Ravi Shastri has said that the number of teams playing Test cricket must come down. He reckons that the emphasis must be placed on quality over quantity. He also added that only the top six must play the red ball series and stressed the fact that the rule should be the same for all countries, including India.
“You cannot have 12 teams or ten teams. You keep the top six, keep the quality, and respect quality over quantity,” Shastri opined.
Drawing comparisons from the football model, Shastri said that the one big event must be the World Cup. And the rest must all be leagues happening all around the world.
“The bottom line, it’s the football model. You’ve got the EPL, La Liga, the German league, the South America Copa America. In the future it’s going to be like that, you’ll have one World Cup, the big one and then the rest of it will be all different leagues happening around the world,” Shastri added.
Shastri insisted that the teams must qualify to play the red-ball series. He said that it’s not about who’s touring whom. But rather it is about who ends up in the top six.
“Then it doesn’t matter if England doesn’t go to the West Indies, or West Indies come to England. If they’re in the top six, they play, but if they’re not in the top six they don’t play,” he said.
Shastri also said that the entire team behind a Test cricket match might get affected if the matches end in one or two days. He added that the weight must only be on quality.
“Absolutely. Because what is Test cricket? It tests you and for that you need quality. If there’s no quality then who’s going to watch it? You’re going to have three-day games, two-day games if the opposition is not right,” he said.
“If you have countries who have never played Test cricket and then you say ‘come to India’ or ‘come to England’, in bowler-friendly conditions the game’s over in two days, two-and-a-half days. And you’ve taken money from the broadcaster for five days. So he’s going to be unhappy, the fans are going to be unhappy and the standard is going to go down,” Shastri concluded.