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‘Scrap T20Is and focus on advertising Tests’ – Graeme Smith

by Wisden Staff 3 minute read

Former South Africa captain Graeme Smith says T20 Internationals should be scrapped in favour of spending more time promoting Test cricket to the masses.

Smith feels T20Is aren’t necessary and the shortest format should be left to domestic cricket only, in order to ensure Test cricket’s survival.

“I don’t think T20 cricket should be played at international level,”  the South African said speaking at an event, according to the Hindstan Times. “My opinion is to retain domestic T20 competitions and have international cricket – Test and ODIs – and have a World Cup every couple of years.

Carlos Brathwaite will lead the T20 world champions at Lords

There is currently a World T20 every couple of years in-between the World Cup and Champions Trophy schedule

“Maybe the ICC needs to look at six months of T20 cricket domestically and six months of international cricket. So much money is spent on marketing the T20 format. Maybe there can be money marketing the stories and histories in Test cricket. Spend more money marketing Test cricket. There needs to be investment.”

Smith played 117 Tests, 197 ODI’s and 33 T20I’s in his international career and believes it’s important that one of the game’s leading figureheads, Virat Kohli, is a loyal servant of the five-day game.

“What’s great for the game is someone like Virat Kohli who wants to do well in Test cricket and be successful and set standards for everyone else,” Smith said. “As long as people like him consider Test cricket valuable, it’s important for the rest of the world.”

AB de Villiers announced his international retirement last week, saying he was ‘tired’ 

However, Smith also believes that the removal of T20I’s would make the international calendar much easier on players’ lives, as they currently spend a large chunk of the calendar travelling with international sides, something AB de Villiers indicated may have played a part in his international retirement last week.

“There are not many players who have played for 14-15 years that can travel nine, 10, 11 months a year, deal with the pressures, plus the family pressures, it’s very, very difficult,” Reuters quoted Smith as saying.

“The guy has played international cricket for around 15 years. More than anything, he has the right to decide when he’s had enough. He will have his own reasons for that, you got to respect that.”

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