Decade Review 2009

The rise of the US, the death of Tests

Test cricket will die, Twenty20 will kill it; Test cricket will thrive, Twenty20 will peter out: our writers and columnists have all sorts of predictions for the 2010s

Comments: 49 | Text size: A | A
Fans watch from an under-construction building adjoining the stadium, India v Australia, 6th ODI, Guwahati, November 8, 2009
Will the crowds still turn out in packs for Twenty20, 10 years from now? © Associated Press
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Peter English Australasia editor, Cricinfo
Tired of meaningless fixtures, bored by the constant cheque presentations, and worn down by the dominance of corruption and gambling, spectators will have deserted Twenty20 by 2019. The proliferation of domestic tournaments at the beginning of the decade will hold their spark for a couple of years before the followers lose interest as the players switch allegiances as quickly as team uniforms change. Due to the power of the corporate backers, the results will be decided in the boardrooms, despite the pretence that those on the field are actually involved in determining who wins. Test cricket will have regained its status as the unsullied, sparkling form of the game, although it will be played under lights, over four days and in a minimum of three-game contests. Ireland and the Netherlands will be above Zimbabwe and West Indies on the rankings, with Bangladesh regularly challenging the top teams.

S Rajesh stats editor, Cricinfo
The 2010s will see the resurgence of West Indies and of one-day cricket. Dwayne Bravo will go on to lead the team with distinction, while a couple of fast bowlers will give the attack the bite it has been lacking for several years. They'll be a strong contender for the 2015 World Cup, and will move up to be among the top four teams in both forms of the game. The one-day game will be revived by a rule change, which will give the bowlers a greater say - two of them will be allowed a maximum of 12 overs per innings. Interest in the Twenty20 format will stay for a couple of years, before gradually tapering off. The IPL will be around, though interest in it will dwindle, but the Champions League will die away.

Martin Williamson executive editor
The last decade has seen some major changes in the game, but on the field few have been as important as the increasing use of technology. Many of those who moan that it robs cricket of human error (and just why is that good?) are the ones who berate umpires when they make howlers. Most other sports, with the stubborn exception of football, are embracing technical advances, and cricket should be leading the way. The game's administrators keep dipping their toes in the water without taking the plunge. So what if officials became little more than number counters and coat-hangers? Surely the most important thing is that decisions are right? There's a suspicion that the ICC doesn't want too much technology as it might mean games are over quicker, but you have to hope common sense wins through. And please, can changes be thought through and explained to the public and officials? Too often they are rushed into place, with the end result the systems are confusing and discredited.

T&T players launch themselves on Kieron Pollard after their four-wicket win, New South Wales v Trinidad & Tobago, Champions League Twenty20, League A, Hyderabad, October 16, 2009
Champions League: Dead or alive? © Global Cricket Ventures-BCCI
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Dileep Premachandran associate editor
One way or the other, the Champions League Twenty20 will shape the game's future. If it succeeds as Lalit Modi hopes, the Champions League will eventually emulate its footballing counterpart, and become the competition every player craves to be part of year after year. If the global audience doesn't tune in - and remember that there are no home-and-away fixtures as in the UEFA version - the losses will be catastrophic. Twenty20 overkill could in some ways be the salvation of Test cricket, especially if we keep getting five-day games of the quality of Dunedin, Perth and Centurion last year.

Ian Chappell commentator and columnist
If the officials aren't extremely vigilant, the fixers will dampen the public's enthusiasm for Twenty20.

Gideon Haigh Australian cricket historian and writer
Ascendancy will fluctuate, because cricket has become too diverse a game to dominate. Overall, however, I suspect India will grow in on-field authority to match their off-field influence. God, as Napoleon said, is on the side of the big batallions.

Sambit Bal editor, Cricinfo
I cringe at the thought, but sometime during the next decade Tests will start getting crunched. Either they will reduce the number of hours per day, or more likely one whole day will be lopped off. Neither will be a bad thing if they can put a bit more life into the pitches. Batsmen will still score quickly, but if the bowlers are in the game, the right results will follow.

