Kemar Roach Expresses Concerns Over Future Of Test Cricket; Says Love For Longest Format In Next Generation Is Already Gone

Updated - 20 Sep 2023, 01:22 AM

Kemar Roach
Kemar Roach {PC: AP}

West Indies Test specialist Kemar Roach opened up about the future of the longest format of the game. He said that the love for the Tests in the next generation is already gone and ICC should do something to safeguard the future of the purest format of the game. 

Kemar Roach emphasized that the ICC should take several concerning factors seriously. He pointed out that many legends of the game including Ricky Ponting have talked about saving the longest format of the game but until the governing body takes some steps, it won’t be possible. Speaking to Wisden, he explained: 

“Of course, of course they should be [doing more]. They’re the governing board of cricket. A lot of people, a lot of articles are out that a lot of players [feel this way]. Ricky Ponting says he’s concerned about Test cricket and he’s one of the legends of the game. 

“There’s a lot of concerning factors that should be taken seriously. But it’s a governing body. They’re in charge of what happens next. We can talk as much as we want, but if they don’t want to do anything about it, then that’s where we are.” 

Kemar Roach further said that lots of franchise cricket across the globe is a worrying sign for Test cricket. He made a bold statement, saying that players these days are running more for money. He pointed out that except for Australia, India, and England, nations are getting very less amount of Test cricket, which isn’t feasible. He explained: 

“It is worrying. There are a lot of franchises around the world, cricket all year around in terms of franchise cricket. And let’s be honest, people are looking after livelihoods now, so they’re chasing dollar, they’re chasing money. And it’s understandable. Cricket is a very short career. I can understand why people do that. 

“So Test cricket now, obviously for the small nations like West Indies, and I guess South Africa now, teams aren’t getting much Test cricket. Only the big nations like the Indias, Australias and Englands get their 10 to 15 Test matches a year. But in terms of the smaller nations, some guys don’t think it’s feasible.” 

Apart from India, Australia, and England, the amount of Test cricket that other nations play is much less. West Indies currently plays just 6 Tests in a year whereas South Africa are not scheduled to play a single three-match series until late 2026. 

I think it’s gone already, to be honest with you – Kemar Roach on interest of youngsters for Test cricket 

Kemar Roach expressed his concerns over him not playing much Test cricket and targeted ICC, saying that they aren’t taking any steps to improve this format. He also highlighted the importance of the format, saying that cricketers who can play this format can play any format. He elaborated: 

“You only play six Test matches in a year. That’s not good. For me, my last Test match was against India. That was in July. And I’m not playing another Test match until January next year. So that’s a long, long layoff. If you’re going to Australia 

, that is probably the toughest tour you can ever go on. So it’s a long, long layoff. And I don’t think there’s any emphasis on improving Test cricket. 

“I don’t think people who are in charge of cricket are making an emphasis to improve it. Franchises have taken over. And that’s the fact of it. And players are more going towards franchise cricket. I have a love for Test cricket. I think if you’re a good Test cricketer, you can play any format. That’s my belief. Once you’re a good red-ball cricketer you can play any format.” 

Kemar Roach further added that interest of Test cricket in the younger generation is already gone are they are more into T20 cricket. While highlighting that the longest format of the game isn’t feasible for the next generation of cricketers, he added that they are looking for money rather than love for the game. He explained: 

“I think it’s gone already to be honest with you. I think it’s gone already. I think a lot of youngsters are more into T20 cricket, that’s what they’re excited about. Young, current professionals. For some of the ones that I know, Test cricket isn’t feasible. They don’t look at it as feasible. And it’s bad. It’s bad. When I grew up, that’s the only thing [red-ball cricket] I knew. Obviously, T20 cricket wasn’t big at that time. 

“But now the ability to play and make a lot more money than you would make playing red-ball cricket, I think guys are looking at that more than, actually, the love of the game. And obviously, what you can achieve in a career or create a legacy is all about… the franchises might be more attractive financially or entertainment-wise so a lot of younger guys are moving towards franchise cricket, which is killing Test cricket I will say.” 

The growing advent of T20 leagues around the globe has taken world cricket by storm. Almost cricket playing every nation has its own league and the future of Test cricket seems to be in jeopardy. Even players prefer to play in the leagues rather than playing five days because of the amount of funds they get.

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Kemar Roach Test Cricket West Indies National Cricket Team