Former South Africa National Cricket Team captain Graeme Smith believes that only big cricketing nations are contributing to the development of Test cricket. He also said that under the leadership of the former captain Virat Kohli the India National Cricket Team “really took Test cricket seriously”.
Speaking on Sky Sports on day three of the first Test between South Africa and England, Smith said that in future only five or six nations that have competitive teams will be playing the purest format of the game.
“With Test cricket, it’s just iconic nations or the big cricketing nations that are contributing to Test cricket at the moment,” Smith said.
“I think it’s fantastic especially under Virat Kohli that India took Test cricket seriously. They lead the way with that. But as long as we’ve got competitive teams, you’re not going to have 10, 11, 12, 13 or 14 competitive teams. You might only be down to five or six nations that play Test cricket at this level.”
Graeme Smith, who is now Cricket South Africa’s T20 league commissioner, said that the CSA T20 League teams being acquired by the IPL team owners will inject unprecedented amounts of money into the country’s game.
“It’s certainly going to be an investment into our game that South African cricket desperately needed,” Smith said.
“The pressures on nations like New Zealand, West Indies, South Africa to stay financially sustainable to keep up with England, India, and the world game to stay competitive is hugely important. I don’t think world cricket can afford South Africa or any one of the top nations to start fading away.”
The inaugural edition of the CSA T20 League is scheduled to take place in January-February 2023. The owners of Mumbai Indians have bought the Cape Town franchise, Lucknow Super Giants owners have purchased the Durban franchise and Chennai Super Kings owners have bought the Johannesburg franchise.
Also, Sunrisers Hyderabad owners have bought the Gqeberha franchise, Rajasthan Royals owners have acquired the Paarl franchise and Delhi Capitals co-owners have acquired the Pretoria franchise.
For four weeks of an entire year, the priority will be the league – Graeme Smith
Graeme Smith further said that for four weeks a year complete priority will be given to the CSA T20 League. He added that South Africa pulling out of the next year’s three-match ODI series against the Australia National Cricket Team was that sacrifice that was needed to establish the domestic T20 league.
“For four weeks of an entire year, the priority will be the league. I feel that if we hadn’t done this South African cricket could have probably lost eight to ten players to this UAE league,” he said.
“People also look at those three ODIs wrong. Yes, South Africa hasn’t handled ODI cricket as well and it should never be in this position. But for South Africa to be in Australia out of their key part of the summer financially is a huge stress for them. It’s like asking England not to play during your summer. The commitment that South African cricket made to go for the three Test matches is good for the game. It’s something that won’t happen often.“