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New Zealand- England Series

Williamson eager to play more Test cricket



Photo: Courtesy

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New Zealand captain Kane Williamson said Thursday his side want to play more Tests after compatriot and International Cricket Council (ICC) chair Greg Barclay forecast an overall reduction in the number of five-day international matches.

Barclay angered cricket traditionalists by suggesting in a radio interview during last week's Lord's Test when he indicated the next four-year cycle of international fixtures would mean many full member nations play fewer Tests.

The New Zealander also came under fire for questioning whether women's Tests would form part of cricket's future "landscape" as he warned of "unfortunate consequences" for the men's game caused by the rise of Twenty20 franchise leagues.

Barclay, who became world cricket's top administrator when he took up his ICC post in November 2020, added the schedule for countries outside the financial powerhouses of India, England and Australia would likely lead to those nations being scheduled to play more white-ball, limited-overs, internationals than Tests.

Williamson, who led New Zealand to victory in last year's inaugural World Test Championship, launched a passionate defence of the long-format game. 

"We love our Test cricket, as do all the countries that have the opportunity to do it," he told reporters at Trent Bridge on the eve of the second in a three-match series against England.

"Most of us come from an area where it is the pinnacle of the game and that's certainly how we feel. We want to see more of it and hope that, with the other formats which are also great, interest in the game grows. That would be ideal."

New Zealand must avoid defeat in Nottingham to keep the series alive after England's five-wicket win at Lord's.

Former England captain Joe Root scored an unbeaten and match-winning hundred at the 'Home of Cricket' and New Zealand would love to see Williamson, the star batsman in their side, do something similar at Trent Bridge after he was twice dismissed cheaply by Test debutant Matthew Potts in the series opener.  

"He had a fantastic debut, he obviously understands the conditions and the ball here, he bowled really well," Williamson said of Potts.

"It was largely a battle of the bowlers, barring a couple of partnerships, but every game is different so I'm looking to go in with fresh eyes. It's about learning some lessons from some of the best bowlers in the world, taking that on board and trying to make a contribution."