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News

Ponting concerned over Test cricket's future

Ricky Ponting believes that Test cricket isn't in a healthy state and that international players have a duty to provide entertaining matches to ensure its future in the wake of Twenty20's popularity

Jason Dasey
08-Jul-2008

Ricky Ponting: 'I think it's up to all of us to make sure that we're putting on a good enough spectacle to bring crowds back to the game' © Getty Images
 
Ricky Ponting, the Australian captain, believes that Test cricket isn't in a healthy state and that international players have a duty to provide entertaining matches to ensure its future in the wake of Twenty20's popularity.
Speaking to Cricinfo SportsCenter after returning home from Australia's undefeated tour of the West Indies, Ponting added that he'd be open to the proposed tournament-style Test world championship, but would reserve judgment until he'd seen its format.
"A few 50-over games will make way for 20-over cricket but I'd hate to see it touch Test cricket," he said. "Right at the moment, (Test cricket) is probably not in its healthiest state. I think it's up to all of us to make sure that we're putting on a good enough spectacle to bring crowds back to the game."
Ponting said finding the right formula for a Test tournament would be the biggest challenge. "I don't think there's anything wrong with it, but I think the logistics of it is going to be the difficult thing," he said. "What it does do, I guess, is make sure that every Test you play has a lot riding on it as far as points go. But I've always said that every Test match Australia plays always means a lot to us anyway."
Ponting is resting after undergoing minor surgery in Melbourne for a tendon injury in his right wrist that forced him out of Australia's final two one-day internationals in the Caribbean. His fitness will be assessed for Australia's home series against Bangladesh starting next month and September's Champions Trophy in Pakistan.
Ponting suffered the injury during Australia's third one-day international in Grenada on June 29.
"I did it about 20 runs into my innings and sort of battled through that with a few painkillers and taped it up," he said. "I tried to get up for the fourth game but basically couldn't lift my bat in the nets."
Ponting, however, is confident that the emerging members of the squad will continue to pick up the slack in what he describes as a transitional period for his side.
"We haven't got the old, wise heads to call on all the time but the blokes we're bringing in are certainly getting the job done for us. Whenever you have a big changeover of players as we've had in the last 18 months, it's very satisfying to continue to win games and win series."
Ponting identified the performances of the allrounder Shane Watson, substitute wicketkeeper Luke Ronchi and bastman David Hussey as the most pleasing from the one-day sweep of the West Indies.
"All the guys who came in were some our better players through the tournament," he said. "With our set up here in Australia, the gap between first-class and international cricket isn't as steep as it is some other places. I expect players to come in and have an impact straight away."

Jason Dasey is a host of Cricinfo SportsCenter and two international editions of SportsCenter on ESPN