The decline of world standards April 15, 2005

Test cricket is 'not sport'

Cricinfo staff

Rodney Hogg, bowling in 1978, wants the current Australia side to have some competition © Getty Images

Rodney Hogg, the former fast bowler, has branded Test cricket "not sport" after a string of one-sided matches involving Australia and New Zealand. As the Kiwis cleaned up the series against Sri Lanka with a four-day innings victory, Hogg joined Steve Waugh and Shane Warne in worrying about the standard of the game.

"Test cricket is not sport at the moment," Hogg, who picked up 123 Test wickets, said in the Herald Sun."I don't want to see Test matches over in three days. I don't want to see blokes averaging 75 with the bat all the time. I want to see Australia win, but I want to see competition."

The newspaper reported Australia's dominance had given them 40 extra rest days in the 76 Tests since May 1999. Warne suggested earlier this week that the game should be split into two tiers with a promotion and relegation system because there were too many cheap wickets and runs.

Waugh said the concept would be difficult to implement with only nine Test teams. "I'd like to see more A cricket, Australia A and England A against the lower sides, but having two tiers would not help," he said.

The "lull in the bowling stocks" is Waugh's major concern about worldwide standards. "There's some great batsmen at the moment but the bowling is thin," he said. "When I first started in the mid-80s the bowling depth was very strong and each team had at least two or three strike bowlers. But it's very thin at the moment with the exception of Australia and, to some extent, England."