Christian Ryan former editor, Wisden Australia
Dimwitted administrators, with little feel for the game's charms, will do nothing about the too-powerful bats, with the result that twos and threes are seldom sighted, while fours and sixes become so routine that spectators cease to clap them.

Andrew Miller UK editor, Cricinfo
For most of the game's traditional supporters, the fate of Test cricket is the topic that will dominate all agendas. The grand old format has taken a battering in recent months, overwhelmed on the one hand by the popularity of Twenty20s and undermined on the other by deathly flat pitches and dwindling crowds. In the short term, Test cricket will soldier on; there are too many greats still in play - Tendulkar, Dravid and Ponting among them - for interest to fizzle out overnight. But as and when they retire, with a raft of records that will never be matched, what on earth will come in their stead? A clue as to the future will be on display next summer, when Pakistan and Australia play their series in the one country where five-day cricket remains a guaranteed crowd-puller. England, the country that gave birth to cricket, could well find itself nursing the old game through its dotage. As for 50-over cricket, the hideous schedule for the 2011 World Cup may well seal its fate. By 2020, Twenty20s will stand alone.

Virat Kohli succumbs nine short of his hundred, Bangladesh v India, Tri-series, 3rd ODI, Mirpur, January 7, 2010
Bangladesh may regularly challenge the top teams © Associated Press
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Jayaditya Gupta executive editor, Cricinfo
Cricket will rise in new territories, especially the USA, aided by technology. Wherever two dozen South Asians assemble - and there is barely a corner of the globe where they don't - cricket will be a lucrative sporting venture, sponsored by nanotechnology companies in Hyderabad and broadcast on high-definition palmtop screens. The USA will have its own version(s) of the IPL and the money on offer will break whatever hold the current powers have on individual players. In this great democratising process, monolithic controlling entities will retain their relevance only in organising a four-nation Test championship.

Harsha Bhogle Commentator and writer
There will be windows for Test cricket, and Tests will increasingly only be played between the better teams. ODIs and Twenty20 internationals will be home-away games. Only the 50-over World Cup will retain icon status. The IPL will become bigger than it is.

Telford Vice writer
Brace yourselves, cricket lovers, for more Twenty20 matches than you can throw your TV remote at. And for the youngest, brashest form of the game to breathe life into its more venerable siblings. Far from killing one-day and Test cricket, Twenty20 will breed new audiences. Now if only we could convince the bigger brothers to spruce themselves up so that they stay relevant enough to keep those audiences entertained.

© ESPN EMEA Ltd.

Comments: 49 
Posted by NicoliD on (January 11, 2010, 21:24 GMT)

Cricket is hopeless in the US- Any thoughts of penetrating the American market, or even finding a person on the street who could identify the USACA or even any equipment used in the sport, is an absolute pipe dream. They might as well just let the United States be adopted by the West Indies wholesale, take any players with any talent there, and try to prop up one of the failing Test nations.

Posted by inswing on (January 11, 2010, 21:20 GMT)

In the 2010s, both Tests and T20s will flourish. The ODI world cup will gradually diminish in importance while the T20 will gain, while Tests remaining at the pinnacle. People who are unable to realize that Tests and T20s are different games that have different things to offer will come to their senses, and the hysteria about the impending death of either one will subside. Test wickets will improve. Half the year will be devoted to T20s (where T20 leagues will be played in different countries, finishing with a champions league) and the other half to Test cricket, where many exiting contests with no one country dominating. India will dominate the ICC half as much as England and Australia used to dominate it, and the latter two will continue to complain about how outrageous that is. B'desh will improve to where WI is right now, and will win a home series against NZ. Technology will help in eliminating really bad errors, and no one will think twice about it.

Posted by ankursachinislife on (January 11, 2010, 17:33 GMT)

harsha bhogle is ryt wid his coment...

Posted by Hassan.Farooqi on (January 11, 2010, 16:25 GMT)

Australia would be the only country playing test cricket. Against whom? England maybe. ODI will die even in Australia. T20 will expand to all English speaking countries, courtesy of South Asians going there to find work.

Posted by TwitterJitter on (January 11, 2010, 16:00 GMT)

These are not predictions for they wilt in the first check against reality. These are wishlists.

