Former West Indies captain Jason Holder feels that Test cricket runs the risk of dying if things continue to remain the way they currently are.

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West Indies are playing a Test series in Australia, where several first-choice players – including Jason Holder and Nicholas Pooran – made themselves unavailable. Holder, who led the West Indies side between 2015 and 2020, opted to play in the second season of the International League T20 (ILT20) for the Dubai Capitals.

Speaking to Hindustan Times on the sidelines of ILT20 2024, Holder talked about the crisis that Test cricket is facing, and where cricket is headed. “Honestly, if we continue in this manner, Test cricket will die,” he said. “It’s sad, but it’s true, based on the current structure.

“You’ve got the Big Three [India, England, Australia] who practically command all the revenue regarding the disbursement of ICC funds. And it’s difficult for smaller territories such as the West Indies to compete.”

Holder elaborated on the struggles faced by boards like the West Indies’: “We just don’t have the financial resources that they do. We’re struggling to even stay afloat in terms of cash flow.

“And it’s hard to develop our facilities and structures the way they’re meant to be. And with the little finances that we have, pretty much all the money we get goes straight back up into covering expenses and debt.”

With franchise-based T20 leagues springing up in different parts of the world, Holder suggested that a football-like structure, where a window allotted for Test cricket would help. He also emphasised the importance of paying decent money to Test cricketers to incentivise them to play the format.

“The only way you can honestly see Test cricket being saved is if you have a window for Test cricket in a year so that you can have your best players available to play there. And on top of that, you need to compensate players fairly.

“It can’t be a situation where Australia and India are up there, and all the other teams are way, way down below. So, when you’ve got a situation – a dilemma – similar to mine, where you can play a Test series for X amount and a franchise for three times the amount, you will constantly have players going toward more money.

“If we could come up with a model where you can have a minimum wage where you can’t fall below a particular threshold, it would actually incentivise players to say, ‘Well, look, this is the benefit of me playing Test cricket’.

“I think, maybe, cricket may go in the football model where you have an international window, and you’ve got the franchise window. Maybe that might be a model going forward, but who knows?”