South Africa news November 26, 2013

Graeme Smith urges end to two-Test series

ESPNcricinfo staff
50

Graeme Smith, South Africa's Test captain, has asked for an end to two-Test series and urged Cricket South Africa (CSA) to schedule more matches for the national side. According to Smith, a Test series of at least three matches motivated players more, although he admitted they had little say in the matter.

"When it is at least a three-Test series, it has a little more definition in your own mind," Smith told Sport 24. "Ultimately it is up to the ICC, as the main stakeholders, to lead the game forward. As players, we are totally reliant on them. We have no decision-making in these things and we would love to see them putting the game in good light, leading us forward into a good space."

Smith had voiced a similar view during South Africa's recent tour to the United Arab Emirates, where the side played a two-Test series against Pakistan. "I don't really know why we come here and only play two Tests, its neither here nor there," he had said. "We would like a longer series but obviously we are not in control of that."

South Africa's next series against India also comprises two Tests, in Johannesburg and Durban. Smith said he preferred longer series because the team thrived under the challenge of playing as the No. 1 ranked side in the world.

"I can't see how, as the No 1-ranked side, the world wouldn't want to see us playing as much as possible, and we want to be involved in big series," Smith said. "That's how we got to No 1: beating England in England and Australia in Australia. Those are the type of series we seem to thrive on. The more of those, the better for us."

Prior to the UAE tour in October, South Africa had played only five Tests in 2013, the last one against Pakistan in February. Smith said that the long gaps between Tests were difficult for the side, and he hoped CSA would take note while scheduling series.

"It is certainly hugely challenging. It was one of my worries going to Abu Dhabi after some six months away (from the format)," he said. "It's hard to recreate in such a short period of time; you could see the huge difference in us from the first Test against Pakistan to the second, performance-wise and, even slightly, in terms of attitude and commitment to our skills.

"Hopefully CSA in particular can [address the situation]. I do understand that in World Cup lead-up periods it's always tough; the World Cup will take up quite a large space in 2015. But CSA also has a massive asset in the Test team, and hopefully we'll be back playing more, rather than not playing (enough)."

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • bizman on November 27, 2013, 7:01 GMT

    Agree with Smith that test series between leading nations should be minimum of 3 test and can go upto 5 tests. The longer series gives both the teams to get fair chance to make a come back after losing the first test. But in 2 test series if you lose first test there is no chance to win the series. 2 test series should be for lesser teams and not for prominent teams like SA, Aus, Eng, Ind, Pak, SL

  • ReverseSweepIndia on November 28, 2013, 4:26 GMT

    Smith, whatever you said is perfect for an ideal world, but not feasible in practical. You know upto around 20-30 years back players were used to get paid pittance and had least backroom staff a coach, a manager and a doctor at the most. Now there are coach, batting coach, bowling coach, fielding coach, and in cases like Eng, who carry around 100 men staff along with test squad. And they all need to get paid and paid well. Then there is small matter of paying to players as well and we want them to be get paid well too. From where this money will come if match is not being watched on TV and in stadium? Well, we can have a work around. Top 4 teams (revenue, not ranking) should play min of 4 tests with each other. Ind-Eng-Aus do that already bar a few exceptions and Ashes is 5 matches. Need to add SA to that club. And then ensure that SL-Pak get 3 tests each when they play against any of these sides. And 2 tests series can be limited to WI-NZ-Ban, no disrespect to them, but once ...contd

  • mohsin9975 on November 27, 2013, 22:45 GMT

    In matters of money, common sense and opinion of majority takes a backseat. At least it is the case with BCCI. I dont think Indian players have a say in FTP scheduling nor do i think they are inclined towards Test cricket now. In Ganguly era, we had 4 test series in England & Aus and 3 test series in SA although we had mid-table Test ranking. But the Fab 4 were determined to win Test match/series abroad n cherished them more than anything else. But since the IPL-derived money got into the coffers n head of BCCI officials/players, we no more hear indian players say that Test cricket is the ultimate form of cricket & needs to be preserved

  • cnksnk on November 27, 2013, 9:30 GMT

    contd... if the ICC has indicated that a minimum of 3 tests is required for a series then teams would have complied. Australia have played atleast 13 tests this year ( 4 against India and 9 against England and I am sure they must have played a few in Jan and Feb prior to the India tour.). England also play close to 12 tests in a year as does India. So CSA needs to introspect... My suggestion is that matches amongst the top 4 teams must be a minimum of 4 tests, between the top 6 team a minimum of 3 tests and for other teams 2 tests... ICC and all the Boards need to be smart and wake up and smell the coffee.

