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Australia, South Africa in four-Test talks

Daniel Brettig

March 11, 2014

Comments: 138 | Text size: A | A

Michael Clarke and Graeme Smith shake hands after Australia's thrilling win, South Africa v Australia, 3rd Test, Cape Town, 5th day, March 5, 2014
Australia and South Africa have played Test series of three matches in every meeting but one since the latter's readmission © Getty Images
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Australia and South Africa are in talks to expand the size of their future Test series meetings from three matches to four, following the dramatic and high quality series completed at Newlands last week.

As part of the range of FTP agreements being negotiated between ICC Full Member nations following the approval of a series of resolutions that will bring fundamental changes to the way the game is run, Cricket Australia's chairman Wally Edwards said there was a desire to recognise highly competitive match-ups by playing them over a longer duration.

Australia's 2-1 victory remained in doubt until the final half-hour of the series following an encounter of many fluctuations. Edwards is strong in his desire to see such contests become more frequent in world cricket, not only among the presently strong nations but also those looking to improve.

"We're talking to them at the moment about more," Edwards told ESPNcricinfo during the Cape Town Test, during discussions with Cricket South Africa. "They deserve more, and you've got to recognise the quality of the cricket I think. I think it's not a bad stepping stone to have recognised quality by another Test or two. That principle might come out."

Australia and South Africa have played Test series of three matches in every meeting but one since the latter's readmission to international cricket in 1992. The previous series in South Africa in 2011 was shortened to two matches, a decision CA expressed some disappointment about at the time.

Under the commitments made by Australia and England to play each of the top eight nations at home and away over an eight-year period, the boards will also work to find additional windows for fixtures against lower-ranked nations, which had been increasingly marginalised in recent years.

Edwards acknowledged that Australia may consequently return to the scheduling of international matches in the Northern Territory and Queensland during the winter months in order to better accommodate their new obligations.

"Half the challenge is fitting this in," Edwards said. "But Test series have been getting quicker, more compressed because that's life. It's the way the world is, faster, closer and quicker. I think you always want a warm-up game or two, because one might be washed out, that's why you'd want two. [But] this has been a very good series."

It is also believed that South Africa's future series with India may also be played over four Tests, rather than the two their most recent encounter was shrunk down to following a period of considerable doubt about the BCCI consenting to tour at all.

That stand-off was emblematic of the troubles Edwards had witnessed at the ICC since his arrival on the executive board as a reform-minded CA chairman in 2012.

He has spoken to ESPNcricinfo about the pathway from the rejection of the Woolf Report to the current resolutions, and about the difficulty of achieving meaningful change at the ICC following his successful campaign to streamline Australian cricket's governance and add independent voices to the CA board table.

The full interview will be published later this week.

Daniel Brettig is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. He tweets here

RSS Feeds: Daniel Brettig

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by eggyroe on (March 13, 2014, 19:06 GMT)

Surely,when all is said and done,a 5 Test Match Series is the ultimate requirement between all Test Match playing countries.We do not need all these Mickey Mouse Tournaments all around the World with players dressed in pyjamas.Test Match Cricket should be the ultimate goal for any cricket player in the world.The standard of cricket players around the whole of the Test Match playing world will improve substantially,because surely that is what the game requires that all teams reach a comparable standard to allow a fairly equal game.When this happens surely the crowds apart from Australia & England which already play in front of Full Houses for Test Matches,will increase to allow the the various cricket boards to stop pleading poverty and having to dream up a competition that no test match standard player would even contemplate playing in.It all boils down to the fact that Test Match Cricket is the ultimate standard and all players of the game should attain Test Match standard of play

Posted by baghels.a on (March 13, 2014, 8:49 GMT)

@Biggus, as i said i respect your views and i respect your age and amount of time you have spent watching test cricket, so as i see it basically you and me are on the same page as both of us love our test cricket, only difference being i am also game for shorter formats of variety of reasons, each to his own i guess, anyways in our banter about usefulness or futility of t20 we forgot about the original article and i retriete myself again that 4 test series is a welcome step and it deseves nothing less if not 5.

Posted by Biggus on (March 13, 2014, 5:11 GMT)

@baghels.a:- Fair enough, but I'm an unabashed cricketing romantic and T20 is about as romantic as a quickie behind the bike shed. I like the fact that watching traditional cricket has space and time for reflection and contemplation. I like the fact that it's an anachronism, out of step with the "OMG, I have a million things to do today" pace of the rest of my life. Some people like to escape that by lying on a beach in the sun, going fishing or hiking in the bush. Me, I like to watch test cricket.

Posted by pauldk on (March 13, 2014, 2:34 GMT)

As much as I would live a 4 Tests series between the two countries, I think the main obstacle comes down to the sell-out Tests on all grounds during the Australian summer - especially Boxing Day is the big hit - and it is a problem to find longer time to tour SA outside the Aus home summer (just look at the weather situation in SA at the moment).

Likewise SA don't want to tour over Christmas due to their own Boxing Day arrangement (even if it is only an ODI).

Therefore, weather wise, there is really only room for a 3 Tests series on either side of Christmas/New Year in the Southern hemisphere. On top of that, Australia is one of the heaviest booked countries, so it is unrealistic to suggest that they should tour during their summer.

Posted by baghels.a on (March 12, 2014, 20:17 GMT)

@ Biggus, i am not such a T20 lover and as much a test lover as you are , so your rather poetic,eloquent and in depth analysis of the meaninglessness and inadequecies of the T20 is rather wasted on me , i was just responding to certain posts which seemed like elitist snobbery to me, T20 despite all it's limitations has still multiple times more skills than kick and rush affairs like Aussie rules or Rugby .As i commented earlier we Indians love all formats of Cricket and we don't beat ourself over what consitutes real or unreal cricket , reason i support IPL in particular is because there are 7 Indian players allowed in starting xi and many of them are uncapped domestic players who toil all year long in domestic circuit , it is a nice platform to be recognised and appreciated and earn some decent money in the process, i still repeat people sure hit a lot in IPL but seriously nobody giggles , appreciate a senior gent like you replying back ..

Posted by volmitius on (March 12, 2014, 19:30 GMT)

Finally its happening. All the this time since I have started watching cricket, I wondered why they dont play more than 3 matches...same with India and SA. at last we will see some prolonged quality contest. BCCI should take a leaf out of CA.... We were unfortunate thay such high octane series lasted only 2 matches.

