Outgoing Marylebone World Cricket Committee (MCC) chairman Mike Brearley has expressed concern over a 'potential crisis' that may arise in world cricket as he cited the examples of AB de Villiers' absence from the upcoming Test series between England and South Africa.
De Villiers, who is considered as one of the finest batsmen in modern day cricket, is considering his future and will be taking a call on his future in Test cricket after a meeting with the officials from the Cricket South Africa (CSA) in August.
The 33-year-old had taken a break from Test cricket after being ruled out of the tour of Australia last year with an injury. He, however, planned to return to the format in September, when Bangladesh will tour South Africa.
The swashbuckling right-handed batsman plays limited-overs international cricket and on the domestic T20 circuit, and Brearley has described his career choices as "symbolic of the problems" facing the sport.
In his final meeting as the chairman of the MCC on Tuesday, Brearley also called on the International Cricket Council (ICC) to press ahead with mooted plans for a world Test league.
"The game is facing - if not a crisis - a looming potential crisis," the Guardian quoted Brearley as saying.
"This crisis needs to be noticed and taken seriously. For international cricket to flourish, competitive levels need to be close and teams need to be able to field their best players," he added.
The 75-year-old further said that the committee is worried that with the spread of privately owned T20 leagues and the rapid increase in remuneration.
Former New Zealand skipper Brendon McCullum, who is also a part of the MCC committee, said that de Villiers's decision to skip Test cricket was "another red flag moment".
De Villiers has notched up more than 8,000 runs in 106 Tests, including 21 hundreds, two double centuries and 39 half-centuries. He has also amassed 9,319 runs from 222 ODIs and 1,603 runs from 76 T20Is.