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Former Essex all-rounder Graham Napier keen to see some Test matches if cricket can return this year




Graham Napier is hoping that if any cricket is possible this season, then Test matches are at the forefront.

As it stands, cricket at professional and club level has been suspended due to the coronavirus pandemic until further notice.

And with a packed schedule of Tests, County Championship, Hundred, One-Day and T20 matches to fit in, if cricket can return this year, it is widely accepted that many of those formats will have to be shelved.

Former County cricketer Graham Napier has been putting some cricket coaching sessions online to help keep kids interested in the sport, his wife Claire has been filming him. Picture by Mark Westley. (33263040)
Former County cricketer Graham Napier has been putting some cricket coaching sessions online to help keep kids interested in the sport, his wife Claire has been filming him. Picture by Mark Westley. (33263040)

The England and Wales Cricket Board have put a lot of money into The Hundred – a new franchise competition – and it is thought they would be keen for that to play out above other competitions.

However, Bury St Edmunds-based Napier, who was an all-rounder at Essex for many years, would like to see the longer format of the game take place.

“Realistically some formats will have to give,” he said.

“They will be trying to squeeze too much in and it will not work.

“The ECB will have to work out what the best focal point is.

“They have obviously invested enormously in The Hundred but I am a purist – I love Test cricket. It would be great to see some of that this summer.

“Obviously it will be a balancing act and nobody knows anything in terms of time frames at the moment.”

There have also been suggestions that cricket could initially return behind closed doors, particularly if the social distancing guidelines remain in place.

Napier believes that would be fine early on, but it cannot be a long-term measure.

“The first few weeks that might be doable, but ultimately we play sport to entertain the fans,” he said.

“With all the technology it can be watched by a lot of people on TV, but we want it in front of crowds. You need the likes of Lord’s to be full to create an atmosphere.”


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