Test cricket fears confirmed, but there’s a silver lining

February 9, 2024 BY

Still popular: An SEN survey has shown that Test cricket remains the most popular form of the game among the outlet’s audience. Photo: JONO SEARLE/ AAP IMAGE

MORE than forty thousand votes have been tallied in SEN Cricket’s 2024 Fan Survey and the results have said plenty.

We asked multiple questions relating to current topics and issues in the sport, including fans’ thoughts on Test cricket.

While the narrative somewhat shifted with the West Indies’ shock upset of Australia at the Gabba in the final Test of the summer, questions were raised prior about the longest format and its future.

The riches now on offer to shorter format players and a perceived increase in uncompetitive red-ball cricket had raised fears the best cricketers may choose to miss out on Tests in the future.

These fears have been realised in our survey, with 70 per cent of fans confirming they are worried about the future of Test cricket.

Former Australia coach Darren Lehmann has confirmed he is among those who hold fears for the future of Test cricket, while Australian Cricketers’ Association boss Todd Greenberg has detailed the challenges currently in front of the ICC.

“My view is we’ve got to embrace change and we’ve got to be prepared to talk about it because it’s coming,” Greenberg said on SEN Test Cricket late in 2023.

“It might not be the terrible demise of the game that some people think, it might actually be a growth opportunity for the game if we get it right.

“I still want our players playing for their country, but it might just be in a different way.”

More than 30 per cent of fans are confident in the future of Test cricket. But in sport, as in life, as demand grows so to will supply.

In that case, Test cricket has little to worry about, at least in Australia.

We asked you to pick your favourite format of cricket and a whopping 87.3 per cent of respondents chose Test cricket.

8.2 per cent of fans had T20 as their favourite format, with only 4.6 per cent of respondents choosing ODIs as their first choice.

For all the negativity, the fans have adjudged Test cricket as overwhelmingly their favourite format to watch. That’s despite four of five Tests this summer proving relatively one-sided.

The only concern is the quality of Australia’s opponents.

But with a Test series against India in the 2024/25 summer and England the following summer, there are no immediate concerns about its viability down under.

Are you worried about the future of Test cricket?

70% – Yes

30% – No

What is your favourite format of cricket?

87.3% – Test

8.2% – T20

4.6% – ODI