  • cnksnk on November 27, 2013, 9:26 GMT

    All cricket lovers will want atleast 3 tests series and if it is between the top 4 teams then a 5 test series. No questions. However some of these valid questions need to be raised by Smith with CSA. They just do not seem to be too interested with test cricket. Does any one remember when they last played a 5 test series , home of away with any country. Even the original schedule with India did not suggest 5 tests but 3 tests and 7 ODI's. If the top 2 teams do not play 5 tests then who will. It is another matter that BCCI did not agree to play the 3 rd test sighting contractual issues. Which to me is all hog wash. Can the Indian cricket team not play without sponsors for 1 test. Any way most teams play atleast 10 tests a year , so if SA after being No 1 do not play atleast 10 then it seems to be that CSA is not very kicked about it. BTW, the reason why teams play 2 tests is because ICC has rather stupidly indicated that a minimum of 2 tests is needed for a series. contd...

  • pinch-hitter75 on November 27, 2013, 9:23 GMT

    @ bizman

    I'm against the 2-match series also and prefer the longer versions of series for obvious reasons to anyone who likes good cricket. Though to choose who the lesser teams are and assign them a 2-match series would likewise be unfair in determining objectively who the lesser teams are on a continual basis, given that tours are scheduled some years in advance. Also location plays a fair part in deciding which teams are lesser than which. Played in October in Delhi, Ahmadabad, and Kanpur dust bowls and one would fancy India to beat anyone bar Pak or SL 2-0 or 3-0 depending. Though put India on Jamaica, Barbados and Antigua green tops a month later, or say England in Colombo, then the "lesser" teams would fancy their chances.

    Ironically if the Ashes was a 2-match series then Cricket Australia wouldn't have to worry about Broad being tackled on Boxing day as the series would already be done by then. I'd say 3-match series across the board regardless of teams.

  • on November 27, 2013, 7:25 GMT

    in the same tone as used by W G Grace for his batting ;-)

    give the mace to the Indians 'cause all the boards want to see them play... does justice to your statements Grame ;-)

  • vinoop on November 27, 2013, 7:08 GMT

    @immortalsidu

    BCCI planned WI tour because the SA tour was on hold because of the spat with Lorgan. THey didn't plan this or sachin.Only after the tour was finalized Sachin announced his retirement. Just know something about cricket before making comments. Its sad that everyone like this can express opinions in public websites.

  • Nick636 on November 27, 2013, 6:20 GMT

    @ landofcricket

    (One of) the problems also lies with India feelining they hold the cricketing world in the palms of their hands. CSA pushed for more tests but India refused. They wanted a short series and even demanded they NOT deal with the CSA president and he stand down from negotiations before they would continue. Who do they think they are? They had committed to a series here, and then dictated how we should run the series.

    And Test cricket is still the most thrilling. The sense that ANYTHING could happen keeps fans in suspense. IT IS NOT A DEAD / DYING form

  • SA_Lourens on November 27, 2013, 6:12 GMT

    They don't want Kallis to score more test runs than Tendulkar, which WILL happen if SA plays a fair number of games! Go Kallis!!!

  • bizman on November 27, 2013, 7:01 GMT

    Agree with Smith that test series between leading nations should be minimum of 3 test and can go upto 5 tests. The longer series gives both the teams to get fair chance to make a come back after losing the first test. But in 2 test series if you lose first test there is no chance to win the series. 2 test series should be for lesser teams and not for prominent teams like SA, Aus, Eng, Ind, Pak, SL