Posted by Biggus on (March 12, 2014, 18:00 GMT)

@baghels.a:- Sorry, T20 is colloquially known as 'hit and giggle' down here in Australia, and I rather like that euphemism. If you think we're going to stop using that term to please you then you're dreaming. Whatever connotations you choose to assume are your business, but we make no apologies for it's sardonic tone which reflects the reality that we don't take it all that seriously. It's an amusement, a trifle, something to take the wife and kids to because if you take them to that long awaited test you know they'll be wanting to go home by the end of the first session. Unlike tests or even odis they're as ephemeral as a soap bubble, devoid of thematic development, barren of nuance and about as much fun in my book as someone shouting at me for 3 hours, which the commentator is usually doing anyway. Like Miles Davis said, the spaces between the notes are as important as the notes themselves. I just can't summon up enough guilt to care whether you think that attitude is fair or not.

Posted by AH_USA on (March 12, 2014, 15:18 GMT)

@Adrian Ratnapala: I am excited about that series too. Personally, I would like to see PAK playing on wickets that have some movement for the quick bowlers and not the ones that are in UAE but we will have to settle for the dust bowls for now.

Posted by WarVdm on (March 12, 2014, 11:46 GMT)

Hope it prospers, and perhaps curves the trend of fewer tests per series? SA vs England used to be 5 Test match series, now are 3, SA vs India used to be 3 (should have been 4) but are now down to 2 Tests; Pakistan home series tend to be 2 tests series, 3 at best. 3 Tests should be a minimum, with the exception for "developing" teams (BD, ZIM, and why not? EIRE and Afganistan). This possible agreement and the forthcoming India tour to England (5 tests, for the first time in ages) may just be the beginning of "Test Cricket" orientated tours.

Posted by   on (March 12, 2014, 11:29 GMT)

Not before time! Test series between Australia and South Africa since SA's readmission have been mostly titanic affairs and deserve a larger canvas over which the players can better express themselves. Breath taking cricket every time. I love this idea a lot!

Posted by baghels.a on (March 12, 2014, 9:54 GMT)

@ Chris _P , please refrain from using phrases like real cricket and hit and giggle irrsepective of how provoked you are in to making them, it sounds condescending and snobbish. Talking about real please tell me what is a real football code?? is it Soccer as you Aussies call it or is it Rugby league or Union or Aussie Rules, even i can turnaround and say only soccer is real deal and all the rest are just silly kick and rush affairs, hit and giggle is just an outdated phrase, sure there is hell lot of hitting involved but let me assure you nobody giggles anymore because of millions that are at stake.

Posted by PrasPunter on (March 12, 2014, 9:52 GMT)

@Cantbowlcantbat , We used to play back-to-back series in 2001 and 02, 2005 and 06 and 2008 and 2009. We won 5-1 and 6-0 in the first two editions , with the third one being levelled 2-1 by the both the teams. And SA didn't want to miss out on playing Boxing Day tests at home. Hence this was abandoned.

Posted by TommytuckerSaffa on (March 12, 2014, 9:41 GMT)

Great Points mentioned by DVC. Have a read of that post. Its true, people talk about Test matches much longer than they do of a T20 game. People will be talking about Aus winning 2-1 in SA in twenty years time, even longer. Will they be talking about Aus winning a T20 game in Durban in 1 years time ? Nope. Thats what makes Test cricket great, its a long 6 course meal. T20 is a sugar cube.

Posted by   on (March 12, 2014, 9:35 GMT)

Australia v South Africa - clash of the titans! (trophy) :-)

Posted by baghels.a on (March 12, 2014, 9:31 GMT)

It is a welcome step to have a four test series because it deserves nothing less,@Cpt Meanster please desist from making comments about weather test matches are boring or not , remember we the Indian fans just love cricket whichever format it is unlike some Aussie fans here who only follow one format.

@milepost, we Indian fans don't care one bit if someone follows IPL outside India, perhaps you should because IPL provides more than decent employement to 50 odd Australian players and support staff in your off season,as far TV ratings are concerned a drop of few decimal point is hardly a decline, ratings of first IPL were too high anyways and to maintain it is unrealistic, attendences are full house and jam packed even for afternoon games where fans sit in open stands facing 45 degrees heat, tell me how many watch a Victoria vs NSW shield game ?? not more than 50 i guess. to be contd....

Posted by JJJake on (March 12, 2014, 9:11 GMT)

I don't mind T20's... a bit of hit-and-giggle never anyone, but test are the real thing. A five test series is the ultimate level of skill, athleticism and endurance. no one really remembers who won a T20 series but everyone remembers who won the test series.

Posted by dunger.bob on (March 12, 2014, 8:29 GMT)

MaruthuDelft : I don't think it's stupid to have 3 formats. I like them all.

That's why I've been a bit quiet in this debate. I can't relate to any of the arguments because I think all 3 formats have their place. For one thing it gives a lot more cricketers a chance to make a living and all types of spectators something to get behind. .. I can't see the harm in it all.

Posted by yoadie on (March 12, 2014, 8:20 GMT)

Surely for Test cricket purests, a step in the right direction, which hopefully, will end up where it belongs - with a full five-Test series. Three-match Test series should be the minimum for any two engaging cricketing nations. And whistle-stop two-Test match series, should be banned. Mental stamina and physical endurance, are part and parcel of cricket at the highest level. And if any cricketing nation only has endurance for two Tests, or, if their supporters won't, and can't support more that two Tests, then that nation, like cheese, is neither of age, nor Test-ready.

Posted by Thegimp on (March 12, 2014, 8:13 GMT)

Ponting-Kallis trophy!!!! lol

Posted by D.V.C. on (March 12, 2014, 8:06 GMT)

@MaruthuDelft Test series generate far more exposure for the sport than the sorter formats. People TALK about Test matches, both during the games whilst at work or with friends and after the games, in a way they just don't about a T20 match. T20 and ODIs might get people to the stadium but Tests have people listening to the radio, and reading newspaper reports, etc. The value of Test matches to cricket is far far greater than the number of people they can pull into the actual ground!

Posted by HennopsRiverEnd on (March 12, 2014, 6:55 GMT)

Couldn't agree more with Jason Morgan...

