Is there too much international cricket? April 13, 2006

Killing the golden goose

Cricinfo staff
Shahid Afridi's shock retirement from Test match cricket has reopened the debate about the current volume of international cricket. Is the surfeit killing the game. Cricinfo's readers have made their views plain

Shahid Afridi's shock retirement from Test match cricket has reopened the debate about the current volume of international cricket. Is the surfeit killing the game. Cricinfo's readers have made their views plain. What do you think?

Shahid Afridi: opting out because of overkill © Getty Images

I agree 100%. Too much cricket, particularly one-day cricket, is killing the sport and its appeal. Pakistani spectators don't exactly flock into stadiums for Test matches but, as a fan, I can tell you, every time Shahid Afridi is in the playing 11, all Paki fans make their best efforts to see him. He is the biggest attraction in any form of the game in Pakistan. Now, with his retirement from Tests, the not-so-full stadiums during Test matches will be even more deserted. Waqas Khan

I do understand the players' frustration at a very busy schedule. When looking at possible solutions, I hope the ICC realises the difference in taste for the game here and in the subcontinent and does not polarise the game even more. Raz Khan

To restore Test cricket to its pre-eminence, countries should send their 2nd XI to half of their one-day matches on the basis of 'resting' players or 'blooding' new ones. Two benefits: the majority of their 'best' players only play Test cricket, and extend their careers in this field, and second-tier players get international experience thus increasing the talent pool for playing in Tests. If the crowds want to see the best players, they will have to go watch Test cricket! Hamish Muecke

There is too much cricket, no doubt about it. Players carry niggles all the time. Yes, it's their profession and they should be fit, but this is also a game. And a game should be enjoyed, not suffered. Bilal Fayyaz

Absolutely NOT, this question is for people with a low appetite for Cricket. There is no reason to reduce any form of cricket - Test or one-day. One-days have got exciting over the years and so have Test matches, haven't we seen more results in Tests than before? If at all there is a concern for health and a personal life of players, there is always a choice for the player and the managing committee to rotate them if they are fatigued. There is so much attention, interest, coverage and revenue from the game, why should it be reduced? Shri Budkhar

Greed could kill Test cricket - I perfectly agree with the author, too much cricket and ugly cricket like 20/20 can kill the golden goose. Ramesh Kumar

There is a joy in waiting, in looking forward to an important game. All-round cricket in all kinds of weather and on ill-prepared pitches is no fun. Biren Shah

I couldn't agree more. For too long, money has dictated the game, to the detriment of the game (much as with football, we only have to look at the example of the Champions League etc to see where cricket might end up in a few years' time). The effect is already being felt as bowlers are becoming overworked and batsmen reap the rewards (the recent match between The Australians and the South Africans being a prime example). Wake up ICC before it is too late. Ben Knight

Too much cricket is most definitely killing the game. I know in our country we used to wait anxiously for cricket matches, no matter who was playing. And cricket lovers use to remember the statistics of each match. But now that atmosphere of anticipation is missing and people do not even remember the dates of forthcoming matches of Pakistan. And too many matches are taking their toll on the players as well. Zeeshan Zahoor

I love cricket, and love that there is so much on. But if it is affecting players in that they have too big a workload, then there must be less. If matches, because of their sheer abundance, lose their appeal and value to the players themselves, then what enjoyment can the fans have? Furthermore, I cannot begin to just imagine what their families must be facing. I think less cricket, despite being in a money-hungry world, is the practical way to go. It will save the players, which I would have thought would have been the most important thing to the game ... but sadly, I may be wrong. Ashish Sharma

Is too much cricket killing the game? Absolutely! As soon as there's too much cricket being played, the intensity level and the competitiveness on the field drops significantly. Not to mention the physical toll it takes on the players' bodies. For the audience, we get to see time and time again the same players battle it out against each other and it becomes repetitive and boring. India v Pakistan clashes used to be of extreme importance. Now, however, there is no pressure on Indian & Pakistani players when they play each other, as they know if they do not perform up to par, they will get another chance in a few months' time to redeem themselves. Saeed Chaudhry

I agree wholeheartedly with Andrew Miller's comments. The common issue seems to be a weak ICC and a selfish BCCI. It is unavoidable that India would one day flex its muscles, yet why do the rest of us follow this blueprint? Having spent my life living in both Australia and England, I share the mutual passion for true cricket - Test matches. I have watched the whole India v England Test series and not a ball of the one-dayers. They are also losing their appeal in Australia, where crowds attending the regular triangular tournament have fallen drastically. Perhaps the ICC could amend the Test rankings to penalise teams that play too much one day cricket (ie India)? Gary Davey

Too much cricket is definitely killing the game! Just look at what it has done to Afridi. Cricket lovers all over the world will miss watching one of the most entertaining players in the game. Afridi's contribution to Pakistan's revival in fortunes in Test cricket over the past year has been crucial and it's a shame that we won't see him in England, playing a part in an intriguing series. Rayan Malik

I couldn't agree more. I think Afridi is making a pretty sensible call - he needs some family time, sometimes. The whole thing about the one-day game versus Test matches is an old debate, and it will probably get older still. The big problem is that the game is being exploited for every last shekel by the ICC, who do not seem to have its best interests at heart. It's a sad situation, but hard to see a solution. Daniel McBrearty

I don't think cricketers should complain about playing more games, because these cricketers get paid to do a job. I mean, I work every day and I probably would work harder than them, and I still get paid less per annum. They get paid to play - who really cares if they are not fit, they have to do the job just like you and me, day in and day out. The cricket associations also need to make money, and if playing more games is the answer, then more games they shall play. I feel no sympathy towards the cricketers, they should work for their pay cheques. Sid

Too much cricket isn't killing the game, but over-familiarity has made a considerable difference in people's desire to sit and watch a game which lasts around for most of the day. Pakistan v India is one of the most anticipated tours but because of the growing amount of matches it has killed the joy and entertainment. Uzair

Too much cricket is certainly killing good cricket. There is a joy in waiting, in looking forward to an important game. All-round cricket in all kinds of weather and on ill-prepared pitches is no fun. Biren Shah

I think the number of Test matches are fine, however, I believe there should be far less ODIs. They should get rid of these silly, relatively insignificant ODI tournaments, and stick to having a five-match ODI as the warm-up to the Test series. James Carlisle