Former Pakistan opener Rameez Raja questioned to the Board of Control for Cricket in India’s (BCCI) about the decision allowing Mahendra Singh Dhoni a Grade A contract in spite of retiring from Test cricket in 2014.
Raja comes with heavily on the Indian Cricket Board and Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) for neglecting Test cricket as a result of which the longer edition of the game is losing its importance in the sub-continent.
On Tuesday, Raja, who was a member of the important MCC World Cricket Committee, attended the body’s meeting.
When asked by AFP, former Pak’s opener Raja said that “You have to acknowledge and respect the status of Test match cricket and it has to come from the cricket boards, in Asia specifically.”
He added, “For example, MS Dhoni retired from Test cricket yet got the A-grade contract from the BCCI, Shahid Afridi retired from Test cricket yet got the A-grade contract from PCB.”
When India was touring Australia, Dhoni was called in time on his Test career in 2014. Afridi takes a decision to call it in 2010 after playing a Test match in almost four years in England.
Raja said, “It is under a lot of stress in Asia but if we have a properly planned Test match championship, that’s the way out of this, otherwise we will be struggling to put aside as much money as is available for the T20 leagues.”
Speaking about the growing popularity of T20 domestic leagues in the sub-continent can also be a reason for Test cricket’s disappearing status.
The 54-year-old former opener said “It’s got to get better. In Asia, for example, because of poor Test match scheduling, the internet is dwindling. When you go back home you are never sure if you are going to have a one-Test series, a two-Test series or whether you are going to have a Test series at all.”
Speaking about the prospects of organising a World Test Championship, “I feel that the ICC ahs a decent plan in the shape of the World Test Championship. There should be a window for that and everything else should stop for a period of two months so the best players are available to play Test cricket,” said Raja.