Why Test Cricket Will Always Survive: The IPL 2022 featured ten teams and 74 games. It is only going to get bigger with the media rights being sold for INR 48K + crores. There is a window being created for 82 games per season in the IPL. The advent of IPL in 2008 was a definite change in the world order. It was one of the earliest dedicated domestic franchise leagues. But soon there were many takers.
The birth of T20 Franchise cricket:
At the turn of the new decade, IPL was no longer an isolated standalone league. There were many adapters across countries. Australian Cricket Board came up with the Big Bash League (BBL). England had the T20 blast, West Indies board conceptualized the CPL (Caribbean Premier League). The other subcontinental countries too had their own franchise competitions. Pakistan (PSL), Bangladesh (DPL), and Sri Lanka (SLPL) all joined the bandwagon.
How do T20s keep rolling in the numbers?
The main USP of T20 is its time. It enables audiences of various age groups to watch the game. The case of demand and supply clearly reflected in the gate receipts, airtime, broadcasting, and media rights. South Africa hosted the first T20 World Cup in 2007, and Australia will be hosting the 8th World Cup in 15 years. These are the signs of changing times. T20 cricket is trying everything it can to be part of the Olympics too!
How has it impacted Test cricket?
The critics of the format especially of the IPL often fail to notice a pattern that kickstarted along with the IPL. India became a cricketing powerhouse both on and off the field thanks to the IPL. It is the IPL that has helped India create such a quality talent pool. But largely, India’s rapid rise in Test cricket was synonymous with the T20 frenzy. India was at the top of the rankings on most occasions than any other team from the period starting 2009. It clearly signaled a pattern of how T20 is driving Test cricket forward.
T20 freaks turning Test guns!
The example of David Warner is no longer an outlier. AB De Villiers, Ben Stokes, Steve Smith, and Rishabh Pant are all shining testimonials of how T20 has shaped these premier Test cricketers. The need to push the game head even in the longest format is something that T20 has facilitated.
Test cricket started breathing again:
Virat Kohli, the former Indian Test captain, championed the cause of Test cricket. He was a strong ambassador of the format who passionately led the drive from the front. India and world cricket in general adopted the aggressive style of gameplay. Pitches became sporting, Test cricket became result-driven. This opened multiple avenues for the game’s longest format.
England, Test cricket and world order:
It was quite ironic that the game’s founding country was floundering in the format for a long time. But with the appointment of Brendon McCullum as Test head coach, England seems to be getting back on track. The newly appointed
Test captain, Ben Stokes is also great news. Their combination has already shown how England will be approaching Test cricket. They will take on the game the way the Kohli – Ravi Shastri combo did for India. It is imperative for the game that a strong England team compete with the best in the business.
The present and the future of Test cricket:
England’s win at Nottingham turbocharged the existence of Test cricket post the IPL euphoria. Australia, South Africa, and New Zealand have all shown they have what it takes to keep Test cricket alive. India will be excited to keep the rich legacy alive. Their one-off battle against England in what is supposed to be the fifth Test of an incomplete series will lay down the marker for the future.