“Test Cricket Being In Danger Is Not A Good Thing”: Former India Cricketer

The IPL being the “envy of the world” delights former India wicketkeeper Farokh Engineer however he additionally desires the stakeholders to carry Test cricket out of “hazard” zone. While financially strong nations like India, England and Australia remain committed to Test cricket, players from smaller countries are preferring to ply their trade in franchise leagues around the world as they offer better money. “Test cricket being in danger is not a good thing. It is good that the game is prospering all over the world through T20 leagues but Test cricket should never be sacrificed,” Engineer told PTI.

“That is why the World Test Championship is a showcase to the world that Test cricket can be just as interesting as limited overs cricket.

“It is a game of chess depending on the conditions. It is the ultimate test for batters. There should be room for both Test and limited overs cricket,” said the 85-year-old, who has travelled to London from his Manchester base to watch the WTC final between India and Australia.

The final is being played at The Oval, where India won their first ever Test in England back in 1971. Engineer had played a big part in that momentous win with a 59 in the first innings.

It is remarkable that even at this age, Engineer continues to watch the game closely, including the T20 leagues around the world, as he feels it is important to keep up with the times.

He played the game when cricketers earned Rs 50 a day, but he could not be more happy that the current generation is making millions in the IPL.

“India have taken a lead in Test cricket and in limited overs cricket we have IPL which is the envy of the world. Indian cricket holds the strings and that makes me hugely delighted,” said of one the few Parsi cricketers to have played for India.

He is also of the view that the game was hugely popular even in his heyday and now leagues have taken the game to different locations.

“I watch cricket all the time. It is in my blood. Cricket is an Indian game accidentally invented by the British. I feel the game was just as popular back then but with T20 it has mushroomed to different places.

“IPL is huge money. We got Rs 50 per day for a five-day Test match,” he mentioned, recollecting a humorous incident.

“I remember batting with Sunil Gavaskar, we had to get 15-20 runs on day four and half hour left, we were getting messages from the dressing room that don’t finish the game today, we will lose out on the allowance for day five. We didn’t play for money, we played for pride,” he recollected fondly.

‘Too early to label Shubman Gill as heir apparent to Virat Kohli’

Engineer is a fan of Kohli and feels he is back to his best after a prolific IPL. He has also tracked Gill’s rapid rise in international cricket over the last 12 months. He feels the two batters have shown that the shortest format is not just about a slam bang approach.

“It is too early to talk about Gill being heir apparent as Virat has got a few good years left in him. He has got nothing to prove anymore as he has been a superb player and captain for India. He remains the best in the world.

“Gill is an excellent batter and is within the type of his life and I’m positive he’ll do effectively in Tests as effectively. Gill has proved that T20 cricket will not be all about slogging and you’ll play in standard fashion as effectively.” Asked about his prediction concerning the WTC closing, Engineer gave an emotional reply saying “As an Indian, I would always want my team to win.” There have been no warm-up video games forward of the title conflict, one thing which may have been fairly “useful” for each the groups.

“Warm-up games are always useful, but they play so much cricket these days,” concluded Engineer.

(This story has not been edited by NDTV employees and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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