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India's Tour Of South Africa 2023-24: We Need To Protect Test Cricket As It Is Ultimate Challenge, Says Rohit Sharma

Cricket South Africa selected seven uncapped players, including an inexperienced first-timer Neil Brand, for the upcoming tour of New Zealand to accommodate top stars for the cash-rich SA20, which is coinciding with the Test series

Rohit Sharma will lead the side in the Test series in South Africa
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Indian captain Rohit Sharma feels that every ICC member must protect the sanctity of Test cricket as it remains the ultimate format. (More Cricket News)

Cricket South Africa selected seven uncapped players, including an inexperienced first-timer Neil Brand, for the upcoming tour of New Zealand to accommodate top stars for the cash-rich SA20, which is coinciding with the Test series.

All the SA20 franchises are owned by IPL team owners and the move to prioritize franchise cricket has earned widespread criticism.

“For me, Test remains the ultimate challenge and we would like to see best players playing that format but everyone has their own problems to deal with and make sure there is a reason behind it,” Rohit reacted when asked about the CSA move.

But he was clear that he always wants top players to play Tests.

“I don’t know what the reason is (for SA not picking senior players) and in Test cricket, you want to see the best players being available but like I said I don’t know what internal discussions are in CSA but from my perspective, the priority should be given to Test cricket. It's a challenge that you face every day,” said the Indian skipper.

India’s centrally contracted players aren’t allowed to play any other T20 leagues and BCCI doesn’t slot international cricket in that phase.

“I feel we don’t have such problems at this point of time,” he smiled.

But when a scribe tried to draw a conjecture that it is BCCI’s responsibility to save Test cricket, the skipper replied that the onus is not on one or two nations but on all.

“Test Cricket is something that we all have to protect and it’s not just one or two countries’ responsibility but all who are playing, keep it nice and entertaining.     

"Around the world, you can see some solid Test cricket being played and you have seen results everywhere and competitive cricket being played, so everyone has to ensure it stays nice and healthy and that is what people come to watch. That’s everyone’s responsibility,” he added.

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