'That way all formats can survive': Ravi Shastri makes unique suggestion to save Test cricket from extinction

Updated on Jul 20, 2022 11:15 PM IST

The shocking decision by Ben Stokes to hang his boots from ODI cricket with just over a year left for the next edition of World Cup has trigged the debate over cricketing schedule.

Indian players after the victory in Gabba Test and Ravi Shastri(AP/File Photo)
Indian players after the victory in Gabba Test and Ravi Shastri(AP/File Photo)

The shocking decision by Ben Stokes to hang his boots from ODI cricket with just over a year left for the next edition of World Cup has trigged the debate over cricketing schedule. Stokes in his retirement announcement stated that playing in all the three formats was getting “unsustainable”, following which many ex-cricketers came out and expressed their displeasure over the schedule.

Former England captains Michael Vaughan and Nasser Hussain called the current scheduling a "joke". Vaughan in particular appealed the bilateral T20 and ODI series to be chucked looking at the recent surge in franchise cricket.

Amidst the ongoing debate, former India coach Ravi Shastri advocated for a reduction in T20 bilateral series, stating franchise cricket to be encouraged more. "I would be a little careful of the number of bilateral splits, especially in T20 cricket. There's a lot of franchise cricket which can be encouraged, whichever country it's in - India, West Indies, or Pakistan," the ex-India cricketer noted while sharing his thoughts on Telegraph's Sport's podcast.

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As per ICC's next Futures Tours & Programme's (FTP) draft, there is set to be a massive increase in T20s and the IPL is also set to have a two-and-a-half-month exclusive window. Earlier this month, Cricket South Africa had decided to pull-out of their ODI series against Australia to ensure their players would be available for their new domestic T20 competition.

"You play less bilateral and then you get together for the World Cups. So the emphasis on ICC World Cup events becomes paramount. Then people look forward to them," he added.

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Shastri also suggested a two-tier set up for Test cricket, which he feels will save the traditional format from extinction. "I think two tiers are needed, otherwise Test cricket will die in 10 years time. You need six teams at the top, and then six teams in the second and then you qualify.

"And those top six play against each other more often because of the corridor you open up by having less bilateral T20 cricket and just franchise cricket. That's the way all formats of the game can survive," he explained.

-with PTI inputs

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