Posted by   on (March 12, 2014, 5:40 GMT)

There should also be a named tournament between the two teams! Ridiculous that there's a Warne-Muralitharan trophy but no Kallis-Ponting trophy or somethng similar. Means a drawn series means nothing. No retention of a trophy

Posted by MaruthuDelft on (March 12, 2014, 5:37 GMT)

Actually it is stupid to have 3 formats for one game. Pundits are not always frank. Regardless of the high quality of cricket demonstrated when SA clashes with Australia the attendance for the last series is pathetic. Therefore we have to accept there is something wrong with Test cricket. What is the point in seeing batsmen leaving it if it is outside the off? Who would want to spend a full day at the stadium to return in the evening without knowing who actually won the contest? Serious revamp required in test cricket. For T20s just push the boundary lines far with cushion padding to save boundary saving fielders. Make it 90 meters.

Posted by TommytuckerSaffa on (March 12, 2014, 5:36 GMT)

Enough said. SA should play 5 match Test series when they play India, Eng and Aus. Why? Because the quality of the SA team warrants it and fans want to see there team go up against the saffas.

Posted by siddhartha87 on (March 12, 2014, 5:34 GMT)

@Cpt.Meanster your lack of taste in quality of cricket is simply amusing mate.Have you really seen the intensity of Steyn or MJ in the last series? Or the grit shown by Clarke against a rampaging Morne Morkel.That is true cricket to me. The devastating reverse swinging spell by the likes Steyn is far more interesting than those boring domestic t20 games

Posted by milepost on (March 12, 2014, 5:06 GMT)

Does anyone outside India follow the IPL? I follow the corruption and the circus antics of the BCCI but considering dwindling TV ratings and crowds that have steadily declined year on year, I think the fad is coming to an end. It's a terrible format of the game.

Posted by milepost on (March 12, 2014, 4:58 GMT)

@Cpt.Meanster, as many posters here point out T20 is an exhibition format. I don't care about the IPL, I won't watch the T20 world cup and for me test matches are the real deal. OK I am but one cricket follower but if T20 dominated the sport, I wouldn't watch it at all. As far as this article goes, it's great news that the top two teams would play longer series. May be that's why people carry on about T20, because that's the only format in their teams might have a chance of winning something. If you find the Ashes boring, don't watch, that's precisely how I negotiate T20 cricket!

Posted by Udendra on (March 12, 2014, 4:43 GMT)

Yeah, that's always better than playing one-sided series with India.

Posted by PrasPunter on (March 12, 2014, 4:25 GMT)

@AH_USA, yes Pak scored a good victory against them , but you know what, following that, they still won a series in india and the UK leg of the Ashes. So they were in their spirits, till we beat them 5-0. The nature of the smash was such that they lost as many as 5 players and their head coadh. Now that's what I would call a real impact.

Posted by siddhartha87 on (March 12, 2014, 3:46 GMT)

yes the intensity of the matches between South Africa and Australia was unparalleled. The series was a true showcase of true grit and class

Posted by Cantbowlcantbat on (March 12, 2014, 2:51 GMT)

We used to have a 3 Test series in early summer in Oz followed by 3 Tests in SA later that summer. It was effectively a six Test series played home and away every 4 yrs that really gave a good indication of who was the better team at that time. It was perfect. Why was it abandoned?

Posted by DragonCricketer on (March 12, 2014, 2:28 GMT)

3 - 0, 4 - 0. Doesn't really matter how much Australia wins by.

Posted by popcorn on (March 12, 2014, 2:18 GMT)

A Test Series should eiher 1, or 3, or 5 Tests. So that there is a decider in case of either side winning a Test each,or two Tests each. The final Test becomes the decider. Like in the recent AU vs. SA series.Thus an odd number.A two Test, or 4 Test series, is neither here nor there . AU vs.SA deserves to be compared with The Ashes. 5 Tests.

Posted by Thegimp on (March 12, 2014, 2:02 GMT)

@Cpt.Meanster......No I don't agree. As an individual spectacle T20 is good but can you name a T20 game that will be talked about in 20 years time? Most Aust and SA supporters will be talking about this series and in particular the final test for years. T20 is like todays music, all show and upfront with bright lights and gorgeous girls. Test cricket is like Elvis, The Beatles, Stones, Bach, Beathoven & U2, each great series, each great test match will be part of our lives forever. In Australia we still talk about Worrells West Indian tour, English still talk about 2005 Ashes. Maybe you are too young to appreciate it.

Posted by MinusZero on (March 12, 2014, 1:48 GMT)

Why not 5 tests? I'd rather see these two than England being gawd-awful again.

Posted by redneck on (March 12, 2014, 1:20 GMT)

look i dont see this happening. australia dont host 5 test series that dont involve boxing day in melbourne and new years in sydney. south africa have said they will only play in australia during this time if aus are willing to tour south africa during boxing day etc aswell. there is more chance of hell freezing over than australia not hosting tests in their traditional time slots, yet alone tour south africa in its peak season!!! so for this to work south africa will have to give up hosting tests over its peak season to tour australia and still be happy with australia touring either oct-nov or late feb-april. like to see this but i dont think it will happen!!!

Posted by here2rock on (March 11, 2014, 23:45 GMT)

How about 5 tests or 6 tests, 3 away and 3 home? 4 tests is an even number.

Posted by Robster1 on (March 11, 2014, 23:31 GMT)

An excellent idea - and the sooner the better. If it means fewer ODIs then so be it.

Posted by   on (March 11, 2014, 23:18 GMT)

@AH_USA, that's a good call about PAK whitewashing ENG before we (Australia) did. Our next stop is the UAE, I have no idea what will happen there, but I am excited.

Posted by disco_bob on (March 11, 2014, 23:00 GMT)

@TommytuckerSaffa, why do Saffas always trot out the 'we work during the week' chestnut to defend the underwhelming Test attendances. You do realise that Aussies also work.

Posted by   on (March 11, 2014, 22:12 GMT)

Agree that Australia/South Africa series should be at least 4 Tests. Has the penny not dropped with administrators that cricket, like most sports, is cyclical when it comes to supremacy? Currently, South Africa are on top, Australia, Pakistan and New Zealand are on the up, and England and India are definitely in decline. What sense does it therefore make to have the triumvirate of England, India and Australia largely in control of how international cricket runs? But then.....there's money.

Posted by   on (March 11, 2014, 21:32 GMT)

bad luck to SA they are in lower tier compared to 'heavyweight' india

Posted by Chris_P on (March 11, 2014, 21:21 GMT)

@Cpt.Meanster . Again, your thoughts do not mirror real cricket enthusiasts. How iare5 tests overkill when you get packed attendances to all? Both supporters of SA & Aust have been howling for longer series since the first one started after readmission. For someone who doesn't like the longer format, you seem to comment in every case, Why not stick to your hit & giggle sections & leave this to the ones who appreciate what real cricket is about?

