Steve Waugh criticizes ICC for decline of Test Cricket after South Africa announces squad for New Zealand tour

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The global surge in the popularity of shorter formats of cricket, such as T20 and T10, has cast a shadow on the traditional and more time-intensive Test cricket, pushing it towards a perceived brink of extinction. A recent example highlighting this concern emerged during the announcement of South Africa‘s red-ball squad for their upcoming tour to New Zealand. The Proteas unveiled a significantly inexperienced lineup, featuring seven debutants and a noticeable absence of seasoned players.

Complicating matters, the tour coincided with South Africa’s domestic T20 league, SA20 2024, triggering a rule preventing players under contract with SA20 from participating in international fixtures. This situation prompted criticism from former Australian cricketer Steve Waugh, who criticized the International Cricket Council (ICC) and Cricket South Africa (CSA) for their negligence of Test cricket.

Steve Waugh’s remarks for South Africa

Waugh criticized South Africa’s squad selection, expressing dissatisfaction with their choices. He questioned the merit of playing the series, suggesting that New Zealand should reconsider participating due to what he perceives as a lack of respect for the Blackcaps.

“If I was New Zealand I wouldn’t even play the series. I don’t know why they’re even playing. Why would you when it shows a lack of respect for New Zealand cricket?” Waugh said while speaking to the Sydney Morning Herald.

Also READ: Cricket South Africa names 7 uncapped players in their Test squad for New Zealand tour

Waugh’s remarks on ICC

Waugh also criticized the ICC for mistreating Test cricket. In an Instagram post, the Canterbury-based cricketer urged cricketing powerhouses like India and Australia to take proactive steps in revitalizing the red-ball format, emphasizing the need for collective efforts to preserve the essence of this orthodox and historically rich form of the game.

“Is this a defining moment in the death of Test cricket. Surely the ICC along (with) the cricket boards of India, England and Australia must step in to protect the purest form of the game. History and tradition must count for something. If we stand by and allow profits to be the defining criteria, the legacy of Bradman, Grace and Sobers will be irrelevant,” the 58-year-old mentioned.

Also READ – SA vs IND: Sunil Gavaskar advocates for two changes in India’s playing XI for the Cape Town Test

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