Posted by stmookeyj on (January 11, 2010, 14:46 GMT)

I envisage that the T20 format will be restricted to IPL and a smaller domestic comp each year (with a window for the IPL to be played, with 12 teams playing each other once with semis).

I also see that the 50 over game becomes a 40 over game with tri-nations series everywhere to replace meaningless 5 and 7 game series.

As for test cricket, it will remain a 5 DAY (emphasis on DAY) match, perhaps with later starting times should the conditions permit. Most nations will host at least 2 teams per year and have at least 2-3 away trips per year outside of the IPL window, with the Ashes, Australia vs India, India vs Pakistan and South Africa vs England/Australia the only series lasting more than 2 tests.

And finally, dare I dream, International Cricket to return to Pakistan within 2 years?

Posted by pragmatist on (January 11, 2010, 13:38 GMT)

@mcheckley - excellent comment. So much club cricket is thoughtlessly "limited overs" with the draw element removed. Even in the short format, the draw adds something, meaning bowlers have to perform to win. My prediction for the 2010s - much like the 2000s, hysteria about the death of Tests will subside, T20 will be seen as the two-dimensional kids' game that it is. India will continue to throw its weight around but the cricket world has too great a love and respect for the game to sacrifice too much to the paymasters. Here's hoping. The one thing T20 has done for me is emphasise that Tests are really the only form of international cricket worth watching.

Posted by Sohrab_Hits on (January 11, 2010, 10:20 GMT)

American sports are grand, fast and exciting. There is light, camera and action. Cricket will not thrive. If an IPL like tournament is held in USA (if at all) it will never become a culture for the native american. The Cricket world talks about spreading Cricket to America but does it ever consider bringing American sport to Cricket countries...no...why...American sports will take over.

Posted by MinusZero on (January 11, 2010, 6:09 GMT)

I hope that T20's go away. Its just not cricket. I would like to see day-night tests in the future. Test cricket is still the pinnacle of achievement in cricket. I have no interest in seeing the ball disappear over the boundary several times in an over. Don Bradman would be rolling in his grave.

Posted by andy44 on (January 11, 2010, 4:59 GMT)

I very much doubt that test cricket will die - certainly not in the next decade. Even if the Windies and the Sub-Continent become disinterested - the game will merely return to the Anglo-Australia axis from which it started over 130 years ago, with South Africa and perhaps NZ continuing to compete in the format. The same mistakes that were made with the one-day game will be made with T20 - too many meaningless tournaments, to many games, horrendously docile wickets and ridiculously short boundaries - and its appeal will wear-off in Australia, England and South Africa, although it will no doubtcontinue to flourish on the Sub-Continent.

Posted by MrPuckle on (January 11, 2010, 4:55 GMT)

I get the feeling that if 20/20 cricket does get any traction in the US, the big baseball franchises will use it to recruit hitters for their existing teams....which means the game will not develop over there, and if it does it will be at the expense of the game in other counties. Test cricket does not face the same problem because the skills are deeper and harder to translate into other sports.

Posted by Sir-Collingwood on (January 11, 2010, 3:51 GMT)

In the 2010s, the editors aren't all that far off:

- D/N 4-day Tests are going to have to happen. - USA will rise, like it or not. And Canada will have a very strong say -- any sanctioned American-style IPL will be like Major League Soccer (Cricket Canada/USA Cricket together); and a team from Toronto will be its first champions! - Twenty20's glitter will fade, but it's here to stay. - Fifty50 (ODIs) will stay around, just won't be the way it was. - England will be at the top or near the top, West Indies will struggle but will make a run for the top by 2020.

Posted by Nerk on (January 11, 2010, 2:08 GMT)

Richie Benaud will make a comeback to the commentary box. People will get viciously bored with 20/20, saying that it gets too boring and predictable in the middle overs, and eventually the world will move to 15/15, 10/10, 5/5 etc. and in order to bring more people to test matches, the B.C.C.I. will institute multi-ball rules much like pinball and the rest of the world will follow suit. And Robert Mugabe, disgruntled with the political leanings of Zimbabwe Cricket, will install himself as captain and loyal ZCU members as his team. Go the 2010s!

