Test cricket is on the verge of a sad death in most countries with more and more players considering an Indian Premier League (IPL) contract their ultimate goal, according to the MCC World Cricket Committee.
Future of the game's longer version dominated the two-day meeting of the panel at Lord's that concluded on Tuesday with the committee recommending a World Test Championship, trial of day/night Test cricket and pink balls to revive the format's fortune.
"Except for certain icon series, such as the Ashes, Test cricket throughout the world, and in particular the lower-ranked nations, is in very real danger of dying," the committee said in a statement.
Underlining IPL's impact on the longer version of the game, the committee said, " MCC's research proved that attendances at Test cricket have declined in recent years. In addition, there is a growing ambivalence towards the longer format of the game from cricketers in certain nations, with player surveys revealing that an Indian Premier League (IPL) contract was the main career aspiration for many."
IPL's stupendous success also poses the risk of triggering premature retirement among players, feared the panel.
"The committee is deeply concerned that the proliferation of lucrative domestic Twenty20 leagues, such as the Indian Premier League, will lead to the premature retirement of quality international cricketers.