Cummins, however, maintains that it’s not “as dramatic a decline as sometimes it gets spoken about”

Although Pat Cummins acknowledges he occasionally worries about the future of the five-day game, he doesn’t think the popularity of Test cricket is “as dramatic as it sometimes gets spoken about”.

“I hope that in ten or twenty years, it will be even stronger than it is now,” Cummins stated to media prior to Australia’s third Test match against Pakistan in Sydney. “I believe that there were some unanswered questions about Pakistan and the West Indies prior to this summer’s Test season. We’ve had two terrific Test matches against Pakistan, both with sizable attendance.

Thus, I don’t believe it’s declining as sharply as is occasionally discussed. However, I believe there is a problem with the sheer number of cricket players available; skill is undoubtedly more competitive than it has ever been.”

When South Africa revealed a patchwork lineup for their two-Test series in New Zealand in early February, conversations about the future of Test cricket returned late last week. Neil Brand, who was uncapped at the time, was elected captain despite the fact that numerous first-choice players were playing in the SA20 league. The fifteen-year-old Duanne Olivier is the most seasoned player on the 14-man roster, which consists of seven capped and seven uncapped players.

Cummins hoped that South Africa’s decision to travel to New Zealand with a subpar team was an isolated incident.

“I grew up absolutely loving Test cricket,” he stated. “I believe that it goes through stages. I am aware that the South African team isn’t traveling to New Zealand with their best players. Hopefully this is only a phase.

Even though T20 is the most widely watched format, a sizable crowd still visits Australian cricket stadiums to see Test matches. In only the first two days of the Australia vs. Pakistan Boxing Day Test last week, over 100,000 viewers tuned in. However, Cummins is a little concerned about this because it’s not always the case in other parts of the world.

“Every summer feels bigger than the last here in Australia, but obviously going overseas, that’s not the case,” Cummins stated. “Although I admit that I get a little nervous sometimes, T20 cricket has never had more fans, and I doubt that there have ever been more cricket fans worldwide.

“As a Test cricket lover, I wish everybody was watching Test cricket, but I’ve never seen cricket stronger than what it is at the moment.”

Will the introduction of universal match money for Test matches be enough to entice more players to participate in the extended game? Although Cummins isn’t convinced about that, he is still holding out hope for a “silver bullet” that might help Test cricket become more well known.

“Ideally we find a way to make it work where we’ve got 15 or 20 Test-playing nations who are all really strong,” Cummins stated. “I know there are many obstacles to overcome, therefore I consider myself extremely fortunate that in Australia, playing is a top priority and receives great support each and every time. It would be wonderful if there was a silver bullet, but I’m not sure what it is.


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