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Giving priority to Test matches ‘a luxury’ for bigger countries, says Morgan

Eoin Morgan is concerned a window of opportunity to aid Test cricket has already been missed.

Eoin Morgan fears the opportunity to salvage Test cricket’s primacy over short formats may already have been missed.

At 31, England’s white-ball captain played the last of his 16 Tests more than six years ago, and has already publicly acknowledged more than once that his international future is exclusive to 50 and 20-over fixtures.

He is nonetheless a notable voice in the debate about Test cricket’s status, and appears in little doubt that the threat from lucrative Twenty20 domestic franchise contracts is no longer a mere talking point but present and future reality.

England lost the Ashes after being beaten 4-0 (Jason O'Brien/PA)

Two cases in point reside in his own England team following Alex Hales and Adil Rashid’s decisions in recent weeks to sign white-ball only contracts with their respective counties – and therefore effectively sacrifice any Test ambitions for the foreseeable future.

“Test match cricket has had a lot to worry about for quite a while now,” said the Irishman.

“If something was going to be done about it, it probably should have been done already.

“There are still, I suppose, different ideas being thrown around – but actually giving priority to Test matches is sort of a luxury now for the bigger countries around the world.

“For other countries, T20 franchise cricket takes priority.”

Giving priority to Test matches is sort of a luxury now for the bigger countries around the world

Proposed measures to come to the aid of Test cricket have, of late, included the advent of day-night pink-ball fixtures and an inaugural four-day match.

Morgan senses, however, that a correction of player finances from global administrators may yet be the most effective policy.

“The best ideas probably being bandied around are putting most revenue behind the match appearances or actual prize money towards Test match cricket,” he said.

Nottinghamshire won the NatWest T20 Blast Finals Day at Edgbaston (Anthony Devlin/PA)

“(Then) there’s no [influence] on what format people choose, simply because of the money they might make.

“(Their decision) is all down to how good they are at that particular format.”

As for the switches made of late by Hales and Rashid, Morgan is supportive.

“I think it’s a really good decision for those individuals,” he added.

“Every individual is different – they see their future and their pathway changing all the time, and it’s okay to be able to change it.

“A lot of people actually are forced into a position to play one or two formats – which I think is wrong, because it’s their own career, it’s their own future.

“They need to take hold of it and make the most of it while they can.”

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