Graeme Smith feels the need to invest more in Test cricket

At a time when cricketers are switching to limited-overs cricket and signing Kolpak deals at the expense of international cricket, former South Africa skipper Graeme Smith urged the International Cricket Council (ICC) to do away with the shortest format of the game at international level. He also wants ICC to reschedule the T20 tournaments.

“Maybe the ICC needs to look at six months of T20 cricket domestically and six months of international cricket. I don’t think T20 cricket should be played at the International level. My opinion is to retain domestic T20 competitions and have international cricket, Test and ODIs and have a World Cup every couple of years,” Smith said on the sidelines of CEAT Cricket Awards.

READ | 

Backing the longest format of the game, Smith, who himself has played in 33 T20 Internationals, further stated that not enough was being done to preserve Tests.

“There needs to be investment. Maybe spend more money marketing Test cricket. So much money is spent in marketing the T20 format. May be there can be money marketing the stories and histories in Test cricket,” he said.

“What’s great for the game is someone like Virat Kohli who wants to do well in Test cricket and be successful and set standard for everyone else. As long as people like him consider Test cricket valuable, it’s important for the rest of the world.”

He also slammed the 100-ball format that England Cricket Board has decided to introduce in their domestic calendar from 2019.

“To be honest, I don’t think anyone understands this 100-ball thing. Yes, you want to keep it exciting, but T20 is such an exciting format already. We must be careful not to make life too complicated for fans who watch the game and then don’t know what’s going on. English cricket is trying to find a format that can be theirs and make some money in the game and be different. That might be right for them, but is it right for the global game? I don’t know,” the 37-year-old stated.

READ | 

Smith was also displeased with ICC’s idea of scrapping toss in order to cut down on home advantage. “It would be sad to see home advantage go. When you tour England, you got to cope with the swinging ball, their press, crowds, you come to India, you know it’s going to spin and be hot. You got to get used to the food and all those stuff. That’s what makes the game unique — winning in all these places,” he said. “The problem now is that teams are touring so badly. Some of the greatest memories of my career are the two series I drew in India, the two each I won in Australia and England and the victory in Pakistan. So the memories you got of winning in those tough situations is hugely rewarding. I hate to see that go out of the game.”