  • ReverseSweepIndia on November 28, 2013, 4:26 GMT

    Smith, whatever you said is perfect for an ideal world, but not feasible in practical. You know upto around 20-30 years back players were used to get paid pittance and had least backroom staff a coach, a manager and a doctor at the most. Now there are coach, batting coach, bowling coach, fielding coach, and in cases like Eng, who carry around 100 men staff along with test squad. And they all need to get paid and paid well. Then there is small matter of paying to players as well and we want them to be get paid well too. From where this money will come if match is not being watched on TV and in stadium? Well, we can have a work around. Top 4 teams (revenue, not ranking) should play min of 4 tests with each other. Ind-Eng-Aus do that already bar a few exceptions and Ashes is 5 matches. Need to add SA to that club. And then ensure that SL-Pak get 3 tests each when they play against any of these sides. And 2 tests series can be limited to WI-NZ-Ban, no disrespect to them, but once ...contd

  • mohsin9975 on November 27, 2013, 22:45 GMT

    In matters of money, common sense and opinion of majority takes a backseat. At least it is the case with BCCI. I dont think Indian players have a say in FTP scheduling nor do i think they are inclined towards Test cricket now. In Ganguly era, we had 4 test series in England & Aus and 3 test series in SA although we had mid-table Test ranking. But the Fab 4 were determined to win Test match/series abroad n cherished them more than anything else. But since the IPL-derived money got into the coffers n head of BCCI officials/players, we no more hear indian players say that Test cricket is the ultimate form of cricket & needs to be preserved

  • cnksnk on November 27, 2013, 9:30 GMT

    contd... if the ICC has indicated that a minimum of 3 tests is required for a series then teams would have complied. Australia have played atleast 13 tests this year ( 4 against India and 9 against England and I am sure they must have played a few in Jan and Feb prior to the India tour.). England also play close to 12 tests in a year as does India. So CSA needs to introspect... My suggestion is that matches amongst the top 4 teams must be a minimum of 4 tests, between the top 6 team a minimum of 3 tests and for other teams 2 tests... ICC and all the Boards need to be smart and wake up and smell the coffee.

  • cnksnk on November 27, 2013, 9:26 GMT

    All cricket lovers will want atleast 3 tests series and if it is between the top 4 teams then a 5 test series. No questions. However some of these valid questions need to be raised by Smith with CSA. They just do not seem to be too interested with test cricket. Does any one remember when they last played a 5 test series , home of away with any country. Even the original schedule with India did not suggest 5 tests but 3 tests and 7 ODI's. If the top 2 teams do not play 5 tests then who will. It is another matter that BCCI did not agree to play the 3 rd test sighting contractual issues. Which to me is all hog wash. Can the Indian cricket team not play without sponsors for 1 test. Any way most teams play atleast 10 tests a year , so if SA after being No 1 do not play atleast 10 then it seems to be that CSA is not very kicked about it. BTW, the reason why teams play 2 tests is because ICC has rather stupidly indicated that a minimum of 2 tests is needed for a series. contd...

  • pinch-hitter75 on November 27, 2013, 9:23 GMT

    @ bizman

    I'm against the 2-match series also and prefer the longer versions of series for obvious reasons to anyone who likes good cricket. Though to choose who the lesser teams are and assign them a 2-match series would likewise be unfair in determining objectively who the lesser teams are on a continual basis, given that tours are scheduled some years in advance. Also location plays a fair part in deciding which teams are lesser than which. Played in October in Delhi, Ahmadabad, and Kanpur dust bowls and one would fancy India to beat anyone bar Pak or SL 2-0 or 3-0 depending. Though put India on Jamaica, Barbados and Antigua green tops a month later, or say England in Colombo, then the "lesser" teams would fancy their chances.

    Ironically if the Ashes was a 2-match series then Cricket Australia wouldn't have to worry about Broad being tackled on Boxing day as the series would already be done by then. I'd say 3-match series across the board regardless of teams.

  • on November 27, 2013, 7:25 GMT

    in the same tone as used by W G Grace for his batting ;-)

    give the mace to the Indians 'cause all the boards want to see them play... does justice to your statements Grame ;-)

  • vinoop on November 27, 2013, 7:08 GMT

    @immortalsidu

    BCCI planned WI tour because the SA tour was on hold because of the spat with Lorgan. THey didn't plan this or sachin.Only after the tour was finalized Sachin announced his retirement. Just know something about cricket before making comments. Its sad that everyone like this can express opinions in public websites.

