cricket in India, NZ and SA; games in Aust are primed for a good Indian timeslot, and English tests start just after the news here. Anyone who wants to watch test cricket can watch it (provided it's being played; Covid's been a bit of a mongrel for cancelled tours).

An improved Indian national test side, in which the superstars are both quality Test bats and bowlers as well as IPL superstars, will only see Indian interest in test cricket rise; it's not exactly starting from a low base, either.

The issue you've got is you're looking at crowds relatively; as in, by relation to IPL/world cup crowds, test cricket (outside of Ashes tours) doesn't sell out arenas or get eyes on TV's. But you need to view this a little differently; they're not competing anymore for the same sets of eyes. Broadcasting can be done solely at the hands of the ECB or CA or the BCCI; they could genuinely form a partnership with Youtube if they wanted to, and screen the entirety of cricket on that. Does that make them the most possible money from the sport? No, it doesn't.

That's the point. These boards are not meant to be for profit. They're meant to be supportive of the sustainability of the game, of the growth of the sport and of the lesser associate nations. Instead, the boards seek to line their own pockets with broadcast money, and only question the status of test cricket because it's not as potentially profitable as T20 is.

The question you need to ask yourself is: do you see test cricket or even T20 becoming world conquering sports? Do you see them becoming as big as soccer is? Because that's the reality of what they're trying to compete with, if maximizing profit is the goal, and if they do not win that particular tussle then they are destroying the sport in pursuit of a bonus.
 

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Santana

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I'm not sure it does.

See, test cricket is viewed in reasonable numbers these days. You've got online streaming services ran by cricket boards and by media partners sharing Australian or English test cricket in India, NZ and SA; games in Aust are primed for a good Indian timeslot, and English tests start just after the news here. Anyone who wants to watch test cricket can watch it (provided it's being played; Covid's been a bit of a mongrel for cancelled tours).

An improved Indian national test side, in which the superstars are both quality Test bats and bowlers as well as IPL superstars, will only see Indian interest in test cricket rise; it's not exactly starting from a low base, either.

The issue you've got is you're looking at crowds relatively; as in, by relation to IPL/world cup crowds, test cricket (outside of Ashes tours) doesn't sell out arenas or get eyes on TV's. But you need to view this a little differently; they're not competing anymore for the same sets of eyes. Broadcasting can be done solely at the hands of the ECB or CA or the BCCI; they could genuinely form a partnership with Youtube if they wanted to, and screen the entirety of cricket on that. Does that make them the most possible money from the sport? No, it doesn't.

That's the point. These boards are not meant to be for profit. They're meant to be supportive of the sustainability of the game, of the growth of the sport and of the lesser associate nations. Instead, the boards seek to line their own pockets with broadcast money, and only question the status of test cricket because it's not as potentially profitable as T20 is.

The question you need to ask yourself is: do you see test cricket or even T20 becoming world conquering sports? Do you see them becoming as big as soccer is? Because that's the reality of what they're trying to compete with, if maximizing profit is the goal, and if they do not win that particular tussle then they are destroying the sport in pursuit of a bonus.
What has been the tv numbers for test cricket worldwide lately because I've heard all kinds of things. I heard the WTC final got pretty meh ratings in India.

And no, cricket won't ever become anywhere near as big as soccer. Has to be played on an big oval with lots of expensive equipment that is heavily affected by the weather.

I understand your point about the boards, but the world is run by greed, and I have a hard time ever seeing a time where the administrators will put up with test cricket down the road when you consider how much infrastructure you have to put into it for the returns they get from it, as sad as that is.
 

Gethelred

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I understand your point about the boards, but the world is run by greed, and I have a hard time ever seeing a time where the administrators will put up with test cricket down the road when you consider how much infrastructure you have to put into it for the returns they get from it, as sad as that is.
See, I'm genuinely not sure this is true at all.

Right now, cricket's very much in an expansion phase; they're growing the game to see what it can do, how much money can be made, the different directions they can take it to appeal to the widest possible audience. They're deliberately trying to broaden the appeal; doing this is a business decision, made with the positives (increased funding/paychecks, broader audience, etc) and negatives (casualization of support, degradation of traditional cricket playing nations, the increasing control over the sport of financial interests and broadcasters). This is what in business jargon is called a positioning tactic; they're positioning themselves in this way, hoping it's sustainable.

That's where I think they're wrong. I do not think that in the medium to long term that the IPL will continue to grow, or even if it does it'll continue to gain fans. It's an Indian spectacle, and it's accompanied the Indian financial rise to superpower; of course they're awash with cash right now! They're one of the fastest growing economies in the world. It'd have been the same if China had suddenly taken up footy in the 80's; the sport would've exploded, but the control points of the game would've shifted from here to China because that's where the funding is from.

