Kane Williamson throws his weight behind Test Cricket
After Dwayne Bravo’s comments on the decline of Test Cricket in a recent interview, New Zealand skipper Kane Williamson came out in support of the longest format as he admitted that Test cricket still has a huge meaning. In an interview with Fairfax media, Kane Williamson talked about ICC’s proposals for popularising the longest format.
Williamson, 25, took over the captaincy from Brendon McCullum earlier this year as the wicket-keeper batsman retired after the home series against Australia. After scoring a ton on Test debut at Ahmedabad against India, the right-hander has gone from strength to strength to become New Zealand’s top batsman in recent years and averages a brilliant 49, 47 and 34 in Tests, ODIs and T20I respectively.
When asked about the recently proposed changes in Test cricket Williamson told Fairfax Media, "I haven't heard a huge amount about that.” But unlike Trinidadian Dwayne Bravo, who sounded the administrators a warning when he talked glowingly of the shortest format and asked ICC to ‘face reality’, Williamson gave the administrators a word of support.
Williamson asserted, "Naturally as a board, they're always looking to come up with ways that might continue to help the game grow. At the moment, they're doing a pretty good job and I'm sure they'll come up with a number of other ways or ideas they might look to employ.
The Kiwi captain insisted that despite its dwindling popularity among the crowds, the challenge of the longest format is still what every cricketer yearns for. His views about the proposed changes seemed crudely formed and lukewarm though.
"I think Test cricket has a huge amount of meaning as it is," Williamson said. "It's certainly the pinnacle of the game seen by any cricketer. There may be room to apply a format that is structured in a certain way. Time will tell whether that grows legs or not."
Earlier, ICC chief executive David Richardson had unveiled a bold plan to revive the five-day format by introducing a two-tier world championship format that could begin as soon as 2019. Talking about the rationale behind such a change, Richardson had said, "Unless we can give some meaning to bilateral series beyond just the rankings and a trophy at the end then interest in test cricket will continue to waver,"
A number of cricketers have since then opined on the issue including Dwayne Bravo, English pacer Mark Wood and now New Zealand captain Kane Williamson. The debate is only going to get more intense in the coming times as the proposal comes close to become a reality.
However, there remain no doubts that the recent state of Test cricket definitely is in dire need of an injection of change.