Angelo Mathews says SL not getting enough Tests, especially this year

Angelo Mathews says SL not getting enough Tests, especially this year
Angelo Mathews has taken aim at the Test-match schedule Sri Lanka has been lumped with. His complaint: Sri Lanka will not play enough Tests, particularly this year.
This, despite there being an outside chance that Sri Lanka could play in the World Test Championship final, so long as Australia win or draw their last Test against India, and Sri Lanka beat New Zealand 2-0, in New Zealand. These remain unlikely outcomes, even though both Australia and Sri Lanka have had good days with the bat on Thursday.

But Mathews essentially asks what value the cricket world places in Test cricket any more, if the scheduling is so lopsided.

“Unfortunate that we are not playing too many Test matches this year – it’s as few as five,” he said, on the day he became Sri Lanka’s third-highest Test scorer, in Christchurch. “We are coming off a long layoff – the last Test was six months back.” Mathews is correct that there are only five Tests on the schedule for Sri Lanka in 2023 (two against New Zealand, two against Pakistan, and one against Ireland, who are not WTC opposition just yet).

He is not correct on how long it’s been since Sri Lanka’s last Test before this one. It has been seven months.

“Everyone’s talking about Test cricket dying, but we’re not doing any good for Test cricket playing only five Tests a year. Hopefully we’ll get more matches this year. Five feels like not enough.”

In fact, right through the WTC cycle to follow this one, Sri Lanka are not scheduled to play a single three-Test series. Meanwhile, India, Australia, and England, routinely play five-Test series against each other through the same period. At the worst, they play four-Test series.

The WTC structure requires the teams that qualify to play an equal number of WTC series between each other through the course of the cycle. But aside from India, England, and Australia (the Big Three), most other sides play two-Test series, aside from when they play one of the Big Three sides, when they may have a three-Test encounter on the books.

Jason Holder and Anrich Nortje – currently playing a two-Test series in South Africa – had also voiced how every team apart from the Big Three were barely playing any Tests these days.

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