Test cricket struggling for existence, says Aakash Chopra after Heinrich Klaasen retires

Written by Praveen CA

Former Indian cricketer turned commentator Aakash Chopra believes that Henrich Klaassen’s retirement from Test cricket is one of the many signs of an “existential crisis” for red-ball cricket. Chopra, while speaking on his YouTube channel said that retirement from Test cricket has become a trend all over the world. Several top international stars have left the longest format of the game to either concentrate on franchise cricket or to elongate their white-ball career.

“I feel Test cricket is slightly struggling for existence. It’s a question of survival, which is called an existential crisis,” said Chopra in one of his YouTube videos.

The 32-year-old South African batter had only featured in four Tests for his national side before he declared his exit from the format. Klassen’s top form in the 2023 ODI World Cup might have brought him back into the Test fray but the batter’s retirement call shocked many.

“Heinrich Klaasen has taken retirement from Test cricket. He has played a handful of matches, he is not too old as well, but he said he is done. It has become a sort of trend that retirements are coming thick and fast.” said Chopra in his video.

According to Chopra, Klassen is only one amongst the many who have been showing a diminishing interest in red-ball cricket. Chopra says the trend of quick retirements from Test cricket is beyond the control of the players due to the format’s low financial viability.

Apart from player retirements, Chopra even highlighted in one of his YouTube videos how this trend is one that cannot be judged on moral grounds. Chopra says choosing T20 leagues over test tours isn’t a moral issue.

He explained that the South African Cricket Board (CSA) prioritises leagues like SA20 over their Test series against New Zealand because they make more money, vital for cricket’s survival. He further added that in the present-day scenario of world cricket, only India, Australia, and England can actually afford to play Test Cricket.

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Praveen CA