Test and T20 balance 'like a Rubik's cube', says former England captain Strauss

By Sports Desk August 15, 2022

Former England captain Andrew Strauss has likened the puzzle of balancing Test and T20 cricket to the complications of "a Rubik's cube" but is optimistic both forms can coexist together.

The announced launch of new white-ball leagues, including the South Africa T20 League and International League T20 in the United Arab Emirates, has further outlined the dominance of the short-form game.

England are set to return to Test cricket this month with a three-game series against South Africa, but the long-term future of the sport's five-day format remains a pressing question.

Strauss acknowledges the challenges presented to balance the two forms are "complicated" within a fast-changing game, but still reasons there is a place for both providing officials do not bury "our heads in the sand".

"The cricket world around us is changing unbelievably quickly," Strauss was quoted by the Guardian. "Every day, every week, every month, we're seeing a new example of how that world is changing.

"We're having to ask ourselves in this country, where does our game fit into that? We [need to] make sure that we have incentives there for our players to play both red-and-white-ball cricket.

"Of course, the ECB have put a lot of time and attention and effort into [giving] the Hundred the potential to be a global short-form event that matches any of these other leagues.

"One of the things that we need to be conscious of in the game in this country is we have to be nimble and adaptable. We can't afford to be slow moving and have our heads in the sand.

"We need to continue promoting all the brilliant things cricket in this country offers players – we want to have a strong domestic game, and we want to make sure the players are playing the right balance of formats.

"I still maintain they can sit together comfortably, Test cricket and T20 cricket. But the challenge we have is, can we produce a manageable schedule that allows players to do both?

"That is really complicated. It's multi-dimensional. It's like a big Rubik's Cube."

Strauss will be on hand this Thursday for the second day of England's Test against South Africa, when Lord's will host its annual Red for Ruth day in memory of the ex-captain's late wife, who passed from lung cancer in 2018.

Ben Stokes' side are looking to maintain their rich vein of form, with the team unbeaten since he succeeding Joe Root as captain earlier this year.

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