“Test Cricket Is In ICU…”: Ex-India Star Fumes As Pakistan Rest Shaheen Afridi For 3rd Test | Cricket News
Shaheen Afridi will lead Pakistan in the upcoming T20I series against Australia.© AFP
Former India batter Aakash Chopra has raised concerns over the future of Test cricket, saying that the longest format of the game has been put on “ventilator”. Chopra’s comments came after South Africa named a second string squad for their upcoming tour of New Zealand. He also reacted to Pakistan’s decision to rest star pacer Shaheen Afridi for the third and final Test against Australia, which got underway on Wednesday in Sydney. The Proteas named a depleted squad due to players’ committment with the franchises for the upcoming season of the SA20.
While Cricket South Africa (CSA) have iterated that they are fully committed towards securing the future of Test cricket, Chopra opined that the oldest format of the game is in “ICU”.
“Believe it or not, Test cricket is in ICU at the moment and has been put on the ventilator. Firstly, a handful of teams play Test cricket and among them also, only three teams are left that can afford to play Test cricket. South Africa recently announced their team for the series against New Zealand. They have made a proper second-string team. The reason is that SA20 is about to start. It is their domestic T20 tournament,” Chopra said in a video uploaded on his YouTube channel.
Chopra questioned Pakistan’s decision to rest Shaheen, saying that the decision has raised further questions over the future of Test cricket.
“Two Test matches of the WTC cycle have come this time. They said let’s leave the Test match and that they will play in the SA20, from (Aiden) Markram to (Kagiso) Rabada to everyone, that all of them should be available there (SA20) and the rest of the kids can play Test cricket. That is incident No. 1. The second incident is what Pakistan have done. They have rested Shaheen Shah Afridi in the New Year’s Test against Australia. When was the last time an Asian team went to Australia and said they would rest their main player, even if it’s a dead rubber, because you want him to be ready for T20 cricket?,” he further pointed.
For South Africa, only seven capped players are in a 14-man squad for the two Test matches in March – only two of whom played in the first Test against India last week – because CSA has given priority to the SA20, a T20 franchise competition.
Uncapped batter Niel Brand will lead the team against South Africa, with only three players from the ongoing Tests against India part of the tour.
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