Melbourne (Australia): Former Australian cricket captain and coach Greg Chappell has warned that 50-over cricket would be the best way to measure all cricketing nations, but Twenty20 is the best format for ensuring the growth of the game.
"I can see the day where IPL (Indian Premier League) becomes a world format," he said.
However, he also said that Test cricket is destined to become a clique of four or five of the strongest nations, forcing the International Cricket Council (ICC) to rely on one-day cricket as the major global competition.
Delivering the seventh Sir Donald Bradman Oration at the MCG here on Thursday, Chappell said one-day cricket had subsidised the running of Test cricket for the past 30 years and must continue to be played widely and often.
"I'm not of the belief that 50-over cricket should be cast aside. I think it's been a very important part of the 30-or-so years of cricket, and continues to be important," The Age quoted him, as saying.
"I think the format that is under most pressure with 20-over cricket coming in is Test cricket. It has been struggling for some time. Economically, some countries find it very difficult to be competitive, and therefore it affects â€¦ the viability of Test series between some countries," he added.
While saying that Twenty20 cricket was "here to stay", Chappell said 50-over cricket could "well become the Test cricket of the future for a lot of cricket-playing countries".
"I've seen Test cricket struggling for a while â€¦ from the point of view that some countries don't have the critical mass or don't have the infrastructure and the development processes to be able to develop Test-match players and Test-match teams," he said.
"There are probably only four or five countries that have the critical mass and have the infrastructure that will allow them to produce competitive
"Test-match teams on a regular basis. That is a problem â€¦ that's been exacerbated by the success of 20-over cricket. Whether you like it or you don't like it, it has captured the imagination and it suits the modern world," he added.
"With the young generation living their life in sound-bites and text messages and Twittering [and] Facebook, Test cricket probably doesn't hold a lot of relevance for a new generation. Therefore, 20-over cricket can be very important in attracting new people to the game," he said.
The number of series that lacked relevance was another thing hampering Test cricket, Chappell said.
He said the Ashes series between Australia and England was one of the few series with a strong sense of history between the nations.
He said the International Cricket Council should be trying to mirror golf and tennis by spacing out major events throughout each year, even if it meant fewer matches overall.
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