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Pat Cummins and Steve Smith express worries about scheduling conflicts between Test cricket and T20 franchise matches.

Experienced Australian players have expressed their worries about the future of Test cricket, as the upcoming summer will see South Africa sending a less experienced team to New Zealand.

Cricket Australia is facing a difficult task to attract viewers for the upcoming home summer. The season will feature three Tests against Pakistan followed by a second consecutive visit from West Indies.

Pakistan has the capability to pose a legitimate challenge, whereas the West Indies symbolize a former powerhouse that has been weakened by T20 cricket and other sports over the last ten years.

However, it is in the Tasman region where the greatest test for Test cricket will be demonstrated.

Officials from South Africa will give priority to their lucrative home T20 league over the two-Test tour of New Zealand in February.

Any players who have signed deals to participate in the SA20 will be required to remain at home and compete in that event instead of touring, including nine of the current Test XI for the Proteas.

Steve Smith expressed disappointment in the current state of Test cricket.

In the end, it is up to the board to decide what they consider important. However, this situation is less than ideal.

The captain of Australia, Pat Cummins, is also expressing concern.

“I am unsure of what to make of this, it is disheartening to hear,” Cummins expressed.

“It’s unusual because Tests are highly valued in Australia. The attendance at matches is impressive, with millions of viewers tuning in every summer. The sport has a strong following.”

“It seems that there are fewer countries now compared to five or ten years ago that are fully dedicated to international cricket. While I am unsure of the solution, as a fan of Test cricket, I wish for there to be 20 Test teams in the next decade, not fewer.”

Cummins strongly believes that extended Test series are essential for the sustainability of the sport, as the majority of series planned for the next two years consist of only two matches.

Cummins stated that a series like the recent Ashes is highly commercial.

With a large number of viewers and sold-out stadiums, it is expected that, similar to popular T20 tournaments, Test series matches should also be made commercially successful in certain countries.

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Cameron Green of the Prime Ministers XI sings the national anthem in the team lineup before day one of the Test

The prospect of year-round franchise contracts for players has caused concern for many due to the football-style international windows.

Smith mentioned that [windows] could potentially be reached in the future.

Many leagues are emerging globally and players are eager to join them. It may not be fully developed yet, but there is potential for it to become that way.

Cameron Green, the youngest player from Australia in the past ten years, suggests that the solution lies in creating windows that would prevent countries from scheduling Tests during their respective T20 leagues.

Green expressed his continued optimism for the strength of Test cricket.

“If you were to ask individuals in the predicament of being in South Africa, whether they would prefer to play Test or T20 cricket, it seems that most of them would choose Test cricket. This highlights the importance of finding a balance and working together.”

“Rather than arranging matches during the T20 competition, perhaps there needs to be better coordination and collaboration to schedule drop-in T20 games and Tests. This could address the issue and also allow players to have a break.”

Source: theguardian.com