A lot of people have recently been saying that the quick paced entertainment of Twenty/20 cricket will eventually spell the end for test match cricket around the world.
This to me is ridiculous. Test cricket is the foundation of which all cricket was built on to get rid of the roots of cricket would be absolutely diabolical!
Although Twenty/20 is very much at the moment the talking point of the game and the form of the game where all the money is being generated test match cricket is still very much the main stage for international cricket and that, to me will be the way it stays for many years to come.
The reason for this is because of the skill and both physical and mental fitness that is required for test match cricket.
Anyone can pick up a bat and have a swing at the ball to try and knock it out of the park every ball.
But it takes real skill, patience, and mental toughness to go out and build an innings over one or two days, to stay at the crease, watch every delivery, and keep track of every field movement for six or seven hours at a time.
The same applies when bowling. For a top quality bowler, it takes no effort at all to go out and bowl four overs at a good pace.
But to be able to bowl 20 over spells at a good pace right through and bowl wicket taking deliveries from start to finish takes an amazing amount of physical and mental fitness and also intelligence to pick up as you go along where your more likely to get a wicket.
There also isn’t much truth in the point that Twenty/20 pulls in bigger crowds. I was at Headingley last year for the first day of the test match against the West Indies.
Bearing in mind, the West Indies have declined somewhat as an international force over the last few years; the ground was still completely full. This to me just shows that test cricket is still as popular in this country as it ever has been.
The only problem I can see in the future of test cricket is that the ECB and other governing bodies around the world seem to be downscaling it.
For instance, the first Ashes test match next year is being held at Cardiff in a 9'000 capacity stadium when it could have been held at Old Trafford or The Oval both of which do not have Ashes matches next year.
Both of which have much larger capacities and much more cricketing history and tradition.
So, cricket as a game maybe changing for the better in the terms of money being generated and popularity in the Twenty/20 game but could anyone ever imagine the ashes being played for in a series of five Twenty/20 matches?
Because I can’t, and I don't think anyone in the cricketing world would want that to happen and that is why test match cricket will never die!