  • Nick636 on November 27, 2013, 6:20 GMT

    @ landofcricket

    (One of) the problems also lies with India feelining they hold the cricketing world in the palms of their hands. CSA pushed for more tests but India refused. They wanted a short series and even demanded they NOT deal with the CSA president and he stand down from negotiations before they would continue. Who do they think they are? They had committed to a series here, and then dictated how we should run the series.

    And Test cricket is still the most thrilling. The sense that ANYTHING could happen keeps fans in suspense. IT IS NOT A DEAD / DYING form

  • SA_Lourens on November 27, 2013, 6:12 GMT

    They don't want Kallis to score more test runs than Tendulkar, which WILL happen if SA plays a fair number of games! Go Kallis!!!

  • Pak_Guru on November 27, 2013, 6:02 GMT

    Yes, we too agree with you Mr Smith... ICC definitely must consider this from 2014 onwards. Surely, SA would have won the last UAE test series, the momentum as everyone can notice was totally in their favour.

  • landofcricket on November 27, 2013, 5:14 GMT

    if u take last decade ENG(128),AUS(116),IND(107) played more than 100 test matches ,both ENG & AUS already playing 5 match series,now india also gonna join them as next year they will play 5 test matches against eng in eng...So it's upto remaining boards who need to arrange more tests for their team..icc has nothing to do with it....eng has really short summer but they r doing it..what is wrong with CSA,PCB,SLC.??? as for as odi is concerned i don't think one really need to check website to konw which team played more odi's....

  • immortalsidu on November 27, 2013, 3:29 GMT

    India's tour of South Africa was initiallty supposed to comprise of 3 tests and 5 odis. But since the legend was desperate to retire and play his last match in Mumbai, the bcci thought hell with the south africa tour lets call in the weak West Indies. Fine u arranged the test series to give the master a farewell, but why the meaningless one dayers? The contest between India and South Africa would certainly be more interesting than India- windies. You could have easily drafted in another 2 one dayers or a test match (with ofcourse 1-2 day gap between two tests). Disappointed!! Graeme is spot on with his views!!

  • on November 27, 2013, 3:11 GMT

    thats ok 3 or 5 tests any team has opportunity to beat other team no one can say 4-1 or3-2 bcas pak also has good player they already beat rsa so many time and inshalla we will beat them again and again only we need to give chance more young and energetic players thank you pakistan keep it up go go pakistan

  • on November 27, 2013, 1:10 GMT

    I completely agree with Graeme Smith. A two test series does not provide players with the impetus that a three match or five match series does. It is one of the reasons why The Ashes has always captivated audiences; the battles within the battle the develops.

  • Zahidsaltin on November 27, 2013, 0:59 GMT

    Since the big money factor came in to the equation, whole ball game has turned up side down. Look at the muscles of Indian cricket wealth and you will understand. Since ODIs and T20s get you more money, every one wants to sacrifice one test for a couple of extra ODIs.

  • cricket_ahan on November 27, 2013, 0:17 GMT

    Agree with Smith's comments, with one exception. Test series' against more minow nations (e.g. Bangladesh, Zimbabwe), in my opinion, should be restricted to two tests. There is already too much cricket being played, and these series' have limited viewing in terms of both TV and ground-going audiences. Two tests is a happy compromise that still provides Test status and entry to these nations whilst not being inhibitive to the rest of the more-competitive cricketing calendar. Even outside mandating 3 test series, the ICC need to impose better controls over the organisation of fixtures between nations. Case in point is the recent debacle involving the India SaF series which will now be only two tests for such a high profile match up.

  • Vilander on November 26, 2013, 20:33 GMT

    2 test seris are very tough for visiting sides, especially for visiting SC sides.

  • AltafPatel on November 26, 2013, 19:11 GMT

    Smith raised right voice. 2 tests never test a side. Everyone knows, if SA-Pak test series would have been 5, they would have series 4-1 considering their return to the form in second test. Having 9 months of gaps is unbelievable particularly when world want to see No.1 test team in the world playing more and more with master class batsmen and bowlers.

  • bhushanB on November 26, 2013, 19:00 GMT

    Spot on... Three tests is a minimum...

    That is common sense... Even in galli cricket teams play odd number of games, always say best of 3, best of 5...... Tennis has sets of 3 or 5....

