The future gets nearer every day

Robots taking care of our grandparents, perhaps even our parents. It might be us in a few years, nobody how old any of us are. Automated diagnoses of illnesses and prescription by drone delivery. It’s going to happen, isn’t it?

And there will be those who point out what extraordinary advances we have made in technological science for these things to be able to happen, and they are correct. Extraordinary things have taken place which will allow human beings to have more time off.

Time off is a problem in the vast majority of the world’s countries. There is too much of it – people either need to be (3rd World) or would be better off (1st World) working for a living.

Time off and “rest” is a big thing in cricket, too. The more we play, the more we hear about it. Mostly, it makes little sense.

Dale Steyn, the premier fast bowler in the world and in the peak of his career, has barely played for a year, largely because of injury. But instead of playing in the Caribbean, he is gently playing seven T20 matches for Glamorgan in the English Natwest Blast, sitting out several 50-over games in the process.

The Caribbean Premier League is championing the imminent participation of Morne Morkel while he warms the Proteas’ bench in the West Indies. Most of the talk amongst current and prospective internationals is about making money in T20 leagues at home and around the world. Not about playing international cricket at any level, never mind Test match level.

Test cricket’s demise may be of little concern to many, but a horrifying prospect to others. I am a little old-fashioned and hope it survives. But if it doesn’t, I guess it will be like cassettes, overtaken by time. At least, that’s what some friends tell me.

Personally, I believe in the maxim: “Less is More” – provided there is a meaningful context for the “less”. Tests will continue to be marginalised outside the ‘big four’ of Australia, England, India and South Africa for two or three more years to come but when a meaningful league is finally established, the other six (hopefully seven or eight) countries will find themselves at the centre of world attention when they become king-makers in the quest for Test domination.

Watching Zimbabwe, or West Indies fight for survival in a game against Australia or India which means one survives in the first division and one is crowned world champion would give context to such a fixture never imagined before. Then let’s see who wants time off.

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