International Cricket Council (ICC) chief executive David Richardson believes that the Test cricket has not lost its significance and maintained that in many countries the format is still followed closely.
Quoting an ICC survey, Richardson said that out of one billion followers of cricket, 68 per cent are fans of all the three formats taking the number of Test cricket fans close to 700 million.
“In many countries Test cricket is still very closely followed. We have got more than a billion fans that follow cricket – 68% of them are fans of all three formats of the game, which means that close to 700 million people are fans of Test cricket. So it is wrong to say that Test cricket is dying. It is harder for people to go to five days of a Test match, spend every day sitting there for six hours,” ESPNcricinfo quoted Richardson, as saying.
The comment came in response to the statement of ICC chairman Shashank Manohar in which he had said that they have introduced Test Championship to generate interest in the Test cricket as the format is “dying”.
The chief executive said that his statement needs to be established in a wider context while asserting that the introduction of World Test Championship will help to promote the format.
“What he [Manohar] was meaning to say is Test cricket was calling out for more context.
Yes, there are some iconic contests that take place from time to time, but really, unless you are a part of or a fan of the participating teams that particular series had no real interest (to fans globally),” he said.
“And with the introduction of the World Test Championship, that adds interest and helps to promote the Test game worldwide no matter who is playing. That is what he was saying: Test cricket needed just that added boost, it needed to be promoted and the World Test Championship hopefully is the answer to that,” he concluded.