The Growing Gulf: The Widening Divide Between Cricket’s Big Three and the Rest

Australia’s comprehensive first Test victory over Pakistan highlighted the growing gap between cricket’s top three teams and the rest of the world. In all three formats of the game, both men’s and women’s cricket, Australia, India and England stand out. From the time Pat Cummins won the toss and chose to bat in Perth, it seemed inevitable that Australia would win, due to the team’s recent success and years of defeating stronger Pakistani squads. The West Indies and South Africa have also faced similar challenges against the top three, with South Africa choosing to field a weakened squad in upcoming matches.

Of the 12 Test-playing nations, it is unclear who poses a threat to the Big Three. New Zealand, which won the World Test Championship two years ago, is a potential contender, but questions about their depth remain. Pakistan, which has historically suffered from issues both internal and external, has never fully fulfilled its potential. Other teams such as Sri Lanka, the West Indies, and Zimbabwe have regressed, while Bangladesh has yet to establish consistent international performance. Ireland and Afghanistan are also in the early stages of their Test education.

In the shorter versions of the game, including ODIs and T20 cricket, Australia, India, and England continue to dominate. They have appeared in most World Cup finals and have achieved the most victories. The women’s game is also experiencing a similar trend, with Australia and England winning most of the titles.

It appears that no nation is capable of challenging cricket’s top three countries in the near future. As a result, many teams are shifting their focus to franchise cricket. The increasing gap between the top three and the rest of the cricketing world may cause the sport to decline. Despite efforts to expand the game to other nations, cricket’s future largely depends on the actions and decisions of Australia, England, and India, as well as their financial resources.