Posted by MrPuckle on (January 11, 2010, 2:01 GMT)

Cricket in all forms is a business....it is no longer just a sport. As such it requires a balance of supply and demand. I think something that all of the commentators are neglecting is where does the supply come from. Has anyone asked the players what they want cricket to look like in 2020? I think if you did ask them they would univerally say that test cricket is what it is all about and because of that I believe 2020 will not be an international phenomenon, but more of a first class stepping stone to the elite level. All sports are the same, you play in high level local or national competitions to qualify for the true test of your skills against other nations. As for the demand side, I can see two distinct audiences for test and 20/20 cricket .....I can not see 50 over cricket continuing much longer in it's current form because simply there is no need for it...the players don't want to play it and no one wants to watch it.

Posted by rafaelrey on (January 11, 2010, 0:57 GMT)

England will become the best test nation. Test cricket in england is alive and well with good crowds in england and as a result we are still producing test match players eg Alastair Cook Ian Bell who are prepared to bat for long sessions nudging the ball around. Other countries obsessed with IPL T 20 will fade in tests as technique is substituted for power hitting and improvisation. Other teams in tests are reliant on the old guard the : Tendulkars, Dravids, Husseys, Pontings, Laxmans and Kallis' once there gone i can t see many players from other countries whose game is suited to test matches they seem to be ODI players that play tests. I am English and biased but if people are disinterested in test cricket in the sub continent the teams cannot hope to flourish. SA and Australia will remain reletively strong but England will dominate.

Posted by skidmark on (January 11, 2010, 0:20 GMT)

20/20 will b replaced by 10/10 where every player except the keeper will bowl one over, this will then be reduced to one ball per player. Dot balls will b celebrated by fireworks and runs will no longer be counted but instead the length in meters the ball is hit will be mapped by GPS.

Posted by mcheckley on (January 10, 2010, 23:03 GMT)

If, by imposing ANY overs-limit, one removes the principle that IN ORDER TO WIN THE GAME YOU HAVE NOT ONLY TO BAT WELL BUT MUST ALSO BOWL THE OPPOSITION OUT one has invented a new game. It may be attractive, but it is not truly cricket. The type of cricket people want to watch is determined by the type of cricket they PLAY, in schools, in Clubs and on the village green. There is still a following for Test Matches in the UK because most of the older fans played school and club cricket in a situation which differed from a Test Match only inasmuch as there was only one innings per side. Playing for a draw, an important part of "proper" cricket, was very much part of the game. Most club cricket today is limited overs. People who have only ever played limited overs "cricket" cannot be expected to appreciate the nuances of the proper game. To ensure the longterm future of Test Matches as the pinnacle of the game we must seek to restore "proper cricket" to the school and club environment.

Posted by kantipur on (January 10, 2010, 22:40 GMT)

In ten years time west indies will not only be number 1 team in the world but also start to dominate the world cricket like they did once. West indies have the best collection of young cricketers who will turn to world beaters in years to come. So i think peter English is 200 percent wrong in this prediction.

However, he have said very interesting thing about loyalty of cricketers to a club. And ICC should look at it. Because you see players like Chris Gayle playing 20-20 tournament for jamaica today, Western Australia tomorrow and kolkata the day after. Loyalty is very important factor thats why i believe one player should be allowed to play for only one team for one season.

And it is not surprising that in Champions league teams with allegiances like Trinidad, NSW and victoria did well compared to ad hoc team of IPL.

Posted by stalefresh on (January 10, 2010, 22:34 GMT)

Test Cricket will remain a game for southern hemisphere AND the British. The remaining countries will keep playing each other in shorter formats of the games, in meaningless games, eventually leading to a complete death in spectator interest. Eventually leading to a stronger come back for test match cricket in the northern hemisphere. Well, atleast that's what I hope.

