Sri Lanka Not Getting Enough Tests: Mathews

Angelo Mathews criticised Sri Lanka’s Test-match schedule. Sri Lanka will not play enough Tests, especially this year.

The Test-match schedule that Sri Lanka has been assigned has come under fire from Angelo Mathews. He remarked that Sri Lanka would not participate in enough tests, especially this year.

This is true even though there is a remote possibility that Sri Lanka would play in the World Test Championship game, provided that Australia wins or ties its upcoming Test match against India and Sri Lanka defeats New Zealand 2-0 at home. Even though both Australia and Sri Lanka had successful days with the bat on Thursday, these possibilities are still unlikely.

But given the scheduling’s disparity, Mathews effectively questions what significance the cricketing world now accords to Test matches.

On the day he became Sri Lanka’s third-highest Test scorer in Christchurch, he commented, “Unfortunate that we are not playing too many Test matches this year – it’s as few as five. “The last Test was six months ago, so we are returning from a significant break.” Mathews is true that Sri Lanka’s calendar for 2023 only includes five Test matches (two against New Zealand, two against Pakistan, and one against Ireland, who are not WTC opposition just yet).

He miscalculated how long had passed between Sri Lanka’s previous Test before this one. It’s been seven months already.

“Everyone is complaining about how Test cricket is disappearing, but playing only five Tests a year isn’t helping the situation. Maybe this year will bring us more contests. Five seems insufficient.

In fact, Sri Lanka are not scheduled to play any three-Test series at all during the WTC cycle that comes after this one. India, Australia, and England regularly compete in five-match series over the same time frame. They play four-Test series, at worst.

The WTC framework mandates that during the cycle, the teams that qualify must play an equal number of WTC series against one another. Nevertheless, other than India, England, and Australia (the “Big Three”), most other teams only play two-test series, with the possible exception of when they play one of the “Big Three” teams, in which case they may have a three-test match scheduled.

The Big Three are the only teams left playing any Tests these days, according to Jason Holder and Anrich Nortje, who are now engaged in a two-Test series in South Africa.

On Thursday, the MCC, the guardian of the rules of the game, also brought attention to trouble spots in the cricket schedule. A issue that echoes Mathews’ statements is the disparity in the quantity of men’s cricket played among various Full Members, specifically the expansion of franchise leagues.

The MCC World Cricket committee (WCC), which recently met in Dubai, unanimously came to the conclusion that the game has come to a crucial turning point and recommended immediate action from the game’s authorities to ensure that franchise and international cricket can coexist together.

A minority of member nations are playing a disproportionate amount of international cricket relative to the other member nations, which is plainly neither fair nor sustainable. This is also noticeable in the new men’s FTP [Future Tours Programme].

There isn’t much flexibility in rescheduling series because the present men’s FTP extends through 2027, but the MCC asked the ICC to examine matters after that. According to the report, the international governing body must reinvest some of the money made available to the sport in order to assist members who are suffering to pay the costs of hosting international cricket. The WCC is requesting that the ICC look at the upcoming cycle of competitions and international cricket, challenging its Full Member nations to ensure a more equal distribution of international cricket, even if the men’s FTP is now established until 2027.

The addition of an annual men’s and women’s white-ball global event has increased the ICC’s earnings over the upcoming broadcast cycle. In order to support the game’s strategic goals, the WCC would like to see a portion of the additional revenue ring-fenced for members. The main goals should be making international cricket the sport of choice for women and girls around the world and helping to cover the costs of hosting the game, which is financially unprofitable for many nations.

Written by Muhammad Qasim