What Is The Future For Test Cricket?

As I watch pictures of Pakistan playing Sri Lanka – putting them to the sword to be honest – in Abu Dhabi in front of a sparse crowd, what does the future for Test cricket hold?

What does the future hold for Test cricket?

Sri Lanka and Australia played out an entertaining Test series recently, but the crowds didn't come. REUTERS/Dinuka Liyanawatte (SRI LANKA - Tags: SPORT CRICKET) Picture Supplied by Action Images

Even allowing free entry to the ground has not resulted in the masses pouring in and it is clear that only a select few Test series (England-Australia, India-Pakistan, for example) will fill stadia, which is a great shame for those of us who enjoy the battles that Test cricket provides.

Former Sri Lankan off-spinner Muttiah Muralitharan has told the BBC in blunt terms that without playing more One-Day International and Twenty20 International cricket, the boards will simply run out of money and then there will be no more cricket at all.

Test cricket is the true test of a player’s range of skills but with the increasing dominance of the shorter forms of the game, will it still have a place in, say, ten years time? Will we only see an even more select band of nations (those who feel they can afford it) playing five-day cricket in the future?

And will coaching methods and programmes change, instead guiding players from an early age to follow the money and specialise in limited overs cricket rather than all-round technique?

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