Former India head coach Ravi Shastri has made a controversial statement about the Test format being restricted to just the 3-4 top nations. But veteran off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin stated his disagreement on Shastri’s comment. He articulated the importance Test cricket brings to all the countries.
“Recently Ravi Bhai said Test cricket should be made as a format that only 3-4 nations play. But when 3-4 nations play, teams like Ireland won’t get won’t get the opportunity to play. Only when you play Test cricket, your first-class structure will get better,” Ashwin said on his YouTube channel.
“And only when your first-class structure is good, people will get more opportunities. And players who do well in first-class cricket mold their game according to T20 cricket. That’s how cricket has shaped up,” Ashwin added.
“If Test cricket is not relevant, they won’t play it with full interest”- R Ashwin
Ravichandran Ashwin then highlighted the lack of first class cricket by giving the example of the Caribbean nation about how the Windies have shifted their focus from Test cricket to the shorter format of the sport, the T20I. This didn’t help the island nation and they only slumped in ODI and T20I cricket.
“How will you strengthen first-class cricket? For that Test cricket needs to be relevant in your country. If Test cricket is not relevant, they won’t play it with full interest. I’m currently in West Indies and here we can see that first-class cricket is almost gone. There are multiple T20 tournaments,” Ashwin added.