    Can you imagine a Wimbledon final be a two-set match....How ridiculous.

  • on November 26, 2013, 18:21 GMT

    Well said,Mr.Smith.Wish some Indians would come out and support this statement.Two test series are a joke.3 or 5 are the ones that make sense.Even Bangladesh,Zim,NZ and the WI deserve 3 against every nation.AS for the top 4,they should play 5 against each other every 2-3 years.Only then will Test cricket survive the onslaught of the IPL and the Big Bash.

  • SherjilIslam on November 26, 2013, 17:47 GMT

    I think every cricket fan will agree to the points of Mr. Smith. No one wants to see a dummy series to merely complete a formality of FTP. At-least I don't want to see India playing 2 test match series against Eng, Aus and SA, it doesn't make much of a sense that 10 days intense cricket and equal amount of travel & logistics resulting in a drawn series.

  • on November 26, 2013, 17:42 GMT

    a two match test series is like a highly anticipated soccer derby that ends in a goalless draw. we used to have games that finish in 3 days and that was making test cricket boring. Lately the groundsmen have sorted that out, now we lack game time. In a 3 test series against India you'd expect a 2-1 result, but in a 2, it can easily be 2-0 or 1-1. I hope for BCCI's case, India gets bitten by an innings in the 1st test and by over 350 runs in the second. no offense to the players but their management and the ICC for allowing such.

  • on November 26, 2013, 17:40 GMT

    I think a good series can comprise following matches. 3 tests. 3 ODIs and 3 T2020 matches. In this way it will be fair for home team and opponent and we will see winner of a series more often than drawn series these days.

    2 match series in Tests and T2020 make no sense. It's not good for the future of cricket in whole.

  • CricketingStargazer on November 26, 2013, 17:13 GMT

    @Gareth_Bain

    It is the individual boards who agree the length of series. The ICC has nothing to do with the process. Five Tests series are rarely scheduled now because, except in England and Australia, Boards lose money by scheduling Test cricket instead of the more profitable ODIs and T20s.

  • Gareth_Bain on November 26, 2013, 16:58 GMT

    I guess we'll just have to keep improving our test cricket until other countries feel we're good enough to deserve playing 3 tests against... Maybe we'll eventually be as good as England or Australia and merit 5 test series, but baby steps.

  • on November 26, 2013, 16:47 GMT

    AUS ENG and INDIA play much more test cricket then the other test sides so all the other teams should get together to force ICC to balance the distribution of test cricket

  • Mob_King on November 26, 2013, 16:13 GMT

    Thanks Biff for coming out and speaking about this matter.

    I believe South Africa, Sri Lanka, New Zealand, West Indies, Bangladesh & Zimbabwe deserve three-Test series against Test playing nations. I'm no scholar of the FTP program which (mostly) govern Test schedules in recent years but it seems like only the Ashes is *always* a 5-Test series; otherwise "top-tier" games are usually negotiated to 3-4 matches. And if you don't make the cut, you can always play a 2-match series or a one-off - T20's where all the money's at. Right?

    The teams don't get a chance to develop and it robs the fans of cricket. Still much to be admired in persistence/skill even though it should lead to defeat. Developing nations with lesser (cricketing) infrastructures can only enhance the game.

  • on November 26, 2013, 16:07 GMT

    When the likes of SA, England, Australia, India and Sri Lanka play each other they should play at the very least 4 tests in a series and they should get rid of this 20/20 rubbish as its spoiling the game.

  • BigINDFan on November 26, 2013, 15:45 GMT

    I disagree that players do not have a say in this matter. They should urge their boards to strike a balance between the formats since the boards form the ICC. Also the shorter formats fund the huge player contracts not Test matches. Cricket puritans keep saying Test cricket is the real deal but fewer people watch it in the ground and even on TV since it is 5 days long. While the Ashes test at the Gabba excited everyone the less competitive Test series that happens elsewhere like Ind-WI kills the interest.

    Solution - A series should have 3 Tests, 3 ODIs and 3 T20s between the top cricketing nations based on ICC rankings. A series for lower ranked sides should have 2 Tests, 5 ODIs and 5 T20s. It is not fair but it makes business sense since the second tier matches will be watched on TV where first tier matches will draw fans to the grounds.