Posted by scritty on (January 10, 2010, 21:16 GMT)

Mmatch fixing and the abundance of boundary clearing shots mean that I doubt twenty 20 will be around in 2020 (no pun intended). 6's will get yawns rather than cheers.In the UK (where we are about to enter our eigth year of full participation in twenty20 by first class teams) crowds are already dropping massively. It's doomed. It should be used as a tool to introduce nations/youngsters etc to the game - and by club cricket for midweek games (where, despite the ECB's claim to have invented the game it has been played for many years) West Indies will re-emerge as a force. Zimbabwe will fail, both as a country and as a cricket team. Fingers crossed South Africa don't follow them

Posted by DuggyS on (January 10, 2010, 20:48 GMT)

Pld dont such silly titles to your articles. Most of them are good, but a few of them are over thought and written. Test cricket will always be the best in the next decade also, for that matter ever. recently Gambhir said in an interview- " We dont practice day in dayout to play 4 overs in a T20 match" That one sentence will explain. Atleast I am not the one to see flashing blades for 4 overs. I am not the one who hates T20 but Test cricekt will always be great followed by 50 overs.

Posted by ranmath on (January 10, 2010, 18:47 GMT)

My wish for this decade.

1. 20/20: Continues as such. Kudos to Modi et al for letting top cricketers earn top monies. And entertainment for the spectator.

2. 40/40: ODIs to transform into 40 overs. (50 is too long)

3. 80/80: Test matches to be 80 overs each day per inning. So a test match will last 4 days or less. The 5th day will be to make up time lost in case of rain etc. If still not completed the team with the first innings lead wins.

Good luck

Posted by start_of_an_era on (January 10, 2010, 18:18 GMT)

I predict a revival for Test cricket, and I think the main catalyst is already in place - the umpire referral system. In a stroke, this has restored parity to the bowlers, who will now always get the decision in their favour if they have got a legitimate lbw or a catch. Already we are starting to see lower innings scores, and a fairer contest between bat and ball. It will also wipe out the ridiculous habit of batsmen not walking when they know they nicked it, and so begin to bring back some essence of cricket being a fair and noble game. I think we will also see a test championship, with relegation and promotion to and from the second tier of nations, which will also increase interest. I'm sure 2020 will continue to do well, but I'm not so sure about the 50 over game. It will become increasingly difficult to justify its existence, as it will have neither the instant excitement of 2020, nor the satisfying complexity of test cricket. So what is it for?

Posted by jupiterlaw on (January 10, 2010, 17:52 GMT)

Cricket-O-Cricket: You posted some interesting ides but regard to your ideas on test cricket, what would 100 overs test? It may still be referred to a cricket but not TEST cricket. Whatever you do you should never associate the word test with that sort of scenario. Your next suggestion might be to reduce the number on each team from 11 to 5. Let's leave the test as it is or let it die.

Posted by pudden on (January 10, 2010, 17:30 GMT)

We cricket lovers in the United States willcertainly want to see the game elevated to a different level. But what seems to be the problem? My. Jayaditya Gupta in his comments crystalizes one of the most destructive impediment in the rise of the game, and that is insularity.

he is generalizing that because the South Asias players are all over.... the game will rise. What happen to the Australians, Englishmen, South Africa, West Indians, etc. that are playing the game in this country? Does Mr. Gupta feel they have to contribution to make?

Let's get off this narrow-minded way of thinking. Sam Sooppersaud

Posted by Leggie123 on (January 10, 2010, 15:15 GMT)

T20 and ODI has ruined the class and temprement of test cricket. Players like Umar Akmal are now just hitting every ball for atleast four runs insted of being patient for the bad ball and playing the ball according to its merits.

Posted by CricketingStargazer on (January 10, 2010, 14:50 GMT)

Interesting and wise comments on T20 overkill. It is already happening in England, where crowds are becoming increasingly selective. 40 years ago the, then, Gillette Cup was a guaranteed money-spinner for county sides; now Lords is not even full for the Final. T20 crowds are declining as the number of games increase and the One Day game has an increasing low profile. Curiously though, County Championship crowds are experimenting a modest rise with some teams regularly getting crowds that lower division footbal sides would be happy with.

Although we hear regularly about the death of Test cricket (and, more logically, ODIs) the desperation of India to organise a few Tests to protect its position as Number 1 in the rankings shows how much success in Tests is important to sides in a way that success in ODIs never will be.

