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Brendon McCullum has said that he doesn’t think Test cricket will survive T20.
In an interview to the Cricket Monthly, the former New Zealand captain, who now plays in T20 leagues around the world, said:
“I firmly believe that Test cricket won’t be around in time, because there’s only so many teams that can afford to play it.”
McCullum said that he adored Test cricket and for him it was the purest form of the game, but added, “I’m also a realist that people are turning up and watching T20 not just at games but also on TV – society’s changing, isn’t it? People don’t have four or five days to commit to Test cricket. They might watch the first session, and the last session on day five if it’s tight, but they’re not going to… then you strip it back a level as well and you think domestically, how can teams around the world afford to even exist?”
McCullum retired from international cricket early in 2016 and currently plays in the IPL, the BBL, the CPL, the PSL and the BPL. He currently lies second on the all-time run scorers’ list in T20, with over 9000 runs, second only to Chris Gayle, who famously said in 2009 that he wouldn’t be sad if Test cricket died out.
“Long long-term, I see a T20 franchise as owning players, and I don’t see them releasing those players to play for their nation in a Test match,” McCullum said on an interview in ESPN cricinfo.
‘I’m someone who chases special innings rather than consistency’
In February 2016, Brendon McCullum stood on the outfield at Hagley Oval, gave a brilliant speech about his international career – and, just like that, was gone. A new life awaited him, as a freelance T20 player, his second act.
While T20 was created a year after McCullum’s international career had already begun it “was always more of a natural fit,” he says, when we meet at the Ritz Carlton hotel just before an IPL training session with Royal Challengers Bangalore. He is one of only two* overseas players – AB de Villiers is the other – to have played in all 11 IPL seasons. McCullum has witnessed the IPL become “much more professional,” he says. Late-night parties have given way to protein shakes.
T20 did not teach McCullum any new shots. But the format led him to hone the repertoire that he already had, imbuing him with the confidence to transport this expansive approach into ODIs and Tests.
“I was always one of those guys who was chasing the special innings rather than necessarily trying to be a consistent cricketer,” he reflects. “T20 asks you to travel at such a speed. You’ve got to push the envelope constantly, and then sometimes when you push the envelope, you realise there’s certain shots which you incorporate in different games as reported by The Cricket Monthly.
Brendon McCullum’s prediction: ‘I firmly believe that Test cricket won’t be around in time’
“The evolution of T20 cricket, the former New Zealand skipper said, will end the oldest format of the game.
Former New Zealand skipper Brendon McCullum reckons that the evolution of Twenty20 will bring an end to Test cricket.
Speaking to Tim Wigmore in an interview to The Cricket Monthly, McCullum said, “I firmly believe that Test cricket won’t be around in time, because there’s only so many teams that can afford to play it. And whilst we all adore Test cricket, and for me it is the purest form of the game – I’m loyal to it – I’m also a realist that people are turning up and watching T20.”
McCullum said that in time franchises over the world would own cricketers and might not release them to play for their countries in Tests.
Despite being a superstar in T20 cricket, McCullum became one of New Zealand’s revered players in Tests. The 302 (off 559 balls) he made against India to save a match and the 79-ball 145 (in which he broke the record for the fastest Test ton) against Australia are among the most memorable innings in Tests. In the shortest format, too, McCullum’s played innings that won’t be hard to recall – the most famous of them the 158 he scored for Kolkata Knight Riders in the inaugural IPL match as reported by Scroll.