    Also if Tests are so important have a tri-nation Test series (top 3) every 2 years.

  • on November 26, 2013, 15:17 GMT

    In case Boards want to have ODI'S they can split the tours into two seasons. For example India can play 3 Test match series and in current tour and play the ODI series with SA next year. Also India plays only one 2 day game before taking on SA in Tests which is not enough preparation for a very challenging assignment.Hope the boards and ICC consider some new / novel ways to balance TESTS and ODI'S / T20s. and agree with Smith that a three Test series is the minimum.

  • on November 26, 2013, 14:46 GMT

    On one hand Eng & Aus are playing a 5 test series on the other hand no. 1 test team is just playing 5 test matches in 2013, this shows the clear partiality by ICC, although SA themselves were involved in cutting their test series against Sri Lanka few months back. ICC should make sure that every test playing nation must play a minimum 10 test matches in a year (5 home & 5 away)

  • Vijayendiran23 on November 26, 2013, 14:35 GMT

    Well said Smith and particularly there should be no two-test series between the teams like India and SA. If the test match is between two weak teams, then 2 test is ok. But a top teams which have strong batting line-up(Ind) and a world class test team (SA) which has won eng and aus in thier respective places, there should be minimum of 3 and max of 4 test should be there. How would be 4 test series between Ind and SA. it will be amazing!very interesting to see young batters perform again fiery bowlers. but we are not lucky.Atleast they should have cancelled ODI and should have scheduled 4 test. Ok done is done. all the best to the team india. Judge the balls and leave which have to nd not too agressive in shot selection especially dhawan, dhoni

  • Romanticstud on November 26, 2013, 14:09 GMT

    The ICC should intervene if any country suggests a short tour of less than 3 matches in Tests. Another thing is that cricket needs to have longer test series because a test is the true form of cricket. It is fair (well as fair as you can get it). Both teams get up to two chances in a game. Test match cricket brings out the true abilities of a player and hence no-one can determine one's form based on 2 matches in a series ... A proper series between the top sides should have 5 matches like the Ashes ... and minor series should have 3 matches ... A prime contest like India, who are incidentally unbeaten this year (all at home) and South Africa, who have lost once, to Pakistan (away from home), should have 5 matches ... 2 matches would not be fair to either side to judge their form ... I support cricket in all forms and would like to see a fair result which ever way any series pans out ... 1-1 is by no means fair if one side is clearly dominant over another ...

  • on November 26, 2013, 14:07 GMT

    Its a sin that the SA side do not play more tests as Smith rightly says they are the number 1 side in the world. Unfortunately it seems that the SA cricket board are a bunch of puppets who buckle when the master, which are the ICC, barks. How many times in the past have SA gone to Australia over the Xmas and New Year period whereas not once have Australia visited SA over that period.

    Also because India cant sort out there internal mess regarding contracts etc, SA miss out on a New Years test. I am trying my best to get my friends here in Hawaii to watch cricket with me but when mess ups like the Indians not wanting DRS in play its difficult to get my friends to understand the game as its already extremely complex to people who only know how to surf and have baseball world series where only teams in your own country compete.

  • on November 26, 2013, 14:02 GMT

    2 match series are a complete waste of EVERYBODY's time. The players, the management and support staff, the television and advertisers and most importantly (or equally as importantly as the players) the fans. Drop all two match series, they're ridiculous

  • TSJ07 on November 26, 2013, 14:01 GMT

    Overdose of ODIs have reduced the numbers of tests matches that can be played a bilateral series. ICC must not permit more than 3-5 ODI in a bilateral series and also not permit less than 3 test, 5 would be even better among top ranked evenly matched sides.Then can always throw couple of T20 and just a day of gap between 2 T20 matched would be enough.

  • on November 26, 2013, 13:58 GMT

    ICC Should rather focus on improving the standard of cricket by playing more Tests betweennations rather than entertaining the t20 format. Agree with Biff

  • cric_gates on November 26, 2013, 13:50 GMT

    Respect and Respect.. Smith As an Indian I would like to see at least 3 or 4 test match series between Ind and SA but the management of both these countries get a mess of it because of their ego. I am sure my SA friends also want this.

