"I've got a little bit of scaredness" - 3 Australian players who are concerned about Test cricket's future

David Warner recently said he
David Warner recently said he's "scared" for the future of test cricket (PC: ICC).

Is Test cricket going to die? We don't know. Some people believe it's shrinking with T20, T10, and 100-ball franchise leagues around the world widening their reach on both the finances and the even rarer resource - cricketers' time. There's an opinion that the oldest and longest format might soon be limited to just a few countries.

Others think that Test cricket will never go out of fashion, considering how it still gathers enough audiences on television and in the stadiums. However, that view too, generally comes with a caveat that the format needs to evolve a bit (like England and BazBall) to excite the next generation with shorter attention spans.

For a long time, this debate was limited to administrators, former cricketers, and pundits. Recently, it has gone a bit more serious with three top Australian cricketers expressing their concern about the great game's future.

All three are part of Australia's World Test Championship (WTC) final squad. The summit clash is also considered a step to keep the format relevant.

On the eve of the game against India, it's only fitting we look at these views and make what we can of them.

#1 Steve Smith

The No.3-ranked Test batter and former Australian skipper Steve Smith was the latest to express his worry.

Speaking to reporters on Monday, ahead of the WTC final, Smith said he's "slightly concerned" about the subject.

"Yeah, I am slightly concerned. But yeah, hopefully, Test Cricket still stays alive and well. I think it's in a good place at the moment. In terms of some of the games, we've seen recently have been pretty amazing. So, yeah, for me as a, I suppose, a traditionalist, someone that loves Test cricket, I hope it still remains at the front of all the board's minds and stays alive and well for some time to come,” Smith was quoted as saying by Cricbuzz.

Smith has grown to be the ambassador of red-ball cricket for Australia, with his almost unmatchable record (30 centuries and an average of 59.8) making him the key scalp for India in the all-important game at the Oval.

#2 Pat Cummins

Steve Smith's comments came only a day after Australian Test captain Pat Cummins' apprehensions were revealed in the media.

However, Cummins' worries revolved overall around the future of the game and its scheduling amid the rise of the T20 leagues' financial might. Although any big change in cricket scheduling often starts with the red ball.

Recently, English pacer Jofra Archer was approached by Mumbai Indians (MI) with an annual contract that could see him tied up in leagues and require the franchise's permission to play for his country.

Similarly, other popular players have started to opt out of central contracts from their boards to play freelance around the world.

"When you're talking about some of the opportunities that may be provided through the franchises, I don't think you can blame players that might take that option," Cummins told Sydney Morning Herald. "I see the day where that (a franchise release) happens. I think it's reality. You've seen it in other sports."
"We still want the best players winning World Cups for us, winning big series," Cummins added. "But obviously, there are more competing interests than there were in the past. That's why things are starting to quicken up, and it's moving towards a more world football model, where you play for your club, employed by your club, and you get released to play for your country."

The ace fast bowler also said that it will be a challenge for Australia to keep international cricket relevant and "special" for its youngsters.

#3 David Warner

Another senior Australian cricketer, David Warner, said in January that he was "scared" where the game was headed.

The left-handed batter said this in the context of his Sydney Thunder teammate Oliver Davies, who he thought could be a good Test player but only if he would want to walk that path.

"I was speaking to (Davies) the other day. He likes playing white-ball cricket, I can't see him playing red-ball cricket any time soon," Warner said. "If he wants to put his mind to it, he can definitely play."

"But I've got a little bit of scaredness about what's going to happen in the next five to 10 years, where cricket is actually heading. I'd love for guys coming through to play red-ball cricket and play Test cricket because that's the legacy that you should want to leave behind," he added.

Warner, who has scored over 8100 Test runs for Australia, recently said he would want to retire from the format after his home Test at Sydney against Pakistan in January 2024.

Check out India Squad for World Cup 2023 & South Africa Squad for World Cup 2023. Follow Sportskeeda for latest News.

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Edited by Samya Majumdar
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