Brisbane, Jan 22: Former Australia cricketer Darren Lehmann has called for the International Cricket Council (ICC) to play a bigger role in ensuring the survival of Test cricket in the future, saying the format is in real trouble over what lies ahead for it.
Test cricket is currently struggling in front of a congested cricketing calendar, where T20 franchise leagues are taking precedence, thus making it tough for international teams to play the traditional format of the game.
South Africa will be sending a weakened 15-man squad, including seven uncapped players, to face New Zealand in two Tests in February due to the series clashing with the second season of the SA20 at home.
"Oh yeah, real trouble. We've got to rectify it real quick. The ICC has got to get on board with all the big nations, England, India and Australia and carve out some windows that allow each of those nations and other nations to play.
"Maybe it’s a six-week window, three six-week windows you can play in different time zones and allows you to fit all those games in, somehow," said Lehmann to SEN Radio.
The conversation has increased more with the West Indies missing a lot of experienced players due to them electing to play in the T20 leagues, meaning they haven’t been able to bring in a full-strength squad for the ongoing Tests against Australia.
Lehmann, also the former Australia head coach, believes talent is no issue in the smaller nations and asked for the ICC to put in more efforts to save Test cricket. "We need to help the lower countries, the West Indies for example. They’ve got talent, there’s no doubt about that… their bowling was quite good in the first Test I thought.
"We’ve got to try and help them prepare better as best we possibly can, maybe the ICC can step in and help fund that. And we need the players playing. There are a lot of players who would be playing Test cricket who have decided to go down the franchise model," he concluded. (IANS)