  • 2nd_Slip on November 26, 2013, 13:38 GMT

    Absolutely spot on Biff, this two test series thing is just a joke, really its meaningless. Legends and memorable moments are made in the test arena not limited overs cricket. With the Ashes down under starting in such a dramatically captivating manner it is clear that majority of cricket fans are still very much intrigued by the twists and turns of test cricket. And to top it all, SA is by far the best test side and im sure even opposition fans would love to see more of the likes of Steyn,Smith,Kallis,Amla,Philander and Morkel who are thee best players in the world at the moment.

  • StoneRose on November 26, 2013, 13:30 GMT

    totally agreed............

  • on November 26, 2013, 13:17 GMT

    Thank you Graeme Smith finally some one comes out and says it! Test cricket is the number one format and should bloody well be treated that way. The ICC should start waking up to put it mildly next to boxing they are probably the worst at administration in international sport! Two tests is an insult to the game of cricket especially when it's the number one team playing and even if it's not it still a spectacle just look at the what happened at the Gabba and there is four more Ashes mouthwatering tests still to come!! South Africa keep getting the short end as it's not as lucrative for the fat cats in their suits upstairs. South Africa deserve to at least get one five test match series a year home and away!! The people have spoken.

  • on November 26, 2013, 13:08 GMT

    Agree with Biff,every test series must consist on 3 test matches. This 2 match series does not make any sense.

  • Cpt.Meanster on November 26, 2013, 13:07 GMT

    What Smith is saying makes sense. However, the problem is that a vast majority of people don't prefer to watch tests for 5 straight days. There are other 'better' things to do in life besides test cricket. All national boards except ECB and CA have identified this and have realistically scheduled itineraries solely based on consumerism. England and Australis are still stuck in the early 1900s and refuse to come out of it. I know history is important to us humans, but like everything else in life, modernism holds a key in determining the path to the future. More limited overs cricket is the future of this sport. Test cricket will soon become a relic and forgotten. As bitter as it may seem, the reality is that test cricket is slow, boring, and reliant on numerous factors to be successful. The only way we can see more test cricket is if all boards ban limited overs cricket which is impossible.

  • estwickg on November 26, 2013, 13:05 GMT

    The Cricketing Bodies/Boards of the various Countries are to blame for this meaningless 2 x match series not the ICC. There is no way that the NO 1 team should be playing only 2 tests in a series. You must have a voice at the ICC (not only England and Australia). Seems to me that the less test cricket other teams play the more likelihood for England or Australia to dominate in the long run. A balance should be struck now for the sake of test cricket. Based on the amount of limited over matches today, all test teams should be limited to 3 test series (including the Ashes). I am sure taking 2 matches from this plus add 1 to form a series with the No. 1 team in the world would also be a revenue earner.

  • on November 26, 2013, 12:59 GMT

    A team as good as South Africa should definitely play more test matches. It's always enjoyable to see the likes of Kallis, Amla, AB, Smith and Steyn at full flow. A third test in the recently concluded UAE series would have given us a much clearer picture of how good the Proteas are in Asian conditions. The two match series against India will again be short and disappointing.

    Overall, SA play far fewer tests than India, Australia and England. That should change since they are the masters of this format, especially when it comes to winning away matches and series.

  • on November 26, 2013, 12:42 GMT

    3+3+1 should be a bare minimum for any bilateral contest to be meaningful. That shouldn't take more than a month. Let's not talk about The Ashes that's a carnival of sorts.

  • Llik2 on November 26, 2013, 12:39 GMT

    Every test nation should play same amount of tests against each other.lower rank teams will only improve when they play against good teams regularly.this isthe only way to make test cricket compatative.icc should think about this.

  • bohurupi on November 26, 2013, 12:36 GMT

    Smith is absolutely right. A 2 test series is simply a disgrace to cricket. ICC should discourage and if necessary, penalize, organizing of such events.

  • Romanticstud on November 26, 2013, 12:04 GMT

    I agree with Graeme Smith 100% ... This two test series ... A team has no definition and there is no decider ... Australia also played a two test series ... where a third would have been a better definition of the series the series ended 1-1 ... India a few years ago hosted a two-test series against South Africa ... both games involved ended in an innings victory and an innings defeat ... now what would a decider have done to the series ... 3 or more tests make the public also more interested especially if the series is 1-1 with one to play ... instead of a 1-1 series where both games have not really defined which team is the more superior ... also with results more likely than in past years ... it is imperative that a series can be won or lost ... not tied ...

