West Indies all-rounder Jason Holder has said that “Declining teams, including the West Indies, do not play many Test matches, but the three giants, India, Australia and England, play the most Test matches.” Holder is the second all-rounder to take 150 wickets and 2500 runs in Test cricket after Gary Sobers.
In this regard, Jason Holder says, “Looking at the way the world of cricket is going now, except for the three big teams, India, Australia and England, other teams rarely play in Test matches. The May Islands have played an average of 6-8 Test matches in the last 3 years. We have played 6 matches this year. 6 matches next year. The milestone of 100 matches in Test cricket can only be achieved if one plays in every match.
We’re looking at Greg Brathwaite. He made his Test debut in 2011 and has played only 83 Test matches so far. Still haven’t scored a cent. Brathwaite has been playing since Joe Root started playing. But Joe Root has swung towards 130 Tests. What this shows is how many Tests England play more than us.
So it’s out of our hands. What is the point of talking about something that is out of our control? So we have to make the most of our opportunities in the matches that are available,” he says.
This is what South African fast bowler Henrich Narkia also says, “If you play only 4 Tests a year, where can you think about milestones and achievements? I don’t know if I can play 50 Tests. If I want to play 50 Tests like that, I need 7 more years.
Some countries are playing 20 Tests in the next few months. So you can’t compare now with the greats of yesteryear, who played more Test matches. “We only get 4 matches or 8 matches a year,” he says.
What they say is true. Apart from the current Test against the West Indies, South Africa have only one Test in 2023.
The crux of their criticism is that the ICC’s future tour plan is one-sided and commercially based around England, India and Australia. As a result, other teams are languishing or they have narrowed down to ODI and T20 teams. Such a trend does not promote the game of cricket. On the other hand, if players invade private T20 leagues and start allocating Test matches, Test cricket itself will die.