Ian Botham. (Photo by Ian Horrocks/Getty Images)
Former England cricketer and commentator, legendary Ian Botham has expressed his deepest concerns with regard to the future of Test cricket amidst the massive growing popularity of T20I cricket around the world.
Sir Ian Botham is regarded as one of the greatest cricketers, primarily one of the greatest all-rounders the game of cricket has ever produced. He represented England in both Test and One-Day International cricket. He played most of his first-class cricket for Somerset. He was an aggressive right-handed batsman and, as a right-arm fast-medium bowler, was noted for his swing bowling.
How long do you think it is going to last: Ian Botham
“You go to India now and they won’t watch Test cricket. It’s all IPL. They earn big money and it sounds great now, but how long do they think this is going to last? Test cricket has been around for 100 years plus, it’s not going to go anywhere,” the 67-year-old said while speaking to Mirror Sport.
The former all-rounder’s comments come after 21-year-old Will Smeed gave up red-ball cricket and has signed a only white-ball-only with Somerset, intending to prolong his career.
Botham seemed extremely worried in witnessing how youngsters of the current generation just don’t want to invest their time and energy in even wanting to play or even watch the purest format of the game which has existed since centuries and given birth to the sport as a whole. He went onto state how though cricket was the most popular sport in India, fans majorly prioritised the IPL over Test cricket, resulting in the longest format’s declining popularity.
The English legend urged the upcoming bunch of budding cricketers to start playing Test cricket as the longest format of the game actually would decide the future of a cricketer. On an ending note, he lauded Australia cricketer Steve Smith for always emphsasing on Test cricket more than the T20 format.
“To think that Australia go to India, they play four Tests over there with no warm-up game. They’ll play on totally different wickets to what they will in England, and the only player so far who realises that and has said ‘I’m going to play for Sussex’, is Steve Smith. Why’s he their best player? The simple reason he thinks ahead,” he signed off.