Cricket

Franchise T20 cricket the reason behind England’s Test match batting woes: Kevin Pietersen – CricTracker

Ever since the advent of T20 leagues, giving domestic cricket a miss to participate elsewhere has been a common trend.

Kevin Pietersen
Kevin Pietersen. (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)

Former England batter Kevin Pietersen attributes franchise T20 leagues as the reason behind England’s downfall and Test batting woes. England went down 0-1 in the home series against New Zealand on June 13 (Sunday) and slipped a spot down to fourth in the ICC Test rankings while their rivals dethroned India to get at the top spot.

After being fairly behind New Zealand in the first Test at Lord’s, England put up an even uninspiring show at Edgbaston in what was a chance for them to give their home crowd, who physically returned to stadiums after a longstanding Covid-enforced separation, a chance to celebrate. Instead, they dwindled to their first home Test defeat since 2014 and their first against New Zealand at home since 1999.

England recently had a successful tour of Sri Lanka, where they won the series 2-0 with their batters, especially Joe Root, making merry. The visitors then handed India a massive defeat in the Chennai Test before heading into freefall as they lost three on the trot, losing the series 3-1 despite the lead initially.

A huge gap between County and International cricket: Kevin Pietersen

After the team’s dismal show at Edgbaston, where England was guilty of both lack of execution with the bat and lacklustre efforts in the field, Kevin Pietersen took to his Twitter to point out that “hardly any of the cricket greats have played full seasons of County Cricket.”

“Since the franchise T20($$$$$$) started, hardly any of crickets GREATS have played full seasons of County Cricket. HUGE gap between County & International cricket, hence the Test match batting woes!” read his tweet, where the multiple dollar signs seemed an evident dig on the players prioritizing cash-rich leagues over domestic cricket.

Ever since the advent of T20 leagues, giving domestic cricket a miss to participate elsewhere has been a common trend amongst players from all the nations, let alone England. Notably, entire of England’s IPL contingent was not a part of the New Zealand series as the all-format players such as Moeen Ali, Jonathan Bairstow, Jos Buttler, Sam Curran and Chris Woakes were rested post the IPL 2021 postponement, while Ben Stokes and Jofra Archer sat out due to finger and elbow injuries respectively.

With a busy schedule looming, including the away Ashes later this year, time is indeed up for Chris Silverwood and England to put their thinking caps on and analyze where they have gone wrong.

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