Hey dad, what did you watch five days of cricket for?

Anyone who says Test cricket is sick is very wrong – sick implies it can recover.

It can’t.

Test cricket is dying and if we had any sense and compassion at all we would pull the plug quickly before this once proud, beautiful game is made to see the husk it has become.


It pains me to say it but my one year old son will enter his teen years awaiting a summer of cricket comprising almost exclusively of T20.

In 15 years’ time the BBL will have 16 franchises and be the envy of international cricket.

We will get to watch the best aussie talent play alongside local rookies and international legends from the end of November until the end of January.

Sure there will be a few ODI’s in there as touring nations arrive on our shores to do battle in ‘the longer form’ of the game, but as far as Test cricket is concerned the best traditionalists can hope for is a Boxing Day ‘exhibition’ match.

Numbers don’t lie.

50,000 at Adelaide Oval on New Years Eve, sellout’s at the WACA, record crowds in Hobart and Brisbane for T20.

Oh yeh, and that small matter of 80,000 at the MCG for a Stars v Renegades match.

The mob has spoken.

It won’t be so bad.

For my one year old son and his generation, they won’t know any different.

A new generation of commentators can be the bridge between nostalgia and progress, tisk-tisking mistakes from a new generation of T20 specialists observing ‘in my day we used to bat/bowl/field for days’.

Just as they were for us.

Bill Lawry observing remarking on how he batted sans helmet when a Slater or Hayden would drop to a knee momentarily after copping one flush or Taylor/Healy lamenting the horribly slow over rates of a new age.

But it’s more than numbers.

This BBL05 season the change in opinion is palpable.

Seemingly overnight we aussies have gone from hating the freak show of an idea that is T20 to absolutely embracing it.

It may seem to some that lacklustre tours from New Zealand and the Windies have caused this.

Or that perhaps the passing of Australian cultural icons like Tony Grieg and Richie Benaud have caused Test cricket to lose some of its allure and magic.

Sure these factors haven’t helped, but they are not the root cause.
The real reason is that, at the end of the day, you can’t be traditional AND contemporary.

You just can’t have it both ways.

You can’t have a brilliant game played for over 100 years, then go through two amazing evolutions in the next 30 years and then expect that fans will love, attend or even absorb all three versions.

In almost every other aspect of life when new versions come out the old version invariably fades and is lost to memory.

It’s just cricket’s turn.

The Meddler

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