Sri Lankan all-rounder Angelo Matthews said that his side is not getting enough Test matches to play, especially in the current calendar year.
Sri Lanka is currently playing New Zealand in the first Test match of the two-match series at Christchurch. There is an outside chance that the Lankan Lions play the ICC World Test Championship, as long as Australia win or draw their final Test against India and SL win the Test series by 2-0.
But Matthews expressed his disappointment with the scheduling.
“Unfortunate that we are not playing too many Test matches this year – it as few as five. We are coming off a long layoff – the last Test was six months back,” said Matthews as quoted by ESPNCricinfo.
SL is scheduled to play only five Tests in 2023 (two against New Zealand, two against Pakistan, and one against Ireland, who are not WTC opposition just yet).
“Everyone’s talking about Test cricket dying, but we are not doing any good for Test cricket playing only five Tests a year. Hopefully, we will get more matches this year. Five feels like not enough,” added the all-rounder.
Right through the WTC cycle following this one, Sri Lanka will not play a single three-match Test series. But on the other hand, India, Australia and England will routinely play lengthy, five-match Test series against each other in the same cycle. Even at worst, these big three teams will play a four-match Test series.
As per the WTC structure, each team should play an equal number of WTC series between each other through the cycle. But teams other than India, England, Australia mostly play two-Test series. And when they play against any of these aforementioned teams, they may get a three-Test match series.
Earlier, West Indies all-rounder Jason Holder and South African pacer Anrich Nortje had also expressed how teams other than India, England and Australia barely get to play Test cricket these days. Both sides are currently playing a two-match Test series in South Africa.
The Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC), the keeper of the sport’s laws, also talked that how the leaders in cricket should intervene to ensure that both international cricket and franchise cricket thrive together in a harmonious way. It has also raised alarm over lack of international cricket played by “a minority of member nations as compared to others”.
“The MCC World Cricket committee (WCC), who recently met in Dubai, unanimously concluded that the game has reached an important crossroads, recommending urgent intervention from the game’s leaders to ensure international and franchise cricket can thrive together harmoniously,” the MCC’s statement issued on Wednesday read.
“Also notable in the new men’s FTP [Future Tours Programme] is an alarming and growing disparity in the amount of international cricket played by a minority of member nations compared to others; a situation which is clearly neither equitable nor sustainable,” added the statement.
The current men’s FTP runs till 2027. Though there is little scope to rearrange series, the MCC has called on the ICC to review things after the end of ongoing FTP. It said that the governing body of sport needs to reinvest the revenue coming into the game to help struggling nations with costs of hosting international cricket.
“The men’s FTP is now fixed until 2027 but the WCC is calling on ICC to look at the next cycle of tournaments and international cricket, and challenge its Full Member nations to ensure a more equitable spread of international cricket,” said MCC.
“The ICC is increasing its revenues through the next broadcast cycle, as a result of the introduction of a men’s and women’s white-ball global event every year. Consequently, the WCC would like to see some of that additional revenue being ring-fenced to members to support the strategic ambitions of the game. Primary focus should be on becoming the global game of choice for women and girls, and assisting with the costs of staging international cricket, which runs at a loss for several countries,” concluded MCC. (ANI)