Ravi Shastri, a former head coach for Team India, was quoted as claiming that 10–12 teams cannot play the longest format of the game. He went on to state that in order to keep test cricket competitive, only the top five–six teams should face off against each other. Now, off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin has responded to the notion by claiming that the existing system works perfectly, and he expressed his rationale behind the thought process. Ravichandran Ashwin stated his thoughts behind the thought process.
When asked about the likes of Ireland and how the smaller countries need to be given opportunities to participate in the longest format, Ashwin responded by speaking on his official YouTube channel, and it was there that he addressed the topic.
“Recently, Ravi Bhai has also suggested that the format of test cricket should be changed such that just three or four countries compete in it. But when three or four nations compete, teams like Ireland won’t have the chance to compete since there won’t be enough spots available. You are more than welcome to inquire about the connection between test cricket and Twenty20 cricket. Your first-class structure will only improve if you play the longer format of the game, the Test. And folks will only have additional opportunities once you have a first-rate organisation in place. And players who excel in first-class cricket adapt their game to Twenty20 standards in order to be successful in the shorter format. This is how cricket has evolved throughout the years “Ashwin said.
“It is clear that in addition to the top three powerful nations that compete in test matches, you can add it and make it 4-5 as well. The first-class structures of India, England, and Australia are immensely powerful. Australia is also a first-class nation. Because Navdeep Saini & Washington Sundar have gone on to have success in county cricket, some people are wondering whether India’s first-class setup can be enhanced even further. This is because as we speak, they have both gone on to play well in county cricket. In a similar vein, does the Ranji Trophy offer a chance for players from other countries to compete in it? These are also some of the questions that are being asked “he said.
In continuation of his previous comments, Ashwin stated: “How do you plan to improve the first-class level of cricket? In order to accomplish this, Test cricket needs to have a significant following in your nation. They will not play Test cricket with the same level of interest if it is no longer relevant. I’m here in the West Indies, and it’s clear that first-class cricket will soon be a thing of the past here. mainly due to the lack of a suitable platform for first-class cricket. Everything is limited overs Twenty20 (T20) cricket and leagues, their Test cricket has significantly decreased, and as a result, the results of world cricket are declining. Their cricket has not progressed any further since the 2016 Twenty20 World Cup. Because of this, the fundamentals of first-class cricket are extremely significant.”
Earlier, Shastri had stated that in order to ensure the longevity of test cricket, there must be more than ten to twelve teams competing.
“If you want to ensure the longevity of test cricket, you can’t have ten or twelve teams competing. Maintain the top six, strive to maintain the high level of play, and give priority to quality over quantity. The only way to allow other forms of cricket to be played is to do so, therefore that’s what you have to do. If you want to make the game more popular, you should increase the number of teams competing in Twenty20 and one-day cricket, but you should reduce the number of teams competing in tests. If you do this, it will not mean a thing if England does not travel to the West Indies or if the West Indies do not travel to England “remarked Shastri while appearing on Sky Sports.
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