The death of Test cricket, and the Australian summer, is nigh

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - JANUARY 07: Pat Cummins of Australia celebrates after taking the wicket of Kyle Verreynne of South Africa during day four of the Second Test match in the series between Australia and South Africa at Sydney Cricket Ground on January 07, 2023 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Brett Hemmings - CA/Cricket Australia via Getty Images)

With the eyes of the nation locked onto the Matildas’ World Cup semi-final last Wednesday, a seemingly immaterial cricket story slipped quietly through the Australian sporting news cycle.

Cricket South Africa announced it would be sending a severely weakened squad to New Zealand for next summer’s Test series against the Black Caps, to ensure all its best players, around 60 in total, would be available for its domestic T20 competition, the SA20.

That this story failed to cause so much as a ripple in Australia is far from surprising. A scheduling conflict between two foreign nations, in a sport that, outside the Ashes, struggles to capture the public’s attention during the winter months.

But like a lifetime smoker who ignores a bloody cough, the announcement is yet another silent dagger in the heart of Test cricket, and with it the Australian summer as we know it.

The T20 game is rapidly marching across cricket’s Gregorian calendar. In 2023, there will be nine elite T20 tournaments staged across the world. The true danger to international Test cr

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