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England Test Captain Ben Stokes calls T20 cricket ‘business’ and Test Cricket to be pinnacle of the game

With the growing number of leagues every year, the bilateral series between the countries are finding it difficult to stay relevant.

Ben Stokes
Ben Stokes (Source: Twitter)

England Test captain Ben Stokes is one of the best all-rounders in the world. The 31-year-old recently announced his retirement from ODI cricket due to a heavy workload. He bid farewell to the 50-over-format after playing his final match at his home ground in Durham. Since the 37-year-old announced his retirement, there have been widespread discussions around the packed cricket calendar and how to manage the workload of cricketers.

The T20 leagues across the world have taken the cricketing world by storm ever since they came into being. With the growing number of leagues every year, the bilateral series between the countries are finding it difficult to stay relevant. Stokes was of the opinion that T20 cricket is now kind of becoming a “business”, but Test cricket will continue to be the pinnacle and he aims to promote the longest format of the game. Earlier, former Team India head coach Ravi Shastri had suggested that only 5-6 teams should play the longest format so that it remains competitive.

“To a certain extent (whether he agrees with Shastri) but also no. You look at the way franchise cricket is going now, there are a lot of franchises that have multiple teams in the world across different countries. Obviously, India, CPL, and South Africa now, you see people having multiple franchise teams,” Stokes was quoted as saying to NDTV in a select media call for his upcoming documentary.

“You can say, T20 is now becoming a business for certain people but it is obviously great for the game that things like these are happening, you know it gives a lot more opportunity, there are more opportunities for players than there were 15 years ago. Life outside of cricket, security, and the money that is involved in the sport now is a lot more than it was 15-20 years ago,” he added.

“So, there is also that which needs to be looked at, professional sport in itself is a very short career, not only do you want to be playing the best cricket as long as you can but you also need to think about the future. If you want to stop playing cricket, that could be it but Test cricket, I do not see it going away,” he asserted.

“I am a huge ambassador for the format, it is the pinnacle of cricket. The purest form of it. Yeah, I can never see Test match cricket going anywhere even when T20 cricket is sort of changing the face of the sport but Test match cricket is still the pinnacle of the sport,” the new England Test skipper said.

“And I know that, even the other biggest players in the world feel exactly the same way. So, I almost feel like, you know, we people have a responsibility to keep that message going out there that Test cricket is not dead. For certain, in our opinion, it is not,” he added.

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