London: England batting all-rounder Mooen Ali has expressed his concerns over the future of Test cricket after he observed low crowd attendance in this winter’s Ashes Test Series against Australia.
Ali said that he was ‘disappointed’ by low turnout in the Ashes.
“I feared in the Ashes actually. The crowds were quite disappointing. There were a couple of big days, but even when they [Australia] won the Ashes there weren’t that many celebrating. That’s when I thought, ‘Actually, we’re struggling a bit,” ESPNcricinfo quoted Ali as saying.
However, as per figures given by the Australian media, the Ashes series was witnessed the second-most highest crowd in the country’s history.
A total of 866,732 fans attended the five matches, with only the 1936-37 Ashes, in which Don Bradman’s Australia won the series 3-2, attracting a bigger audience.
“It is a worry. Test cricket is the pinnacle. It is, in my opinion, where the best players play. You can really see who is the best. It’s been a worry for a while but Australia really opened my eyes,” Ali said.
Praising the home-crowd, the right-arm off spinner said that matches in England witness full houses and best fans.
Ali also admitted that now he is not rigid with his opinion of Tests being played for five days as the new four-day format could help in getting more people.
“When the idea of four-day Tests came up I was against it because it’s always been five days. But maybe it has to change. I don’t really like the pink-ball Tests but maybe if it works and brings crowds in it has to be done,” he said.
Almost 200,000 fans attended the first day-night Test in Ashes history.