Posted by milepost on (March 11, 2014, 20:04 GMT)

People, if you have responded to an @Cap.Meanster comment you've been duped, he's just trolling for hugs. In regards to this article, all series between the undisputed top teams in cricket (SA and Australia) should be a minimum of 4 tests. The minnows can play their two test series.

Posted by AH_USA on (March 11, 2014, 19:04 GMT)

@Cpt.Meanster: "...More T20s is the way forward to globalize this sport...." May be you find mindless hitting on every ball interesting but not everyone does. Those who like technique follow test cricket very closely as it is a true test of cricketer's talent and technique. Occasional T20 us fun but it becomes boring when there are tons of T20 played in a succession and IPL is a great example of that. I am a Pakistani supporter and you may say that I don't like IPL because Pakistani pkayers do not appear in it. But, I did not even follow the 1st edition of IPL when PAK players did participate.

Posted by AH_USA on (March 11, 2014, 18:57 GMT)

@DeathStroke: What makes you think that Pakistan does not care about test cricket?

Posted by AH_USA on (March 11, 2014, 18:55 GMT)

@PrasPunter:"... How one single Ashes defeat changes things for them !!" Actually, Pakistan had whitewashed ENG before AUS did.

Posted by bhushanB on (March 11, 2014, 18:37 GMT)

@Cpt.Meanster continued.... all you would need are some bowling machines (I mean even the great Steyns do not fare any better than a bowling machine in this format anyway)....

I am sure there are hundreds who are strong enough to clear those minuscule boundaries with even their mishits... so you will have no problem filling up teams...

then you can have T20 bonanza around the world 365 days a year.... If you could manage to squeeze in the boundaries a bit, you can cover the roofs like in Tennis and can have it 24X7

Posted by bhushanB on (March 11, 2014, 18:36 GMT)

@Cpt.Meanster

For the exhibition format, there are already several well established, affluent platforms like IPL, BPL, Bigbash...and soon there will few more....

Does these not suffice....

If indeed you need more international matches in this exhibition format... i guess the ideal solution would be to have a separate team for this....filling up squads would be ridiculously easy... you can pick anyone from any of those 500+ people wearing those price tags in the middle....

I sure suppose you would not need Bradman or Lara or Dravid or Tendulkar or Amla or Sangakkara or Pujara or Misbah or gavaskar or VVS or Ponting or Trott or Chanderpaul.....all these poor technicians/hardworking playing...

continued....

Posted by GrindAR on (March 11, 2014, 18:23 GMT)

ODIs go meaning less now a days... more infiltered drma than quality. I see T20 and Tests are the two exciting formats. Instead of T20 It canbe T24 to make is more seriours contenst than just a bashers format, and abandon ODIs for good

Posted by OttawaRocks on (March 11, 2014, 18:20 GMT)

Looks like SA wants to choke some more.

Posted by Jaffa79 on (March 11, 2014, 18:19 GMT)

Anything that promotes Test cricket is a good thing. I'd much rather have seen another Test between Aus and SA than a years worth of T20, which is good for a bit of a giggle but mind numbing to any true cricket fan. I personally feel that SA, Aus, Eng and India are carving up the cricket world and leaving SL, NZ, Pak and WI isolated. In 20 years, these countries might not even bother playing Test cricket if the big boys don't play them regularly. I mean, how much do India, Aus and England play each other these days in Tests and pointless little ODI series? I can see a time when a future Brian Lara or Shane Bond just bypass international cricket and just play as travelling T20 mercenaries.

Posted by android_user on (March 11, 2014, 17:10 GMT)

There's too much cricket but there's too little good cricket. This needs to be given the green light. It has the potential to be as big as an Ashes series. It's just a shame seeing so many few seats taken. Even the attendance for Smith's last game was terrible. Maybe a couple of day/night games in the future will help.

Posted by   on (March 11, 2014, 16:56 GMT)

Please, please, please let this happen. The majority of the best cricket of my life as an Australian has been between Australia and South Africa. I both love and hate the South Africans, it is like watching a reflection. Aggressive batsman and fast bowlers with the only difference being in the philosophy of sport. Australia more naturally agressive in nature in both rugby and cricket, South Africa more conservative, (tends to be more effective in rugby for the Saffas, the agressiveness favouring Australia in the cricket).

Posted by   on (March 11, 2014, 16:45 GMT)

linguboy: South Africa win tests away from home. Especially in India. You can hardly say they can only play in conditions that suit them.

Great news about a four tests series between South Africa and Australia. The issue is that the countries share a summer, and for the touring team, four tests is time they cannot play at home to generate audiences and revenue.

Posted by android_user on (March 11, 2014, 16:14 GMT)

Please, please have more test cricket instead of millions of pointless one day games. We must have a Test world series as well like in a league form.

Posted by Cpt.Meanster on (March 11, 2014, 16:13 GMT)

Best of three is reasonable; 4 or 5 is overkill. Like the Ashes, this will also become a boring affair. Test cricket in itself is a boring format, the last thing we need is cricket suffering from the lack of global expansion from too many test matches. More T20s is the way forward to globalize this sport. Right now, the ICC is a cozy club with India, England & Australia running their own agendas. This proposal is a first step in that direction following the revamp. If these guys have any interest in the health of the game, they would schedule 3 tests and leave it there. We need to move this game forward and the only way to do it is by playing more T20s and ODIs. Quicker formats with quicker results. The world is moving too fast for test matches to be viewed like they were 30 years ago.

Posted by jw76 on (March 11, 2014, 16:04 GMT)

Further to my above letter about stress on cricketers of non-stop international cricket, witness the case of Graeme Smith, tough as he is, but worn out and crocked at the age of 33!

Posted by jw76 on (March 11, 2014, 16:02 GMT)

There is to much quantity and not enough quality in Test cricket these days. I agree there should be more five-Test series and no series of less than three among the top teams, but less frequently and spread out over a longer period. There should be few back-to-back Test matches (only over Christmas-New Year I would say) so that the players can have at least a week between Tests to recharge their batteries and freshen up in preparation for the next Test. How on earth can players be expected to play their best in Test matches when they have given their all over five days, are naturally physically and mentally exhausted, feel parts of their body getting sore, and are expected to go through it all again with only three days' break in between? It's hard enough for us followers to do that while following the matches in front of a television set or Cricinfo! Fresher players means better cricket and fewer injuries! We want to see the best in action, at their best, even if less often.

