Kevin Pietersen makes a bizarre claim about the future of Test cricket
According to Kevin Pietersen, the only countries that would continue playing Test cricket in the next 10 years are England, Australia, India, South Africa and Pakistan.Updated: Feb 19, 2018 19:58 IST
Former England cricketer Kevin Pietersen has claimed Test cricket will survive only in five out of the current 10 full members of the International Cricket Council (ICC) in the next decade.
The biggest omission in Pietersen’s list is that of the West Indies, a team that dominated annals of world cricket from 1970s to mid-1990s, being the most successful side in Test as well as one-day cricket.
According to Pietersen, the only countries that would continue playing Test cricket in the next 10 years are England, Australia, India, South Africa and Pakistan.
The other countries will continue to have ‘white ball cricketers’, says Pietersen, as has been the case of West Indies which has consistently produced cricketers playing in various T20 leagues around the world.
Under the captaincy of Clive Lloyd, West Indies not only won the first two editions of World Cup in 1975 and 1979 in England, but also remained unbeaten for as many as 15 years in Test cricket.
However, the Caribbean team has had a colossal fall, having not won a Test series against any of the teams that Pietersen has mentioned, for nearly a decade.
West Indies’ last commendable victory in Test cricket came way back in 2008-09, when they defeated England at home 1-0 in a five-match series. Since then, West Indies have regularly beaten the likes of Zimbabwe and Bangladesh, but have struggled against tougher teams.
However, the health of white ball cricket in the Caribbean hasn’t deteriorated to such extents, with West Indies being the only team to have won the World T20 events twice, in 2012 and 2016. The Caribbean Premier League has been a success in the region.
Pietersen has also surprisingly excluded New Zealand from the list, as the Kiwis too have remained out of contention for the top spot in Test cricket for a very long time. Sri Lanka too, have been excluded by the former England captain along with Zimbabwe.
Bangladesh, who have won a mere 10 and lost 80 Tests out of 106 played since their induction in November 2000 also fail to make it to Pietersen’s list. A long way off their away series win over West Indies in 2009, Bangladesh showed promise last year when they beat England and Australia at home.
Each of the teams that Pietersen has mentioned — with India being the current world No 1 Test side — have been at the pinnacle of Test rankings in this decade.
Pietersen’s deduction could also be coming from the fact that he has been a part of various T20 leagues that now hog most of the limelight in cricket.
Pietersen has played in T20 leagues such as the Indian Premier League (IPL), Australia’s Big Bash League (BBL), the Caribbean Premier League (CPL), Pakistan Super League (PSL) as well as England’s T20 Blast.