Posted by popcorn on (January 10, 2010, 14:25 GMT)

I DO NOT WATCH Twenty20 Cricket.I watch ONLY Test Cricket and ODIs-that too, ALL FIVE DAYS of EVERY Test match that Australia plays and EVERY SINGLE ODI that Australia plays. Because Australia is the pinnacle of performance. Australian Cricketers like Ricky Ponting,Michael Clarke,Mitchell Johnson,Peter Siddle have told IPL to get lost. That's the spirit. Lalit Modi and the impotent ICC will kill the game. Australia have shown the world how Test Cricket,Sheffield Shield,ODIs,and the KFC Twenty 20 can co-exist.If ICC is sensible,they will give last priority to Twenty20,will not allow BCCI to stamp on them with hobnailed boots,and will look at the overall picture of Cricket. They should look at the overall Top Line and Bottom line,not expect Test Cricket to generate the same revenue as Twenty20.And ICC should quickly announce a Championship of Test Cricket EVERY FOURTH YEAR - each side plays the other 7, home and away in a round robin format-the top two sides play a best of three finals.

Posted by pragmatist on (January 10, 2010, 14:04 GMT)

The headline says 'the death of Tests' but I don't see one pundit saying that.

Like other correspondents, the day Test cricket dies, so does my interest in cricket. Let's not overanalyse the sport to death Cricinfo, with talk of shortening the great game.

Posted by Afta on (January 10, 2010, 13:42 GMT)

I think all formats of the game are interesting whether it be test,one day or the 20/20. These days when everything (bats are thicker,batsmen have all the protective gear like a space-man) is loaded in favour of the batsmen, what is so great about batting? On the other hand the bowlers bend their backs and get injured more often, the weight, shape, and the contitution of the leather ball has never changed. The only thing they've invented is the reverse swing and for that you got to have ideal conditions! So, as somebody said, give something more to the bowlers to make the game more interesting. My suggestion, 100 overs a side in each innings in test cricket. If the fielding side gets all 10 wickets within the 100 overs (say in 76 overs, the 24 overs balance could be added when they bat. ie.124 overs). In the one day game reduce the overs to 44 each and the 20/20, add two more overs 22 each. I am confident all formats of the game will get more interesting, specially Test Cricket.

Posted by Sidhanta-Patnaik on (January 10, 2010, 13:19 GMT)

Guess never has the future decade of Cricket been discussed at this length as it is being done now. Thanks to the media power and cricinfo's continuous analysis.

Posted by Anneeq on (January 10, 2010, 12:27 GMT)

I think the Aussies are going to really drop down the rankings big time. They have really struggled against the the Windies, who are btw a vastly improving force again. And a Pakistan whos nation is rife with the terrorist attacks. If it wasnt for Yousuf and the coach losing the plot, they would be 1-1 fighting to regain the series!!

T20 is viewed at way too negatively!! ODI's were an innovation just like T20, its not a jewel like test cricket that we should preserve. We should have two forms test cricket and T20 cricket. We should also back them both seriously rather than half heartedly, because @ the moment im forever hearing commentators moan about T20's not being real cricket etc. Test cricket is the pure stuff, T20 is the entertainer, ODIs are out of date but good whilst it lasted. Decide once and for all what forms of cricket you want and STICK by them. Because it doesnt look to good to new viewers when commentators arent passionately talking the sport thats being played!!

Posted by A.S.K. on (January 10, 2010, 11:55 GMT)

Her's some more: Sri Lanka will continue to improve, and be #2 in Test and ODI's. India won't recover from the influence of 20/20, the retirement of spoilt rich pricks like Tendulkar, Gambhir, and Sehwag, and the seedy nature of the turds that run the game there, and will end up as #6 in both forms - and will blame everybody else (so what else is new) for their downfall. Cricinfo's current crop of devotees will abandon this website in their droves, when they wake up to the bullshit whining of Sambit Bal, Michael Jeh, and Peter Roebuck. Australia will stay between 1 and 3 in both forms of the game throughout the decade. New Zealand will still be shit in Tests. England will still be a load of overrated crap, that'll win one test series in four (yet we'll still never hear the end of it) Pakistan will be #3 or #4 consistently - and will play tests at home.