Posted by   on (March 11, 2014, 16:00 GMT)

I would love to see Pakistan playing tests in Australia more often. It's such a rarity these days. There have been some memorable series in the past.

Posted by   on (March 11, 2014, 15:51 GMT)

tis will be good because test matches between SA AND AUS are exciting and awesome

Posted by   on (March 11, 2014, 15:45 GMT)

This is an excellent decision. Australia and South Africa are two of the best teams in the world and their encounters are always great to watch. Both teams have terrific fast bowlers - this makes the contest even more thrilling. I hope they play 5 match series in the future.

Posted by pardo on (March 11, 2014, 15:42 GMT)

The problem is the fact that test series have to be booked in years in advance and teams' performance rises and dips much faster than that. We've just watched a frustratingly short series between two evenly matched teams - who's to say that in three years time one of them won't have dropped to 4th or 5th in the rankings and we'll have five horrible mismatches? I don't know which is worse as far as a spectator is concerned but as far as the economics goes it is clear that five tests with low attendance/viewing figures is much worse than three with high ones.

Also, it's all very well saying there should be no two test series but can you really see Australia or England ever giving Zimbabwe three tests out of the 7 they can squeeze into the summer?

Posted by Puffin on (March 11, 2014, 15:41 GMT)

Perhaps the top 2 or 3 teams should be obliged to hold 4 or 5-test series against each other, whoever they happen to be. It's just that things can change between arranging a tour and it actually happening.

No more of those awkward 2-test series. Please.

Posted by real_gone_gadd on (March 11, 2014, 14:30 GMT)

There should never be any 2-Test "series" - 3 minumum between minnorws, Ashes should be 6 tests and any bilaterals involving Aus, SA, India, Pak, England should be minimum 4, possibly 5

Posted by android_user on (March 11, 2014, 14:27 GMT)

The Contextual Cycle

The innumerable variables that make the great game what it is on the field permeate off the field resulting in a veritable cacophony of opinion on what is best for the game. Notwithstanding the foregoing, one facet of the game that largely attains agreement is that every match played must have context.

The objective of providing context, I believe, can be achieved with the following proposal.

Formats

Test (as is)

ODI (40 overs )

T20

Two Tiers

Tier 1

The top 8 test teams (i.e. Tier 1 will exclude Bangladesh and Zimbabwe)

Tier 2

The next best 8 teams

Promotion (and relegation)

To be considered; adding a 9th or 10th team may mean 'The Cycle' (discussed below) needs to extend from 3 to 4 years.

Fixtures:

'The Cycle' - each team to play every other team in their tier (7 other teams), home and away in 3 tests, 3 ODIs and 3 T20's over 3 years; with the crowning of a test, ODI and T20 and overall champion and the end of 'the Cycle'

Posted by Westmorlandia on (March 11, 2014, 14:07 GMT)

A 5-match series is ideal between top sides. 4 matches is also fine, especially as we have to be realistic given the amount of cricket already being played. With 4 games you will often get a draw, so it doesn't really make it any more likely that you will get a tied series. (And even if you do, that can still be extremely engaging.)

3-match series just don't quite have time to breathe in the same was as a longer series. That's why Ashes series are 5 matches, and they're often excellent (except when England fluff their lines). You wouldn't want a 5-match series that was likely to be very one-sided though.

Posted by android_user on (March 11, 2014, 13:48 GMT)

hope this happens iam ready to watch even. a 10 match series because these two teams have it all. .. & the game is never over untill it's over... wow treat to cricket fans

Posted by FlyingWicket on (March 11, 2014, 13:36 GMT)

SA are number 1 team and should play longer test series to entertain crowds.

Posted by Dravid_Pujara_Gravitas on (March 11, 2014, 13:09 GMT)

If one of the teams goes through a lean patch, then a 4 match series will be the most boring to watch. A 3 match series is better balanced in many aspects over a longer series. The last Ashes (5 matches), India's tour of Australia (4 matches) and Australia's tour of India (4 matches) were very lopsided with no resistance from the losing teams in each of those series. A 3 match series would have been better. If the teams fought well, you will want more and the next series will be a high stakes one. If the cricket on display was poor, we'll be glad that the series is done and dusted with those 3 matches.

Posted by Sinhabahu on (March 11, 2014, 13:06 GMT)

Great news! Finally a good decision from the boards.

Posted by   on (March 11, 2014, 13:02 GMT)

It must be a 5 test series, who wants a 2 all series draw? In any case at the moment the best test cricket is being played by South Africa and Australia so there would be no shortage of crowds in either country. In fact there are some many ex pat South Africans and other test cricket loving patrons who tune in from all over the world that the virtual crowd probably run into millions.

Posted by   on (March 11, 2014, 12:46 GMT)

Should be 5. We play the Ashes over 5. We used to play the Windies over 5.

The only series that comes close to the Ashes is the one against the Proteas. Should be 5.

Posted by afaleel on (March 11, 2014, 11:51 GMT)

well, i guess this is why south africa voted favouring changes and i guess this is the begining of the ICC showing its true nature being a puppet. you have other teams such as SL, pakistan who are even better who should be given the same number of maches with good teams such as australia,south africa, england.

Posted by WheresTheEmpire on (March 11, 2014, 11:39 GMT)

"You've got to recognise the quality of the cricket". Undoubtedly.

Nothing will ensure the future of test cricket better than more of the cricket played in the recent SA-Aus series. Nothing will ensure its demise quicker than more of the poor quality, half-hearted stuff. With FTP changes being discussed I suggest dropping some of the mediocrity and making SA-Aus marquee 5 test series.

Posted by line.and.length on (March 11, 2014, 11:39 GMT)

Can't believe we have to wait so long for the next test series

Posted by redneck on (March 11, 2014, 11:36 GMT)

Boxing day, unless south africa are willing to tour aus during this time it wont happen!!!

Posted by android_user on (March 11, 2014, 11:31 GMT)

3-test series is fine. You never know when a team's may dip and one sided 4 match contents will become boring and will draw no crowd( barring India) .

Posted by PrasPunter on (March 11, 2014, 11:31 GMT)

@DeathStroke , absolutely - even i have always maintained these 3 are the reason why test cricket still thrives !! SA is a top test team no doubt about that - and Eng - i respect them because they always focus their energies primarily on test-cricket. For us, the Baggy Green is one of the coveted symbols and hence we place a very high premium on that.

