Hindustan Times – Test cricket has been unkind to newcomers.
- A report by `An Onlooker’ on India’s first Test (v England at Lord’s, 1932) which appeared in The Cricketer captures this aspect splendidly in its opening paragraph.
- ALSO READ: Ravi Shastri wants Yo-Yo test bar to be raised ahead of ICC World Cup 2019“Glorious weather, a crowd of some 25,000, and a fast pitch, greeted the Indians in their first Test match, an event, we believe, of more than mere cricketing importance,” it reads, implying, undoubtedly, how cricket had become a medium of self-determination for India against colonial rule then.
- But while ICC must be lauded for rewarding Afghanistan’s progress, the fact that after 140 years only 12 countries play Test cricket (Ireland too were granted entry in May) does not leave the sport’s apex body smelling of roses.
- ALSO READ: Angelo Mathews, Lahiru Gamage out of Sri Lanka’s tour of West IndiesIn the last five decades, only five teams – Sri Lanka, Zimbabwe, Bangladesh, Ireland, Afghanistan – have made the cut to play Test cricket.
- So why should it surprise anybody that Test cricket is floundering, and even limited-overs cricket, including T20, does not command the kind of mass appeal football does globally?