Posted by windiescricetfan on (January 10, 2010, 11:30 GMT)

I think I will stop visiting cricinfo. First Brian Lara is left off their teams of the decade for no reason and then they insult the west indies by saying Ireland and the Netherlands will pass them. I am officially boycotting this website. I am fed up

Posted by windiescricetfan on (January 10, 2010, 11:28 GMT)

Is Peter English a racist? Why is it Zimbabwe and the West Indies the only 2 "black" teams in world cricket have been picked out as being below Ireland and Netherlands 2 predominantly white nations. Seems a little strange to me

Posted by 123_4 on (January 10, 2010, 11:16 GMT)

Peter English Australasia editor, Cricinfo Tired of meaningless fixtures, bored by the constant cheque presentations, and worn down by the dominance of corruption and gambling, spectators will have deserted Twenty20 by 201 9. The proliferation of domestic tournaments at the beginning of the decade will hold their spark for a couple of years before the followers lose interest as the players switch allegiances as quickly as team uniforms change. Due to the power of the corporate backers, the results will be decided in the boardrooms, despite the pretence that those on the field are actually involved in determining who wins. Test cricket will have regained its status as the unsullied, sparkling form of the game, although it will be played under lights, over four days and in a minimum of three-game contests. Ireland and the Netherlands will be above Zimbabwe and West Indies on the rankings, with Bangladesh regularly challenging the top teams.

S Rajesh stats editor, Cricinfo The 2010

Posted by RahulSharma5 on (January 10, 2010, 10:29 GMT)

I feel test cricket is still alive after watching brethtaking matches in the ongoing series in South Africa and Australia... The Test Matches are really getting interesting especially when it gets drawn with just a wicket remaining and the opposition team feels deflated... I was not against test cricket right from the beginning.. People should also realise the Test Cricket carries a different status it's very very different from Twenty 20 and ODI games.

Posted by MightyMax on (January 10, 2010, 10:11 GMT)

Some of the comments by some of the commentators are a bit strange to say the least. Cricket is best when there is a serious contest between bat and ball. And where else do you get that than in test cricket. Seem to me as if the commentators (some) want the death of test cricket because they find it long and hard "work", but not so the true cricket fan. By what I've gathered the interest in test cricket is still very much there and does not seem to be dwindling except in those neutral matches and when ticket prices are high. The only change I see is required in test cricket is that when a result is possible like the two recent matches in South Africa where England hung on to the last wicket for the matches to end as a draw, the match should have a winner. If the final test ends the same way would it be fair to say England is the better team as the updated rankings would say? I love test cricket and would not be interested in any other cricket the way I'm interested in test cricket.

Posted by wanderer1 on (January 10, 2010, 9:10 GMT)

The US is a declining nation, economically, militarily and politically. I can't understand why people think the US will embrace cricket when it has rejected it for over 60 years. Even with a growing ex-pat community it still isn't big enough to domestically stand up on its own two feet. The infrastructure isn't there. Once again people are looking to the wrong nations, and Jay Gupta is wishful thinking.

Posted by boooonnie on (January 10, 2010, 7:45 GMT)

20/20 may take out 50 aside but what does it matter? One fluff replaces another. At least 20/20 has the potential to take the game all over the world. And with South Asians pouring out all over the world then it is conceiable that cricket in its 20/20 format may blossum in new places. I also agree that tests may have longer days and go for 4 days instead of 5 but as long as wickets dont become batters paradise then that shouldnt matter either. The key to good test cricket and it's surivival is creating wickets that dont see scores of 600 every innings - bowlers must stand a chance to get 20 wickets and RESULTS! And to me tests are the heart and soul of cricket, lose that and it dies!