Posted by creebo777 on (March 11, 2014, 11:24 GMT)

D ban abdv & amla play spin pretty well,pitches here in sa suits the spinners on day 4 and 5, sub continent pitches not sporty , could atleast but some grass on it on day 1 .. There's a reason why 3 seamers and 1 spinner is the proper formation .....we"ll be stronger without graeme smith and kallis

Posted by jonty129 on (March 11, 2014, 11:13 GMT)

The lack of understading of SA culture is shocking. Glad for Eng, Aus and Ind having such gerat attendance figures. Well done. We'll send you some golden stars anc cookies in the post. And FYI, attendance during the week (excl. Boxing Day and New Years tests, which are during the holidays) for AUS tests are not great either. Was watching highlights of the Perth test in 2008 and on the days Aus were in the driving seat, the attendance at the ground was below average at best!

Attendance at the ground is only one factor in terms of the interst. Believe you me, interest for the AUS series was VERY high. Every TV set at my work was tuned to the cricket. It was the most talked about sporting event during the period. Attendance alone is insufficient to analyse the interest in a series.

Just because we South Africans don't have the time or money to attend games during the week does not mean we are not interested.

Posted by   on (March 11, 2014, 11:11 GMT)

The Ashes is the only 5 test contest, previously England also played SA and WI in 5 test series before they too were shortened due to the crowded ICC schedule, perhaps it is better to shorter the number of ODI and T20 cricket being played.

Posted by gm_cooper on (March 11, 2014, 11:04 GMT)

4 test matches are better based on length of series i.e. how many can you slot into a calendar year . . . means more variety between test playing nations. i'd also reduce the ashes tour as 5 & 5 to may 3 & 3 which = six.

Posted by Dashgar on (March 11, 2014, 10:58 GMT)

All the top 4 sides should play 4 or 5 test series' against each other. Also big rivals like India and Pakistan should play five. The best cricket moments come in test cricket and they're far more epic in a long series. Let's have quality series' to increase the interest in tests.

Posted by DeathStroke on (March 11, 2014, 10:55 GMT)

@PrasPunter, I have no problems playing 4 tests against India actually. They are the biggest spenders admittedly, so it's worth it. What I want to see is SA, a deservingly great side play 5 tests with us. The teams that truly care about tests as of now are us, England and South Africa. I don't mind the T20 festa, but test cricketing culture must be preserved.

Posted by   on (March 11, 2014, 10:54 GMT)

why not 5 test in a series

Posted by   on (March 11, 2014, 10:54 GMT)

about time south africa v australia is a brilliant series as an england fan it was brilliant watching these teams 5 tests would be even better!!!

Posted by the.ruffian on (March 11, 2014, 10:53 GMT)

India vs south africa- the previous two tours were engaging. In 2010 we almost won it 2-1 and now in 2013 lost 1-0 (well lost from a winning position but a great fight). Interesting to see hw this new rsa team (without kallis/smith) fare the next time they tour India. Against Australia/England i got mixed feelings. While england are still recovering from their massive defeats, Australia also have a young team under clarke and are unpredictable.

Posted by d_ban on (March 11, 2014, 10:52 GMT)

@creebo777:jst bcz ur tm dsnt knw hw to ply spin,dsnt mn its inconsequential.it is an act jst lk pace.i wld lv to watch kumble,warne's wrng one or murali's doosra deceivng the batsman.jst lk i lvd watchng lee uprootng the stmps.

Posted by PrasPunter on (March 11, 2014, 10:49 GMT)

@linguboy , may not agree to all of your thoughts, but loved this part - " Eng don't know what they miss" - Couldnt stop laughing !! How one single Ashes defeat changes things for them !!

Posted by   on (March 11, 2014, 10:43 GMT)

Great news. Ideally series between sides of this calibre should always be at least four, if not five, matches. Regardless of the attendances there was massive worldwide television interest in this series. Two days in Cape Town were completely sold out. I suspect if Durban had a match, that also would get a good turn-out. Although it had a smaller attendance I do like Port Elizabeth. Maybe a few more promotions to get people in there would help - some of the locals thought the match was taking place at the Nelson Mandela stadium, the venue for soccer and rugby, rather than at St.Georges!

Posted by muzika_tchaikovskogo on (March 11, 2014, 10:41 GMT)

Series between the big 3 have been increasing in frequency and length in recent years. South Africa is now part of the club- the big 4 if you may. Don't be surprised if all series involving the big 4 become five test series in a few years.

Posted by linguboy on (March 11, 2014, 10:37 GMT)

@DeathStroke Who will give you the television rights money??? SA have no crowds for test matches in their home. What a sight it will be to play in front of empty stands!!!! By the way where all the T20 bashers gone???? Suddenly Aus starts winning everything is right in the world. IPL, BBL anyone???? If Australia loses its the T20s at fault but if they win they are world beaters. They can't accept defeat it seems.

Posted by scarrule on (March 11, 2014, 10:35 GMT)

@dalboy completely agree with you mate. Once you are in top bracket (read test playing nation) .T20 should not be played internationally rather its good to have leagues like IPl,BBL and CPl. But there should be T20 world-cup to increase cricket popularity and also associates should play INT. T20 as it requires lesser resources to stage a match but not among test playing nations. But ODI should be continued becausce it stabilized cricket when test cricket was at low and also because it helps to decide which team is better rather than T20 in which even associate can defeat anyone if just few overs go wrong. Hit and giggle cricket should be limited to domestic leagues.

Posted by PrasPunter on (March 11, 2014, 10:34 GMT)

@DeathStroke , We played 5 against india way back in 1992. From then till 2001, we used to play a max. of 3. Think 4 with india should be fine. But we must play 5 each against Eng and SA.

Posted by TommytuckerSaffa on (March 11, 2014, 10:31 GMT)

Some peeps think SA don't deserve 4 or 5 matches purely because of crowd attendances. This is not the right measuring stick to be using - TV rights are and the high number of viewers who sign up for the rights to watch these games is testament to their popularity. When SA and Aus play, there generally is great interest internationally and domestic interest is hightend.

From SA's fan perspective, playing against Aus is the No.1 draw card (revenue wise - India is no.1), people might not be packing out stadiums on a Wednesday during the working week but they are glued to their TV sets, newspapers, radios and internet. It has to be 4 or 5 test matches against the big 3 for sure. India could easily have been 5 test matches. We are also trying to promote cricket to local black Africans, having more test matches and getting kids into the stadiums will help.

