• Steve Smith Et Al Drive Nail into Test Cricket Coffin

    The question that begs asking following the blatant ball tampering by the Australian cricket side in South Africa is, given the ease with which the Aussies dismissed the Poms, might they have been mucking around with the ball during the Ashes?

    The saying, “That’s not cricket,” might have several nuanced interpretations that never occurred to us.

    The ramifications of what Steve Smith and the other X did have some saying that, “Test cricket is dead. Long live Test cricket.”

    To be fair, it is not yet known if the entire squad was in on the scheme. It was just the “leadership” group.

    There are serious financial implications as well. Just over a week ago, Cricket Australia was seeking to squeeze more revenue from the bidders interested in securing television broadcasting rights.

    In an era when communication is carried out in 140 characters, with those proficient at the tweet can get by with fewer, Test cricket represents an anachronism. It is hard to find a 3200-metre horse race anymore. Viewers seem unwilling to devote over three minutes to something that can be done in a little over a minute-and-a-half and 1600-metres.

    Test cricket last five days per Test. For anyone born after 1990, five days is roughly the amount of time it requires for the Earth to make one orbit around the Sun.

    Some point out that the Kiwis and Poms maintain the true spirit of Test.

    Perhaps so, but please do not invoke the name of Ben Stokes when praising the sportsmanship of cricket players.

    That is what former England Captain Michael Vaughn seemed to imply when he said, “I look at New Zealand and think that’s the way to play cricket. I’ve been in teams that have gone over the edge in terms of things we’ve done and said. New Zealand – they’re the benchmark for how cricket should be played.”

    Yes, so long as what goes on off the pitch is not figured into the equation.

    The simple reality is that ODI and short format cricket have taken the fore and Test may become a relic of the 19th century that no longer offers any relevance.