Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chairman Shahryar Khan has revealed that he is not in favour of the T20 World Cup taking place in 2018, saying the International Cricket Council (ICC) needs to pay more attention to Test cricket. The next World T20 is scheduled to take place in 2020 in Australia, but the ICC along with various national cricket boards are debating whether it should be held earlier, most probably in 2018.
"Yes T20 cricket is very popular and necessary to globalise the sport but personally it doesn't appeal to me as a long term product. Test cricket is the real face of the sport and it must be reinvented and popularised again," Khan said to PTI, as quoted by Zee News.
"So far, we don't know anything about the ICC wanting the World T20 to return in 2018 but when the matter does come up we are not likely to support it."
Initially, the ICC along with its member boards had decided on holding the next T20 World Cup in 2020 considering that the 50-over World Cup takes place in 2019 and the Champions Trophy in 2017. Recent figures though have encouraged them to mull on the topic, as more than 80 million people watched India's games against Pakistan and Australia while there were more than 750 million views for online matches, compared to the 250 million registered during the ICC 2015 World Cup.
"I am a traditionalist and I belong to the old school. To me what is most important now is we pay more serious attention to reviving Test cricket and even 50-over cricket. Commercialisation of cricket is there but we need to strike the right balance. We need to safeguard against the public tiring of T20 cricket."
There have been talks of a World Test championship but no decision has been made, the ICC meanwhile has indicated that the revenues generated from the sale of broadcast and sponsorship rights from the T20 World Cup would mean more money can be put into Test cricket, which would only help the format in the long run.