Graeme Smith responds firmly to criticism of South Africa’s emphasis on SA20 over Test Cricket


Amidst preparations for the second edition of SA20 which is scheduled to commence on January 10, South Africa have opted to send a second-string team to New Zealand for the upcoming two-match Test series scheduled to commence on February 4. Cricket South Africa (CSA) has encountered significant criticism for prioritizing T20s over Test matches, prompting them to release a statement emphasizing financial considerations.

Graeme Smith defends South Africa’s priority on SA20

Addressing the criticism, SA20 League chairman Graeme Smith dismissed arguments suggesting that the domestic league could seriously jeopardize the future of Test cricket in the country. During an interview with PTI, Smith acknowledged the need for reduced schedule clashes between Test tours and their home-grown franchise tournament in the coming years.

“SA20 is (for) four weeks a year which we operate on and obviously, one or two challenges happen and that’s not ideal. That should get better and better every season,” Smith said.

Also READ: MI Cape Town appoints new captain after Rashid Khan gets ruled out of SA20

Smith’s defense of domestic league importance

The former captain emphasized the significance of the domestic league, stating that it is crucial for the country’s future and will play a substantial role.

“South African cricket has made a commitment that SA20 is a big part of its future and gives it the best chance to succeed. I believe it’s just four weeks a year and there would be a lot of chance to play Test cricket,” the 42-year-old added.

Smith’s views on ODI format’s challenges

While Smith did not acknowledge any perceived danger to the longest format, he holds the view that the ODI format is indeed facing a proper threat.

“There are two more World Cups that have been sold to broadcasters and one in SA in 2027 and 2031 is back in India. Even in between the cycle, ODI cricket is going to find itself in challenging space. One format that is falling is the category where people are less interested and patches of game which are going to be slow. Test cricket is always going to be enthralling and we know how much T20 they enjoy and the success it has commercially gained,” the Johannesburg-born cricketer concluded.

Also READ: Gautam Gambhir reflects on South Africa’s tough draw in the T20 World Cup 2024


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