Implementing a system of promotion and relegation in Test cricket and utilizing the 20-over format to expand the sport's reach were among the ideas discussed at a symposium hosted by the Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC) on Sunday.

The diminishing popularity of Test cricket outside India, England, and Australia has occurred alongside the rise of profitable T20 leagues worldwide. Despite the high-quality drama often seen in top-tier Test matches, the rapid pace and action-packed nature of 20-over cricket have swiftly become the favorite format for new fans.

Ravi Shastri, a former India player and coach, emphasized the need for Test cricket to stay competitive, suggesting that only stronger teams should participate in this format. "Without quality, interest wanes, attendance drops, and the cricket becomes meaningless—the last thing any sport desires," Shastri stated at World Cricket Connects, an event at Lord's organized by the MCC. "Reduce the number of Test teams to six or seven and introduce a promotion and relegation system. Maintain two tiers, but ensure the top six continue to play to keep interest in Test cricket alive. Other formats, such as T20, can be used to spread the game."

Justin Langer, a former Australia batter and coach, expressed his fondness for T20 leagues but stressed the importance of safeguarding international cricket for its influence on young people. He highlighted examples like Shamar Joseph's memorable debut series for the West Indies in Australia this year, which captivated the audience and brought the Caribbean spirit to life.

MCC President Mark Nicholas concluded that the discussions did not imply that Test cricket was unnecessary, but rather that cricket requires financial support to endure. "T20 cricket is the dominant force that everyone desires. It captures the new market, attracts fans, and generates revenue. In cricket, money is often viewed negatively, but it is essential for sustaining the sport," he noted.