Warner admits ‘concerns’ for Test cricket survival

David Warner has addressed the growing “concerns” around the future of Test cricket, admitting the allure of high-paying T20 leagues across the globe could hinder the format’s survival.

The 37-year-old is preparing for his final red-ball match for Australia, which will see the hard-hitting opener bow out on his own terms at the Sydney Cricket Ground against Pakistan.

Warner has cemented himself as one of the all-time greats in all three formats, from initially bursting onto the scene as a short-form specialist before making the jump to the Test arena in 2011.

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However, the recent squads named by both West Indies and South Africa for respective overseas tours has firmly placed a magnifying glass upon the ICC scheduling, with a host of high-profile stars either sitting out or being forced to withdraw from Test series.

Speaking to media on Monday, Warner reflected on the current state of Test cricket and put the onus on the governing bodies to ensure the longest form of the game continues to thrive.

“I think the concerns are with the governing body, to make sure that the scheduling is well in place,” he said.

“I don’t think it’s on my terms to comment about the South African seven debutants, but I think that’s showing where it could be potentially heading and there’s going to be a lot of conversations.

“We need to keep Test cricket alive, it’s the pinnacle of the game and we absolutely love it.

“When you get the taste of it and you’re out there five days toiling … that’s what Test cricket is all about. Hopefully it can keep surviving.”

Warner’s time in both five-day and 50-over cricket will come to a close within the next week, with the left-hander revealing his plans to step aside from the ODI set-up following their recent World Cup win.

His transition over the years has opened the door for countless other players to make their way into Test cricket through previously left-field means, proving that T20 skills can be translated to all forms.

And while some younger players coming through the ranks could see the dollar signs as an incentive to focus solely on white-ball, Warner urged them to keep the dream alive of playing in the sport’s pinnacle.

“There are a lot of other leagues, but in my development I didn’t have that there, so I didn’t have to make those decisions,” he said.

“For me, it was always about playing Test cricket for Australia … that’s the passion that you have growing up.

“Today with so many different opportunities and so much more money at stake for younger guys coming through, it’s a tough decision to make.

“I’m just fortunate enough that I don’t have to make that decision now coming through.

“It would be wrong of me to say I would still be passionate to keep playing for Australia and those ambitions… because that’s every kid’s dream in Australia, I believe.

“But, it would be a very difficult decision to make if you’re getting $100,000 thrown at you before you take a rookie contract.”

Warner’s swansong in the Test side will begin on Wednesday at the SCG. 

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