Cricket

T20 and Test cricket 'different sports'

2018-02-28 15:25
Steve Waugh (Getty Images)

Monaco - Former Australian captain Steve Waugh remains one of the greatest Test batsmen the game has ever produced.

Now 52-years-old, Waugh played in a staggering 168 Tests for the Aussies.

Even more remarkable than that, though, is the fact that he finished with a Test average of 51.06 having scored 32 Test centuries and 50 half-centuries.

With 10 927 Test runs to his name, Waugh finds himself 11th on the list of the highest run scorers the format has ever seen.

His success on the Test stage, combined with the fact that he completely missed the dawn of the T20 era, means that it comes as no surprise that Waugh prefers the longer format.

But, speaking at the Laureus World Sports Awards in Monaco this week, Waugh took the comparison between Test and T20 cricket one step further.

"I look at T20 almost as a different sport," he said.

"It’s such a shortened version of the game and there are different skillsets required. T20 cricket is about power and strength and batsmen can mishit sixes. If you’re big and strong enough, you can be successful in T20 cricket. There is more of a luck factor."

Waugh is disappointed to see more high-profile players turning their back on Test cricket for the riches of the T20 leagues around the world, and he pointed specifically to South Africa's AB de Villiers as an example.

"I think it’s sad when somebody like AB de Villiers decides to take a break from Test cricket. He’s an all-time great and you need guys like that playing Test cricket," he said, referring to De Villiers' decision to sit out of Test cricket last year.

"They’ve got to compensate them and make it as financially viable to play Test cricket as it is T20 cricket. It’s difficult when you’ve got the IPL and millions of dollars for six weeks. Realistically, it’s not going to happen."

Waugh believes that Test cricket is the only way for a cricketer to truly understand how good he is at the sport.

"Test cricket tests you technically, mentally, physically, socially, emotionally ... everything," Waugh said.

"No other sport does that over five days. It’s up to the experienced players to pass that message on to the younger guys."

Waugh did concede, though, that he wouldn't mind earning the money that came with playing T20 cricket.

*Lloyd Burnard has been in Monaco as a guest of Laureus ...

Read more on:    laureus  |  laureus awards  |  steve waugh  |  cricket
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