Posted by featurewriter on (January 10, 2010, 6:54 GMT)

Jayaditya, I really can't see the U.S. embracing cricket. I spent six years playing first division on the West Coast (2002-2007) and I saw zero growth in the sport during that time. We tried to encourage Americans to get involved with the sport and the resulting comment was always the same: Boring! I was the only Australian playing on the West Coast (in first division, at least) - and I played alongside and against mostly Indians, Pakistanis, Sris, Bangladeshis and West Indians. Made a lot of great mates, played alongside some fantastic former international players...but sadly, we had more players than supporters at every game. I wish it would happen, as it would propel our sport to an even greater level and open up financial opportunities to develop the game and properly reward top-levels players (in line with golf, tennis, baseball, football, etc.). But I really can't see it happening.

Posted by sachithsand on (January 10, 2010, 6:45 GMT)

I think Sri lanka will turn out to be a consistant side with allrounders like Mathews & thisara perera coming!

Posted by lucyferr on (January 10, 2010, 6:20 GMT)

Right then, half of you are off my poker playing list! Saying some of these predictions with a straight face is an incredible achievement. The Windies, returning as a force to be reckoned with? True - if the force is New Zealand! I do agree though that T20 will be dead - by 2020, the most commercially lucrative (and therefore important) form of the game will have four 10-over innings per team. Tests will survive - the question is, who'll be playing them? And why is there a problem with an abundance of domestic professional leagues? Do we want only the tiny fraction of cricketers who make national squads to make a decent living from the game? One final prediction - pitches will be miked up so that the TV audience (and the players' mothers) can hear all the sledging... and, for an extra fee, instant subtitles of them will be available in multiple languages.

Posted by japdb on (January 10, 2010, 5:36 GMT)

Maybe IPL will thrive and take a few foreign teams in to expand and give the competition some international relevance. It seems likely to thrive if the money holds up. Lot less one dayers are likely with maybe just the world cup as some sort on nostalgic event. Not too bad an idea as there are too many 1 dayers already. I think the 20/20 world cup will take over as world wide significance. And maybe 3 day tests (like 2 one dayers played one after the other - say 75 overs per innings instead of 50). Overs not used go to the other side.

Posted by TwitterJitter on (January 10, 2010, 5:10 GMT)

http://www.newyorker.com/archive/2005/12/05/051205crbo_books1?currentPage=all. All the pundits who made predictions should read this link. It has an interesting perspective on punditry.

Posted by Test_Match_Fan on (January 10, 2010, 4:52 GMT)

Peter English is correct for cricket's sake. 20/20 is non-cricket entertainment. Go Test Match cricket, Go Australia!

Posted by mittheimp on (January 10, 2010, 4:50 GMT)

"Ireland and the Netherlands will be above Zimbabwe and West Indies on the rankings"

Is Peter English being facetious or is this what he really thinks? If it is than God help cricinfo if that is the calibre of journastic insight!

Posted by TwitterJitter on (January 10, 2010, 4:28 GMT)

To make you accountable for your predictions - as you earn your living off of analysis and predictions - cricinfo should keep a tab of all payments made to you over the next decade. If your predictions are off by say 50% (lets put cutoff at 50%), then you need to refund them back to cricinfo by 50%. Anything more will be deducted proportionately. On the other hand cricinfo should start paying 10% bonus payments to people whose predictions are close by 75%. If you are 100% correct, you should be handed over the keys to cricinfo executive office. I presume most of you - other than Ian Chappell who was wise to keep his predictions to one sentence - will end up paying through your pockets. I would have included Harsha too because he has less than 3 lines but those 3 lines have many short sentences and predictions in them. Sorry Harsha. :-)

Posted by 2.14istherunrate on (January 10, 2010, 3:36 GMT)

I don't know whether it's the writers onview here or just the contentious topics, but I am yawning!!!!!!! No-one here is really bothering. How is a game designed to for an audience who grew up enthralled by an essentially slow meandeiring sport of many episodes going to ever get the hang of a short not so cheap thrill.Logic forbids. The one is for the short attention span viewer in need of an adrenalin fix and the other for the more cerebral contemplative type of person. Do those whose diet is popcorn or at best junk food often dine alongside lovers of more nutritious better cooked fare? In all probability we will have this discussion in ten years and both factions will regard one another with enormous mutual mistrust. To suggest above all that only 20/20 will be around then is worthy of psychiatric attention, that greats end after Ponting retires is happily a complete phantasy;by what law? There will merely be adaptations.

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