Jonny Bairstow calls for the preservation of Test cricket as T20 format grows

Bairstow believes the traditional form of the game has to be preserved.
Bairstow believes the traditional form of the game has to be preserved. Photo credit: Photosport

Test cricket is sacred and need to be protected in the world of big money Twenty20 competitions, according to England's Jonny Bairstow.

The 28-year-old, currently touring New Zealand with his country as part of the One Day international side, is also a key member of England's five-day lineup.

Bairstow believes the lure of lucrative deals in tournaments such as the IPL and Big Bash could tempt players to quit long format cricket in favour of a lighter schedule, and in some cases, more money.

Former Blackcaps bowler Micthell McClenaghan gave up a New Zealand Cricket contract to pursue full time gigs with t20 franchises.

Bairstow said the traditional form of the game has to be preserved.

"Test cricket is huge and if we're not careful there's going be more and more people who do that," Bairstow said.

"You've got lucrative tournaments around the world now where people can go off for five weeks and earn a heck of a lot of money when the strain and stress on the body bowling four overs is comparatively less to bowling 24 overs in a day in Test cricket. "

The 28-year-old sees more day-night Test cricket as one solution to combat the T20 pull, while pointing to the recent huge crowds in Australia for the Ashes as a prime example that test cricket can still draw big numbers.

The current battle between South Africa and Australia has drawn massive interest in both countries as they battle for the number one spot in the world.

Bairstow said Test cricket is where legends are made and the format where historic moments are remembered with fondness.

"I want to go on and play as many tests as I can because you get remembered for how many tests you've played.

"If you look back at the record books I'm sure you guys can name how many people have played 100 test matches and you compare that to the people who have played potentially the same amount of ODI's or T20's, the names that stand out are the names in Test cricket, all around the world."