  • Romanticstud on November 26, 2013, 12:04 GMT

    I agree with Graeme Smith 100% ... This two test series ... A team has no definition and there is no decider ... Australia also played a two test series ... where a third would have been a better definition of the series the series ended 1-1 ... India a few years ago hosted a two-test series against South Africa ... both games involved ended in an innings victory and an innings defeat ... now what would a decider have done to the series ... 3 or more tests make the public also more interested especially if the series is 1-1 with one to play ... instead of a 1-1 series where both games have not really defined which team is the more superior ... also with results more likely than in past years ... it is imperative that a series can be won or lost ... not tied ...

  • bohurupi on November 26, 2013, 12:36 GMT

    Smith is absolutely right. A 2 test series is simply a disgrace to cricket. ICC should discourage and if necessary, penalize, organizing of such events.

  • Llik2 on November 26, 2013, 12:39 GMT

    Every test nation should play same amount of tests against each other.lower rank teams will only improve when they play against good teams regularly.this isthe only way to make test cricket compatative.icc should think about this.

  • on November 26, 2013, 12:42 GMT

    3+3+1 should be a bare minimum for any bilateral contest to be meaningful. That shouldn't take more than a month. Let's not talk about The Ashes that's a carnival of sorts.

  • on November 26, 2013, 12:59 GMT

    A team as good as South Africa should definitely play more test matches. It's always enjoyable to see the likes of Kallis, Amla, AB, Smith and Steyn at full flow. A third test in the recently concluded UAE series would have given us a much clearer picture of how good the Proteas are in Asian conditions. The two match series against India will again be short and disappointing.

    Overall, SA play far fewer tests than India, Australia and England. That should change since they are the masters of this format, especially when it comes to winning away matches and series.

  • estwickg on November 26, 2013, 13:05 GMT

    The Cricketing Bodies/Boards of the various Countries are to blame for this meaningless 2 x match series not the ICC. There is no way that the NO 1 team should be playing only 2 tests in a series. You must have a voice at the ICC (not only England and Australia). Seems to me that the less test cricket other teams play the more likelihood for England or Australia to dominate in the long run. A balance should be struck now for the sake of test cricket. Based on the amount of limited over matches today, all test teams should be limited to 3 test series (including the Ashes). I am sure taking 2 matches from this plus add 1 to form a series with the No. 1 team in the world would also be a revenue earner.

  • Cpt.Meanster on November 26, 2013, 13:07 GMT

    What Smith is saying makes sense. However, the problem is that a vast majority of people don't prefer to watch tests for 5 straight days. There are other 'better' things to do in life besides test cricket. All national boards except ECB and CA have identified this and have realistically scheduled itineraries solely based on consumerism. England and Australis are still stuck in the early 1900s and refuse to come out of it. I know history is important to us humans, but like everything else in life, modernism holds a key in determining the path to the future. More limited overs cricket is the future of this sport. Test cricket will soon become a relic and forgotten. As bitter as it may seem, the reality is that test cricket is slow, boring, and reliant on numerous factors to be successful. The only way we can see more test cricket is if all boards ban limited overs cricket which is impossible.

  • on November 26, 2013, 13:08 GMT

    Agree with Biff,every test series must consist on 3 test matches. This 2 match series does not make any sense.

  • on November 26, 2013, 13:17 GMT

    Thank you Graeme Smith finally some one comes out and says it! Test cricket is the number one format and should bloody well be treated that way. The ICC should start waking up to put it mildly next to boxing they are probably the worst at administration in international sport! Two tests is an insult to the game of cricket especially when it's the number one team playing and even if it's not it still a spectacle just look at the what happened at the Gabba and there is four more Ashes mouthwatering tests still to come!! South Africa keep getting the short end as it's not as lucrative for the fat cats in their suits upstairs. South Africa deserve to at least get one five test match series a year home and away!! The people have spoken.

  • StoneRose on November 26, 2013, 13:30 GMT

    totally agreed............