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New Zealand need to prioritise Tests - Crowe

ESPNcricinfo staff

December 16, 2011

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Martin Crowe began the World Cup with a century, Australia v New Zealand, World Cup, Auckland, February 22, 1992
Martin Crowe has said New Zealand's domestic schedule needs to be centred around first-class cricket © Getty Images
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Martin Crowe, the former New Zealand captain, has said New Zealand Cricket needs to prioritise Tests by changing the schedule of first-class matches in the country. New Zealand play their next Test in late January and the next fixture in the Plunket Shield, the country's first-class competition, is not until February 17. In the interim there is a spate of limited-overs matches, geared to draw crowds during the holiday season.

"If you want to play good Test cricket, like we did [in Hobart], then schedule everything around first-class cricket," Crowe told the New Zealand Herald. "You can still fit in the commercial competitions that bring in the money, but we've got a problem when our next first-class match in this country is the Test in late January.

"Go figure, it just doesn't stack up for me."

New Zealand beat Australia by seven runs in Hobart to level the Test series 1-1 earlier this month. It was their first Test win against Australia since 1993, and their first in Australia since 1985. Crowe said New Zealand had the "bones" to be a good Test-playing unit but that much more needed to be done on the domestic front. "There's the bones there to be very good, but it depends what our priorities are because I don't sense we prioritise Test cricket; certainly our domestic schedule doesn't suggest that.

"That's where Australia have dropped the ball in recent years, with their emphasis on Twenty20, just like we have."

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by   on (December 18, 2011, 12:41 GMT)

We have to remember we're all die-hard cricket fans so enjoy test cricket. Times are changing and we have to move with it or get left behind. Look at world trends, the crowds are dying in test cricket (except a few marquee events like the ashes), attention span for anything is getting shorter and shorter. Test cricket will be dead 20 years from now (probably sooner). We might not like it but it's a reality. People want to take their kids or girlfriend along for an hour or two, get a taste for the action and go home, not spend all day - or five days - sitting around watching a game develop.

In my opinion a small nation like NZ should focus on the shorter stuff. Specialise. We don't have the numbers or the finance and end up being average at all three formats.

Posted by FatBoysCanBat on (December 18, 2011, 8:42 GMT)

They should include two rounds of 4-dayers in during the T20 comp to ensure our top players have some proper game time going into the test matches against Zimbabwe and South Africa. All I can say is I'm glad we play Zimbabwe first.

Posted by   on (December 17, 2011, 19:54 GMT)

There's no better way to explain it then Martin has done. For test cricket at home, I have a major problem with the pitches. India turns up knowing their batting power, we produce absolute beltors which makes us look mediocre where as the way should be pace and swing. I dont care its not sporting as long as it gives us every chance of winning at home and from there the test public will raise. I also do what most do sometimes, 'o nz playing a test match, here we go again' we need to do the little things right.

Posted by   on (December 17, 2011, 8:51 GMT)

I agree T-20 is rubbish,one-day not so great, but Test Cricket is the real cricket..real test of your skills...it is what differentiates men from boys!

Posted by Kiwi-Jake on (December 16, 2011, 13:10 GMT)

Crowe echoing every New Zealand cricket "expert" out there. Thing is that if your domestic t20 is pretty much the biggest money-gainer NZ cricket has apart from Indian tours during this recession, you NEED to have it at peak times (height of summer, during school holidays) to maximise profit. No point 'prioritizing' test cricket if you can't afford your own strip. Really the only way this can really work out is if we tack on some extra 4 day games to the start and end of the domestic season. As far as the player's interests go, pretty much all of them have stated that test cricket is the pinnacle and t20 is just a sideshow, so Mark's just talking out his butt there. NZ certainly need more proper tests though more than anything, I am so sick of 1-off and 2 test series.

Posted by cricketkumar on (December 16, 2011, 12:20 GMT)

@G-Wyll I loved your comments. You are dead right.

Posted by jonesy2 on (December 16, 2011, 12:14 GMT)

NZ need to PLAY test cricket. they dont ever play against good teams. the series against australia was the first time they had played a top side since they went to india awhile ago. if they got to play top teams regularly they would be a top team themselves.

Posted by   on (December 16, 2011, 11:47 GMT)

Actually the Plunkett Shield does not restart until 17 February, just two weeks before the Test series against South Africa. Martin is spot on here.

Posted by Mattyblackcapsfan on (December 16, 2011, 11:47 GMT)

i think 20/20 has a place but not under any circumstance should it b ahead of tests or odi cricket 4 that matter,crowes right we always talk bout becomin stronger in test cricket but while were playin hit n giggle s.a r playing a test series as we speak preparing the right way,we played extremely well to draw that series in aus but surely the boys need hardened 1st class cricket to prepare 4 wat is goin to b a immense task against south africa,in saying that i still think we can win the series go you black caps!!!

Posted by aqua_omer on (December 16, 2011, 11:10 GMT)

No harm in playing T20 and ODI's but the onus should be on test cricket as that's the pinnacle and like Australia, NZ should play boxing day and new yr test and make it part of sporting calender...We need top 8 teams to fire in test cricket to make it competetive, can'y just have top 2 or 3 teams ruling the world as that makes it boring!!

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