Dwayne Bravo not in favour of two-tier system in Test cricket
The International Cricket Council’s proposal to introduce league system to popularise Test cricket hasn’t found a supporter in West Indian all-rounder Dwayne Bravo. The cricketer currently in England to join Surrey’s campaign in the NatWest T20 Blast said that the ICC would need to do more to save Test Cricket than their idea of a two division league system, which Dave Richardson has said could be in place by 2019.
Known to be vocal with his views, the West Indian, who retired from Tests last year, cast aspersions on the relevance of the longest format in the wake of the popularity of the shorter ones. Speaking to skysports.com Bravo said, "As a Test player, those who are in charge have to do something differently to encourage people to play Test cricket”. He went on to add, “It (the proposed league system) will struggle because of the shorter formats of the game.”
In the past decade with the rise of T20 cricket, the game has managed to get a lot of fans into stadiums. While the spectators have gleefully embraced T20 cricket, they are also fast losing interest in the longest format as a result of which even fiercely contested Test matches are played out in front of largely empty stands.
Speaking highly of the shorter format and why it's working, Bravo was quoted saying, "It's shorter, it's more entertaining, it's more fan friendly. The kids look more towards the shorter format.”
T20s offer a lucrative route to players
Besides the crowds, even cricketers have found it difficult to manage their priorities as T20 leagues have sprouted over the world. With the cash-rich leagues doling out huge sums of money, the temptation has been hard to resist for cricketers. Many like the Trinidadian have chosen to cut their Test career short in pursuit of elongating their careers in the shorter versions of the game.
Bravo explained the trend, which sounded like a dire warning to those in charge of keeping Test cricket alive. "I think people just have to face reality, times change. Kids realise that it will benefit them financially if they play the shorter format of the game. As professional players, this is what you do for a living. So it's common sense, if you weight it up, if it doesn't benefit you financially - players know and make decisions for their family and their careers.”
Even Durham and English paceman, Mark Wood, wasn’t too pleased with the proposals of the International Cricket Council. Wood felt that the current system didn’t need tinkering and he personally likes the way it is. Wood asserted "I really like the way it was. I don't know if that would make it more competitive with the two divisions but I'd like to leave it the way it is, Representing your country and playing against all countries in different conditions is a huge challenge in itself. So for me I would like it to stay as it is."