‘A big Rubik’s Cube’: Strauss thinks Test cricket and T20 can sit together | Andre Strauss
Andrew Strauss has warned cricket leaders in England and Wales that they ‘cannot afford to be slow and have their heads in the sand’ during a time of unprecedented flux in the sport.
With the accelerating proliferation of global franchise leagues, the T20s offer players and television networks an alternative to the longer format internationals who have traditionally sat at the top of the game. “The world of cricket around us is changing incredibly quickly. Every day, every week, every month, we see a new example of how this world is changing,” Strauss said, as the High Performance Review he leads for the ECB prepares to report. of the future of the game at the elite level.
“We have to ask ourselves in this country, where does our game fit into this? We [need to] make sure we have incentives there for our players to play red and white ball cricket. Of course, the ECB has devoted a great deal of time, attention and effort to [giving] the Hundred has the potential to be a short-form global event that matches one of those other leagues.
“One of the things we have to be aware of in the game in this country is that we have to be nimble and adaptable. And we can’t afford to be slow and have our heads in the sand. That’s really important – that we configure the game in a way that allows us to be flexible because at the end of the day players, if they have many opportunities, will always look at those opportunities side by side and decide what suits them best suits.
“We have to keep promoting all the brilliant things that cricket in this country has to offer players – we want to have a strong domestic game and we want to make sure players play the right balance of formats so that it doesn’t all drift down. . ball, short course.
Although some believe it will be impossible for Test and ODI cricket to continue in their current forms given the number of T20 matches scheduled – former India manager Ravi Shastri, for example, suggested last month that the number of testing nations is expected to be halved from its current 12 – Strauss said he felt more optimistic.
“I still maintain that they can sit comfortably together, Test cricket and T20 cricket. But the challenge we have is, can we produce a manageable schedule that allows players to do both? It’s really complicated. It’s multidimensional. It’s like a big Rubik’s Cube.
After winning their first four Tests of the summer against New Zealand and India, England will have another opportunity to demonstrate their recent improvement when the three-Test series against South Africa begins at Lord’s on Wednesday. Spectators on day two will be asked to wear red in support of the Ruth Strauss Foundation, set up by the former England captain after the death of his wife, Ruth. The foundation aims to help families faced with the death of a relative and to encourage research into lung cancer in non-smokers.
“It’s the start and there’s still a lot of room for improvement,” Strauss, who served as England’s manager of cricket for three years, said of the Test team’s overturned fortunes under manager Ben Stokes and with Brendon McCullum as coach. “It’s just great to see players playing with a smile, enjoying the challenge, not worrying too much about what could go wrong.
“They’re more excited about doing things that haven’t been done before – pioneering, changing the face of the game or how you want to describe it. The more of that mindset you have in the dressing room, the more confidence increases, the more you are able to do extraordinary things. We saw it with the white ball team after 2015 and we will see it again with this test team.