Is Test Cricket on the brink of extinction?
Jacob Savill | 27 March 2017

It's easy for cricket supporters in this country to get the wrong impression about the health of worldwide Test cricket, since Tests at Lords are regularly played to full houses, with some MCC members even waiting outside the gates at 3am to get a decent seat. On top of this, The Ashes series between England and Australia is steeped in history and always eagerly anticipated, with thousands of British fans making the trek across the world to Aussie grounds. Sadly, the reality is that elsewhere in the world this enthusiasm is not shared. Test matches are increasingly being played with the only spectators being men who might want to escape their wives for the day, and the occasional pigeon. In fact, in New Zealand attendance is so low that free tickets are dispensed to busloads of schoolchildren. But what is the cause of the decline? I would argue that the introduction of the fresh and 'more exciting' Twenty20 cricket has lured people away from the Test match scene. This faster-paced and cheaper form of cricket brings a new audience to the game, which simply doesn't have the patience or the understanding to watch five days of cricket consecutively. In the Indian subcontinent, cricket supporters seem to hibernate during the Test series but come the Twenty20 series, they flock into stadiums. Moreover, with the current Test match audience literally dying out, Test cricket is in dire need of modernisation and rejuvenation so that, in twenty years' time, it will not be completely extinct.

James Routledge 2016