“You Cannot Have 10-12 Teams Playing”: Ravi Shastri’s Radical Suggestion For Tests

England Test captain Ben Stokes announced his retirement from ODIs earlier this week and ever since that decision, a debate has started over the cricket schedule and how players can opt for different formats to ease pressure on their bodies. Former Team India head coach Ravi Shastri has now suggested a radical change, saying only the top-six teams get to play Test cricket and the sport can be spread to different countries through white-ball cricket.

“If you want Test cricket to survive you cannot have 10, 12 teams playing. Keep the top six, keep the quality of cricket going and respect quality over quantity. That’s the only way you open up a window for other cricket to be played. Expand teams in T20 or one-day cricket if you want to spread the game, but in Test cricket, you will have to reduce the teams, then it does not matter if England does not go to West Indies or if West Indies does not come to England,” said Shastri on Sky Sports on Friday.

“If they are in the top-six, they play and if they are not in the top six, they do not play. Whether, it is India, Australia, or England, you have to qualify for that top-six, if you want to be around playing Test matches. If you want to spread the game, do it with the white ball, ideally T20 cricket. Bottom line, it is the football model, you are going to have the World Cup, one big one and the rest of it would be different leagues around the world,” he added.

When asked behind the reasoning for his suggestion, Shastri said: “What is Test cricket? It tests you, you need quality. So if there is no quality then who is going to watch it? You are going to have two-day or three-day games, if you get countries who have never played Test cricket, and you say come to England or India in bowler-friendly conditions, either turners or seaming conditions, the game is over in two-and-a-half-days.”


“You have taken money from the broadcasters for five days, they are going to be unhappy and the fans are going to be unhappy,” he added.

While announcing his decision to retire from ODIs, Stokes had said that playing all three formats of the game has become unsustainable for him.

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