“If we get more, that would help a lot”


West Indies captain Kraigg Brathwaite has called for more Test cricket for the advancement of the format in the Caribbean. The Men in Maroon are scheduled to play a two-match Test series against Australia away from home. They have only been assigned to play a total of 13 Tests in the 2023-25 World Test Championship (WTC) cycle.

Five of West Indies’ six series in the WTC cycle comprise of only two Tests, with their tour of England being the only three-match affair. They kickstarted the cycle with a home series against India, which they lost by a 1-0 margin.

Former West Indies skipper Brian Lara recently spoke about franchise cricket hampering the state of the red-ball format in the Caribbean. Brathwaite feels the same as he recently said that the more Test cricket West Indies play, the better they will get, and it will also increase the odds of youngsters getting inspired.

“In the West Indies, we don’t get many Test matches. If we get more, that would help a lot. And obviously, incentive for playing Test cricket is always great because you know T20 cricket is out there, T10 cricket is out there, so it will always be tough. But I believe the more (Test) cricket we play, the better,” Brathwaite said ahead of the first Test in Adelaide (via Canberra Times).

West Indies’ last Test win came against Zimbabwe in February 2023. One has to trace back to early 2022 to detect the side’s win over a major nation, in the form of a home win over England.

The Men in Maroon were outplayed and outclassed during their last tour of Australia in late 2022. They suffered a whitewash as Australia secured dominant wins by 164 runs and 419 runs across the two Tests.

“I can’t make a decision for the guys” – Kraigg Brathwaite on Holder and Mayers skipping the Test series for T20 cricket

The West Indies squad for the Australia tour features a hoard of new names. Also, the contingent does not feature a set of senior members in the form of Jason Holder and Kyle Mayers. The all-rounder pair opted to skip the series in order to focus on the shortest format, keeping the 2024 T20 World Cup in mind.

“I can’t make a decision for the guys, fully understood why they made the decision, it’s solely up to them,” Brathwaite said.

Brathwaite also spoke about the importance of giving the younger generation a chance to be inspired by Tests rather than the shorter formats like T20 and T10 cricket.

“For aspiring youngsters in the Caribbean, if we play Test cricket and we as West Indies do well, they grow up seeing it. That will help to inspire to want to play for West Indies. But if they don’t see it, they will be inspired to play what they see, which is T20s and T10s around the world,” Brathwaite concluded.

The first Test between Australia and the West Indies is scheduled to begin on Wednesday, January 17, at the Adelaide Oval.

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