Two-Test series 'pointless'

2011-11-24 09:05

Sydney - Australian fast bowler Ryan Harris said on Thursday two-Test series were pointless and the International Cricket Council needed to get their priorities right.

Fourth-ranked Australia are gearing for their third consecutive shortened Test series against New Zealand next week and Harris said it was a terrible blight on what he considers to be the most important form of the game.

Australian and South African players called for a third-match decider after their gripping two-Test series was deadlocked by the tourists' thrilling two-wicket win in Johannesburg this week.

Harris said three-Test series should be a minimum for traditional international rivals and called for Twenty20 matches to be slashed to accommodate the five-day game.

"Two-Test series, personally in my point of view, are pointless," he told reporters.

"If it's 1-1 at the end of the series you walk away with an empty feeling.

"Three-Test series have to be a minimum, if not more.

"It's crucial. I'm not sure how they do it with the amount of cricket there is - cutbacks from Twenty20 - but Test cricket is the one.

"I'm not knocking Twenty20, it's great for the game, but you have to get your priorities right."

Harris, treating a hip injury to play against New Zealand at the Gabba, said the Black Caps had once again been given just two matches in Australia against their biggest rivals.

New Zealand will play in Brisbane, starting next Thursday, and Hobart before Australia start a lucrative four-Test series against second-ranked India, starting on Boxing Day in Melbourne.

"For two of the best Test cricket nations (Australia and third-ranked South Africa) not being able to play a three-Test series is very disappointing. It was terrible," Harris said.

New Zealand skipper Ross Taylor said while it was disappointing for the Black Caps to have been been given two Tests in Australia, the onus was on his eighth-ranked team to warrant a longer series through improved performances.


  • Wesley - 2011-11-24 09:16

    100% spot on there Ryan!

  • Christopher - 2011-11-24 09:23

    Couldn't agree more.

  • Hans - 2011-11-24 09:54

    Well put, its ridicilous.

  • johan.blertsie.cilliers - 2011-11-24 10:10

    problem is the ICC's priorities are first money then everything else. T20 generates more income and attention, but I agree, this short series proved TEST matches are still the genuine proof of class, strategy and BMT

  • Inky - 2011-11-24 10:16

    How can we expect more tests when the grounds were empty for the two we had.

      Steven - 2011-11-24 10:37

      Cause they started the Cape Town test on a Wednesday, and a test series in mid-November won't generate huge crowds as most people who can afford tickets work. Taking leave mid-November just before the festive season makes no sense. Cricket SA and the ICC stuffed up big time!

      Graeme Walker - 2011-11-24 10:38

      Sunday was not empty. The rain did not help the crowds. Both test matches went to the bitter end and could have gone either way. A lot of tactic and strategy at play! Test series was awesome even if we watched more at work! G

      Grant - 2011-11-24 11:35

      It would actually be good to know how much revenue is generated from the grounds vs advertising, tv rights etc. Say 30,000 at R20 a ticket = R3M for the match MAXIMUM. Probably closer to R1.5M? If TV rights and sponsorship is around R10M, they could quarter ticket prices, which would probably double attendance, creating attendance fee loss of R750,000. The doubled attendance would generate more interest from TV rights and sponsorships, which would only have to be charged an additional R750,000 for the increase in public interest. I doubt the money is in the match fees. Up the interest levels, and sponsorships will take care of costs and profits!

      Inky - 2011-11-24 12:10

      @ the-gob, Graeme Walker & Grant. I agree with all your comments and believe that all are valid. My concern is that the five match Ashes series fills the grounds in England and Australia regardless of the weather or the day of the week the games start. The people over there also have to work and getting a ticket for any of these games is very difficult and very expensive. Perhaps we do need to get bums on seats to secure longer series in the future.

  • malcolm.molver - 2011-11-24 10:18

    Well said Ryan. Test cricket is the ultimate form of the game and needs to be protected. Having a two test series does not help at all. I also think that in order to enhance the longer form of the game in South Africa, they need to televise the Supersport Series. Test cricket produces greater memorable moments than ODIs and Twenty20.

  • marschoeman - 2011-11-24 10:19

    What he doesn't mention... Australia refuses to travel over the festive season, although they expect other countries to visit them in that time. I agree that 2 test series should be canned, but teams need to start refusing to travel to Aus in the festive season.

      Phil - 2011-11-25 04:51

      What has this issue got to do with the Festive season ..the Oz tour was in November?

  • Werner - 2011-11-24 10:23

    "...called for Twenty20 matches to be slashed to accommodate the five-day game." I agree. Personally I think the T20 version is rubbish, and is nothing more than a lottery.

  • Michael - 2011-11-24 10:29

    Absolutely agree. We want a winner and a loser..... thats a RESULT.

  • martin.gee.godfrey - 2011-11-24 10:33

    The ICC see's T20 as the cash cow, that's why they will put more T20 games on the calender at the expense of Test cricket.

  • Dianne - 2011-11-24 10:37

    I still haven't read or heard a satisfactory reason for the fact that we played such a limited series against the Aussies. Is it true they "refuse" to travel over the festive season? If that's true, what a cheek, but still rather be in Aus for their summer than in England in December ha ha! Maybe all should travel "south for the winter"

      johan.blertsie.cilliers - 2011-11-24 10:57

      They have a long standing tradition with the boxing day test always being played at home, we have something similar as well and most years play at home over festive season

  • Charlie - 2011-11-24 10:52

    It is scandalous that Test Cricket should be downgraded in this shameful way. Both Tests were really exciting and the only losers were the concessionaires who lost a couple of days worth of trade.

  • alwessels - 2011-11-24 11:10

    The worst is we waited almost a week between each ODI. They could easily fitted those in a week and still played an extra test.

  • Mohammed Afzal Jhetam - 2011-11-24 11:17

    Looks like ICC or Cricket SA, whoever planned the series, forgot that test cricket is the purest form of the game. 50 and 20 over games are too much of a batsmens game. Tests proves which sides have true quality.

  • dawies - 2011-11-24 11:24

    For once I have to agree with an Australian....

  • BJ - 2011-11-24 11:43

    Just saw SA will be playing 3 tests against Sri Lanka. WTF?

  • Alan - 2011-11-24 12:04

    I see his point but a three test series, with a draw, could also end up one all. To call the two test series 'pointless' is silly; all cricket lovers enjoyed both games enormously.

      springbokke - 2011-11-24 12:35

      @ Alan...Yeah....both games were a pleasure to watch...

  • Shirley - 2011-11-24 13:54

    Agree fully! They are doing a dis service to the game. ICC should be focusing on the realitues and not the bonuses!

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