While ODIs, T20s and the Hundred have often been the centre of attention recently, you still can’t beat good ol’ fashioned Test cricket.
It seems an age away now, but remember last summer? It was a wonderful time for cricket in England.
And while there was super-over drama which saw England win the World Cup against New Zealand, the moment of the summer came in the Ashes.
The last wicket stand of Jack Leach and Ben Stokes at Headingley is even more indelible than Jos Buttler stumping Martin Guptill.
And it’s fairly simple as to why.
Shorter forms of game simply cannot match the levels of tension and nerves of a tight test match.
Given the right setting, the elation of a dot ball can outweigh a booming six.
Test cricket remains a much more skilful game too – tactics, endurance and an elite mentality are huge factors in the five-day format.
This is proved by the fact all the best test cricketers can play shorter formats, but not all the best short format players can play test cricket.
While you definitely need some of that to be successful in shorter formats, it’s much more random and less rewarding.
Fair enough, shorter formats produce more consistently entertaining games.
But they will never come close to a tight test match reaching a conclusion after five days.
Anderson and Panesar holding on at Cardiff in 2009, Harmison winning it at Edgbaston in 2005, Stokes carrying England at Headingley in 2019.
Iconic moments, all of them.
At the moment, it’s unclear as to when sporting events will resume all over the world – and which ones in 2020.
And it looks increasingly likely that the launch of The Hundred will have to be delayed until next year, as international cricket has to be prioritised.
It’s easy to forget in the current climate, but there is a T20 World Cup set to take place this summer.
Whether it will happen or be pushed back to 2021 like the Euros and Olympics remains to be seen.
For years, cricket’s various governing boards have tried to make the sport more accessible which is a good thing.
And I will definitely be tuning into The Hundred when it does eventually launch.
What’s important though, is that going forward these short format games don’t phase out Test Cricket.
Even as a Test loyalist, I appreciate there is a place in the game for the Hundred and the like.
But it would be a huge shame to see these new competitions in place of Test cricket instead of alongside.
Pic by Peter Meade – Creative Commons Licence