Brendon McCullum said that he doesn’t see Test cricket surviving in the future and that T20 leagues will become the norm. In an interview with ESPN Cricinfo, McCullum, who is currently playing for the Royal Challengers Bangalore in the Indian Premier League, said that teams may not be able to afford to play Test cricket because of dwindling viewership and stadium attendances over the course of a match. “I firmly believe that Test cricket won’t be around in time, because there’s only so many teams that can afford to play it,” he is quoted as saying.
He said that he adores Test cricket and considers it the purest form of the sport but he is also a realist. “People are turning up and watching T20 not just at games but also on TV – society’s changing, isn’t it? People don’t have four or five days to commit to Test cricket. They might watch the first session, and the last session on day five if it’s tight, but they’re not going to then you strip it back a level as well and you think domestically, how can teams around the world afford to even exist?”
McCullum retired from international cricket in 2016 as the second highest runscorer of all time for New Zealand in Test cricket. He is also the only Kiwi to have scored a triple century in the longest format of the game. Since retirement, though, McCullum has played for franchises in T20 leagues around the world. “Long long-term, I see a T20 franchise as owning players, and I don’t see them releasing those players to play for their nation in a Test match,” McCullum said. He also said that he doesn’t believe one needs to be a skillful Test player to be successful in T20 cricket. “I don’t buy that you need residual [Test match] skills to be able to then transfer into T20. To me, they’re played with the same instruments but they’re completely separate games. I think once we do separate it even more, then the skill level of T20 cricket will go to a whole new level altogether,” he said.
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