Posted by linguboy on (March 11, 2014, 10:30 GMT)

@creebo777 Yes they are very boring. Wish Warne never took those no of wickets. Who would watch spinners day in and day out. We don't like spinners because we don't have one. We don't like spinning pitches because we don't have batsmen who can play on them. We can't bounce the batsman out bcoz its the only thing we know. What a hypocrite world we are living in.

Posted by Ozcricketwriter on (March 11, 2014, 10:28 GMT)

5 is the magic number for premium test contests, not 3.

Posted by ste13 on (March 11, 2014, 10:26 GMT)

I think this is the only way forward. Test cricket should be played between the nations who want it. Sri Lanka and West Indies show no interest and quality, so their involvement in the future should be reduced. The last series SA-Aus was excellent.

Posted by linguboy on (March 11, 2014, 10:25 GMT)

@PrasPunter: No body is. Everybody performs where conditions suit their strength and surrender when it don't suit them. This Australian team is not of early 2000s forget it it is not even half the team that was. Your batsman can't play spinners well and your younger generation no better. Hughes future no.3???? Even your best player became a bunny of Jadeja. Surely Australia played better cricket in the last 4 months but not the best side in the world by any stretch of Imagination. Australia lacks young batsmen, SA have no spinners, IND no fast bowlers, Pak no batsman, Eng don't know what they miss, WI, SL less said the better. NZ is still learning and young. Every team is a force to reckon with if conditions suit them.As simple as that.

Posted by line.and.length on (March 11, 2014, 10:15 GMT)

@Gagg.... I should have been clearer. I am not in any way against more tests between oz v nz, in fact I would welcome it. I'm a massive fan of all trans tasman duels (although it would be nice to beat the all blacks every now and then), I was taking issue with silly and nonsensical bravado.... actually I wonder how FFL is doing

Posted by creebo777 on (March 11, 2014, 10:05 GMT)

Those turning slow sub continent pitches not good for cricket , people want to see fast bowlers vs batsmen , steyn vs warner,abdv vs johnson not where balls turn on day 1,proteas,aussies,poms should play each other more,only proper teams with new zeeland maybe

Posted by StarveTheLizard on (March 11, 2014, 10:04 GMT)

The matches in SA didn't have very good attendance. Are four matches warranted?

Posted by DeathStroke on (March 11, 2014, 10:00 GMT)

@PrasPunter do you think we should reduce the number of matches against India to lets, say 3 and give teams like SA 5?

Posted by DeathStroke on (March 11, 2014, 9:59 GMT)

As an Aussie supporter, I welcome this news with open arms :). It's about time we got to play the Proteas in a 4 or 5 match test series!. The quality of cricket when these two great nations play is off the charts.

Posted by PrasPunter on (March 11, 2014, 9:59 GMT)

@linguboy, so can you please enlighten us on who is currently the best team across continents ?

Posted by dunger.bob on (March 11, 2014, 9:57 GMT)

Four Tests is good, 5 is better. I don't think we'll get 5 though. I've got to say a fourth Test would have been very interesting because Aus. would have been without Harris for certain and SA may have had Steyn missing.

Posted by DeathStroke on (March 11, 2014, 9:56 GMT)

Hellalujah!, I was shouting from the rooftops for a 4 or 5 test match series between us and South Africa. This is the hottest rivalry in cricket right now. It rightfully deserves more than 3 tests.

Posted by stormy16 on (March 11, 2014, 9:47 GMT)

Aus have already signed up to the future of cricket based on 'financially viable; so no matter how good the contest, unless there is money this wont happen. CSA would much rather invite Eng and Ind every second year for a full series and make a lot of money (and the fans witness one sided games like the last two series against Eng and Ind in Oz) rather play sport in the true spirit - which would mean you play everyone - not just who you like or who makes money. Certainly not the Aus way as we knew it but the 'fair go' Aus days are long gone and now its all about the money.

Posted by linguboy on (March 11, 2014, 9:43 GMT)

@ Subhash Devadiga All conditions??Australia lost 8-0 in India in the last 3 series. They will play well only if the pitches are hard and fast with bounce. they failed to play well once ball starts turning an inch.

Posted by StevieS on (March 11, 2014, 9:43 GMT)

Webba84 how can you lose a 2 match series when you win one of those games? line.and.length how are New Zealand suppose to improve if they only play a fraction of the tests that Australia play.

Posted by espncricinfomobile on (March 11, 2014, 9:36 GMT)

No no no..... not 4 tests. please make it 5. I hate to see two great teams draw level 2-all. Five Aussie VS Saffer would be much better than the Ashes!!!

Posted by   on (March 11, 2014, 9:33 GMT)

@Mob_King, haha... come on mate, whilst I believe NZ are a pretty decent team, the Aussie XI now has hardly any of the players that were in that match & are a much stronger outfit after our recent two series wins, which I'm sure you're aware of, I would love to see NZ back in Aus very soon, but 4 test against you is a long shot away still

Posted by linguboy on (March 11, 2014, 9:32 GMT)

@PrasPunter: You forgot to mention 2 best sides in conditions suit them. aka ball not turning and hard and fast pitches. Because both teams have no world class spinners.

Posted by xtrafalgarx on (March 11, 2014, 9:31 GMT)

Looks like the revamped ICC is good for cricket after all.

Posted by line.and.length on (March 11, 2014, 9:28 GMT)

@mob_king.... In the test series you speak of, the aussies wiped the floor with the kiwis at the gabba, then the kiwis won the hobart test (just) by playing out of their skins... and recently, the kiwis got blown away by the saffas, and we all know how the series between Oz v Saf finished up... If anything, one should be careful of the bravado one tries to shout, cos you just might get what you ask for... an uppercut ball from mitch.... @ben williams... cheers mate, You know what they say about great minds

Posted by David_Boon on (March 11, 2014, 9:27 GMT)

I'm more excited about the prospect of playing the lower ranked sides more often. Australia never play the lower sides, just a procession of ENG, SA & IND over and over and over. As a cricket fan I never get to see Pakistan or New Zealand play, and I want to.

Posted by android_user on (March 11, 2014, 9:25 GMT)

great idea. long overdue . The only problems are player burnout and fan attendance. Then solution to thisnis easy, less irrelavant odi's and t20s.