The problems will come when the purse gets tightened. Booms don't last forever, and financial profligacy is only a good attribute when done in a calculated fashion.

Their option, long term, is to reposition before it's too late to appeal to the greatest group of fans there is, which will encompass the old cricket followers (because we aren't leaving) who favour test cricket, and the new converts who will be drawn to test matches because it's considered the ultimate form of the sport. And cricket is only truly interesting because of the context, something which T20's do not have time to generate normally.

At some point over the next 20 years, that repositioning will occur.
 

Howard Littlejohn

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Give this a read, it points out that Test cricket's affliction isn't T20, but the fact that the administrators are not running the boards as not-for-profit entities.
Much the same thing though. T20 brings in the money, so the boards putting money above sport promote and schedule T20.
Some boards have little choice, traditional cricket doesn't bring in enough for them to have professionals so they need to get whatever they can. The big (financial) nations have the choice and opt for the T20 money above all else.
 

Gethelred

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Much the same thing though. T20 brings in the money, so the boards putting money above sport promote and schedule T20.
Some boards have little choice, traditional cricket doesn't bring in enough for them to have professionals so they need to get whatever they can. The big (financial) nations have the choice and opt for the T20 money above all else.
I'd argue that's the point, though. It isn't T20 killing the game; that's the effect. It's only when you observe the boards behaving like - well - a video game exec that the cause becomes apparent.

Making some money and putting it back into the game isn't enough; they've got to make as much as possible and then some.
 

Westend

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Well playing more tests would be a start

Not worried about the big three aus india and england

what does concern me is windies saffers sri lanka with the onset of t20
 

The Passenger

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Their option, long term, is to reposition before it's too late to appeal to the greatest group of fans there is, which will encompass the old cricket followers (because we aren't leaving) who favour test cricket, and the new converts who will be drawn to test matches because it's considered the ultimate form of the sport. And cricket is only truly interesting because of the context, something which T20's do not have time to generate normally.
I do love your optimism but can't say I share it completely. It does feel like test cricket is increasingly being viewed as a nuisance by cricketing boards around the world, outside the Ashes and a few other series which are big money spinners.

But one thing that should be noted is the format has shown to be incredibly resilient over the years. It's been in ICU since the 1800's and on it's last breath since ODI cricket became a thing. It has taken every body blow you could just about imagine and is still doing it's thing. A genuine survivor of the sporting landscape.

We are coming into a very interesting phase right now, because we are about to get the first generation of youngsters step into professional cricket who grew up dividing their cricket watching time between franchises (T20) and international cricket.

Those of Steve Smith's (1989) vintage grew up before T20 existed so it's not surprising they've shown strong loyalty to the international game and even the next age bracket - say Marnus Labuschange (1994) and his cohort - who grew up with T20 cricket becoming a thing but it was largely a sideshow with a competition of marginal interest that was played between states/counties and occasionally as an extra game on an international tour.

But we're getting the first wave of professional cricketers (the Cameron Green, born 1999, age group), who's formative years saw the game become one which had franchise cricket played alongside international cricket, which no generation before them had grown up with. It's hard to say with full confidence they are going to show the same loyalty to international cricket that the previous groups have. It goes without saying I genuinely hope they do, and the likes of Andre Russell and Chris Lynn stay as the exception, and don't become much more common place because cricket will be for poorer for it.
 
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Some Idiot

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That's just not true.
The big IPL players are the biggest names in the sport now. Not the 5 batsman for SA in tests
What metric is this based on? Having millions-billions of Indian followers on Social media? Most cricket fans in the other top nations like Australia, England, South Africa and NZ don't care about the IPL any more. It was cool when it started but it lost its aura years ago. The relevance of the IPL is highly skewed by the population of India.
 

netslave

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You may as well watch a game of baseball if you're watching T20 (albeit not nine innings).
Unfortunately thats where all the money is now but I still think Test cricket is the ultimate test of skill and that will never change.
I dont think it will die but maybe they will just reduce the amount of tests to jam more T20 cash injecting games into the cricket calendar.
 

big_e

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You may as well watch a game of baseball if you're watching T20 (albeit not nine innings).
Unfortunately thats where all the money is now but I still think Test cricket is the ultimate test of skill and that will never change.
I dont think it will die but maybe they will just reduce the amount of tests to jam more T20 cash injecting games into the cricket calendar.
There's more skill in T20....



 

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