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Windies need to play more Tests

PORT-OF-SPAIN – Former West Indies Test cricketer Bryan Davis says the regional side’s progress in Test cricket could suffer if they do not get more Test matches under their belt.†Davis was reacting to the West Indies Cricket Board’s announcement that Pakistan’s upcoming tour of the Caribbean would include no Test matches.

†The West Indies will be limited to playing just four Test matches in 2013, two of which were against Zimbabwe earlier this year and the other two on their tour of New Zealand scheduled for year-end.

†”I think the lack of regular Test cricket will definitely affect us badly because you need to play Test cricket regularly to be able to be a force in the game,” Davis said.

“You have to get accustomed to playing five-day cricket.”

†Earlier this month, PCB Chairman Zaka Ashraf blamed West Indies’ upcoming tri-nation series – also involving India and Sri Lanka – starting in June, for creating difficulty in finding a window for the Tests.

West Indies are scheduled to play five one-day internationals and two T20s against Pakistan.

†”It is just like Pakistan’s cricket suffering because they have had few home Tests in the last couple of years. Zimbabwe have been out of Test cricket for a while. And these are just two examples,” said Davis.

“Now, we are in that position and it will affect us. It will not strengthen us, it will weaken us.”

†The former Trinidad and Tobago cricketer has linked the unavailability of Test cricket playing days to the growth in popularity of Twenty20 cricket and the lucrative Indian Premier League T20 tournament.

†”It takes up a lot of time and a lot of players from around the world, you find there are less Tests being played during the IPL because it affects various teams. You have limited calendar days which have been crowded out by T20s, which is all over the world now,” said Davis.

“There is the Australia Big Bash and the Caribbean Premier League coming up, so that would have an effect on the availability of days and time to have two teams visiting to play three-Test or two-Test series.”

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