Posted by   on (March 11, 2014, 9:19 GMT)

i expect 5 test series between This two Cricketting giant as the game always seems to be keenly contested. Unlike Top cxricketting nations India and England who always play well at home these two teams are good at anywhere in the World

Posted by LALITHKURUWITA on (March 11, 2014, 9:18 GMT)

This is the plan of Big 3. Small nations but strong in Cricket like Pak or SL will get less and less test matches. Ultimately cricket will die in NZ, SL, Pak, Ba, Zim and WI.

Posted by PrasPunter on (March 11, 2014, 9:16 GMT)

WOW WOW !!It's about time we played a 4-test series against the Proteas. A mouth-watering contest between the 2 best sides !! Superb !! Got to love it !!

Posted by heathrf1974 on (March 11, 2014, 9:04 GMT)

Sounds like a good idea, but the fans need to turn up to these matches.

Posted by mjcoxx on (March 11, 2014, 9:02 GMT)

What's wrong with a five Test series? Why stage a series that could potentially finish deadlocked at 2-2. @Mob_King - Australia's record against NZ in Tests since 2000 is 12-1. That hardly qualifies NZ for a three match series.

Posted by   on (March 11, 2014, 9:01 GMT)

A 4 test series is definitely better but I always look forward for a 5 test series. Gives enough time to test your bench strength as well.

Posted by   on (March 11, 2014, 8:48 GMT)

@Dalboy I'm not sure that cutting T20's is going to reduce burnout amongst international cricketers, the few that are played are generally with different teams anyway. In any case for the likes of Steve Smith and Nathan Lyon it would seem that no amount of cricket is enough as I see they are both back at it today for NSW! I agree there is too much cricket but I think that comes from the ridiculous amount of meaningless bilateral ODI series.

Posted by Webba84 on (March 11, 2014, 8:42 GMT)

@Mob_King Lost the series though. Although I must say I really want to see a series between Aus and NZ right now. Two on song agressive teams playing above their stats. Would be a great contest.

Posted by bobbo2 on (March 11, 2014, 8:39 GMT)

Agree @mob_king, NZ needs more Tests and the way they are playing they deserve a 3 Test series with Australia

Posted by BradmanBestEver on (March 11, 2014, 8:39 GMT)

Reduce the number of T20 and ODIs scheduled in tours and play more tests.

Make a two-tired test cricket system much like the English Premier league with relegations and promotions and introduce new nations like Ireland to the second tier.

Posted by JJJake on (March 11, 2014, 8:38 GMT)

Nice. ATM these two teams are playing the best cricket and have the most exciting bowling attacks. They deserve a longer test series.

Posted by   on (March 11, 2014, 8:33 GMT)

wow, I'm very surprised!!! let alone this being a great idea, Edwards is actually talking sense about trying to fit in more games against lower ranked nations, as well as India hopefully going back to playing 4 test against SA, it seems they are actually communicating & talking sense! not getting my hopes up though & yes I agree Line.and.length, 5 test is better!

Posted by ZCFOutkast on (March 11, 2014, 8:30 GMT)

Interesting Proteas in decline, smell of blood, time for a 4 match series. Angling for a whitewash CA?

Posted by   on (March 11, 2014, 8:29 GMT)

There should be 5 match test series when quality teams play. Aus vs Eng, Ind vs Pak, Aus vs South Africa, South Africa vs England are the fixtures I can think of. If India controls world cricket they would only want to play these 2 match fixtures as they are afraid of losing. Remember,India has not won a test match outside of India in a long time and yet they are among the top nations. Something is truly messed up with the ICC ranking system which is not at all transparent

Posted by dalboy12 on (March 11, 2014, 8:27 GMT)

I think this is a great but there is a fine balance that has be found in cricket here --- there can be too much of a good thing - the Indian and Aussie team in particular just play so much cricket - I mean do these guys ever get to see their families. You may say, this is their job and they are paid good money, but the negative for us cricket fans is that it can lead to guys retiring before their time, simply cos they are worn out by the constant travel, add to this of course the overuse injuries that then hit a lot of players. Personally, I'm a fan of dropping T20 from the international schedule and leaving it for IPL, Big Bash, and other national leagues and limiting the amount of ODIs (best of 7 series are just too long) - then that would give more time for the "real" cricket - ie test circket, without having to burn out the players.

Posted by   on (March 11, 2014, 8:27 GMT)

If CSA continue in the selection confusion that led to our nonsensical Newlands batting lineup, these four tests they speak of will be whitewashes. With our current team and the talent we have in the wings we should have clobbered India and Australia, but poor selection is taking its toll, and with Kallis and Smith gone we need to fix it now more than ever.

Posted by TommytuckerSaffa on (March 11, 2014, 8:23 GMT)

I think SA deserves to play 4 Test match series against India and Australia (Big 3) due to the fact that SA is a very competitive and consistent team. Both Australia and India recognise SA as a good benchmark for judging how good their own teams are.

The 3 Tests against Oz simply weren't enough, there is appetite from the cricket fans globally for more. I am also glad they canned the pointless bi-lateral ODI games in this tour. A few T20 games with 4 tests would be fantastic.

Posted by Romanticstud on (March 11, 2014, 8:21 GMT)

Now that is a step in the right direction. The two-three test series among top teams doesn't work. Firstly, if it is as interesting as the recently concluded series, it would give the teams more opportunity to cement the series. Secondly, where a two test series often has teams wondering what if, the result could pan out of a longer series. A four test series in Australia last time round could have ended 1-1, if there was another test, which was a fairer result. India over four tests may have fought back to draw the South African series. Also it may have put more ammunition in the Wanderers test to push for a result.

Posted by Mob_King on (March 11, 2014, 8:18 GMT)

Dear India; NZ called.

In fact - dear Australia, I believe NZ beat you at home the last time NZ played you in a Test match. How much longer before NZ is 'honoured' with a 3-Test series, let alone a 4-Test match series?

Posted by line.and.length on (March 11, 2014, 8:13 GMT)

That is most certainly great news, but while they're at it, let's go for 5 test series

Comments have now been closed for this article

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Daniel Brettig Assistant editor Daniel Brettig had been a journalist for eight years when he joined ESPNcricinfo, but his fascination with cricket dates back to the early 1990s, when his dad helped him sneak into the family lounge room to watch the end of day-night World Series matches well past bedtime. Unapologetically passionate about indie music and the South Australian Redbacks, Daniel's chief cricketing achievement was to dismiss Wisden Almanack editor Lawrence Booth in the 2010 Ashes press match in Perth - a rare Australian victory that summer.
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