Australian great Ian Chappell is confident Test Cricket will not die in his lifetime, but wondered if the best players would play it in the future amid the proliferation of T20 competitions. The former Australian captain believed that international cricket faces a real challenge to retain players in light of the rapid expansion of T20 competitions around the world.
“(Test cricket) will not die in my life. But who will play it? That’s the big question,” Chappell was quoted as saying by Wide World of Sports.
“If you don’t have your best players, is Testcricket worth watching? The answer is probably no. Testcricket is a good game, but it has to be played well,” he added.
Chappell also spoke about the matter of Chris Lynn seeking a Certificate of No Objection (NOC) from Cricket Australia to play in the UAE’s ILT20.
Lynn has registered himself as a marquee player in the ILT20 but requires a No Objection Certificate (NOC) from CA to play in the league, something he may not get as the Australian cricket board also runs the Big Bash League at the same time.
Chappell said if he was with Lynn, he would sue CA if he doesn’t get NOC.
“For me then you go back to the World Series Cricket days where they took the board to court over trade restriction. Is it a trade restriction?” In the case of Chris Lynn, if he does not have a contract with Cricket Australia or Cricket Queensland what’s stopping him? If I were Chris Lynn and wanted to play in the UAE I would take them to court. I don’t think Cricket Australia would have any hope in hell.
“It has to be a trade restriction. You don’t sign him, but you don’t let him play either,” Chappell said.
Coming back to the challenge that cricket faces, Chappell believed that the rapid expansion of T20 competitions will do huge damage to Test cricket and its future.
“I don’t think there’s any doubt about that. For starters, if you’re realistic, you can play test cricket between about eight teams.
“The West Indies have a problem because they can’t pay their players. Sri Lanka has a reasonable infrastructure, but major political problems, and South Africa is comparable. Anyone who has thought of giving Afghanistan and Ireland Test status is but you know why it’s done, it’s so that those countries get a voice.
“For me, this whole issue has been going on for a while and I have no sympathy for the administrators.” Chappell, who played 75 Tests for Australia, added: “I think a lot of the older players will get offers from that area, and that will be a real challenge for countries like Australia, who have a lot of good players, and also for countries who cannot afford to pay their players the best rates.” “Then you have the problem of the IPL franchises that have teams in different leagues around the world. If you have a decent IPL contract and the choice is between Australia and the UAE team of your IPL franchise, then you go your IPL contract at risk?”
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