The future of Test cricket September 9, 2009

Bangladesh agree to day-night Test in England

Cricinfo staff

The Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) has agreed to the ECB's request to appear in the first-ever day-night Test during the team's tour of England in May-June next year. However, the ICC has not yet cleared the idea and its approval will be subject to suitable equipment being developed for the purpose.

The idea was first proposed by the MCC during its World Cricket Committee meeting at Lord's in July as a way of making the game's longest and oldest format more appealing. The other proposals included the use of pink balls and a World Test Championship.

The ICC has made it clear that though the concept of day-night Tests was discussed by its cricket committee, no decision has been taken yet. "The ICC cricket committee had last year agreed in principle that the notion of day-night Tests should be investigated," an ICC spokesperson said. "For now, we are happy for members to try this at the domestic level first and if it proves successful, the cricket committee would consider recommending this on a trial basis at the Test level."

Apparently, there are a number of key issues related to the concept that are still being discussed: the colour of players clothing, whether the suggested pink balls retains its colour or needs to be changed frequently due to discolouration or wear and tear, to what extent would batting, bowling and fielding conditions vary and so on.

An MCC spokesman confirmed to Cricinfo that the World Cricket Committee would meet with the ICC in November. The future of Test cricket is on the agenda, and within that floodlit Tests will be discussed. "We are very keen to help in any way we can," the spokesman said, "and have been continuing with our trials of coloured balls to see if it will work on television."

The MCC could have a dual role in this process: as well as being fully behind floodlit Tests. Lord's could be the ground to host the match. One of the Bangladesh Tests is currently allocated to Headingley; the other is part of the bidding process, with Lord's in the running to hosting it. "We would like to host it and we have our brand new floodlights," said the spokesman.

The future of Test cricket has been the subject of debate within the ICC over the last year with the concept of a Test championship initially gaining ground. But the idea was opposed by the India and England cricket boards who did not find merit in sharing their substantial TV revenue that would have gone to a common pool.

India and England have subsequently backed the idea of day-night Test cricket as a way of taking the format forward amidst the rise of Twenty20 cricket. However, the ICC, which is finalising its Future Tours Programme post-2012, is yet to arrive at a decision on the matter. The ICC's executive board meets next in October, when the issue is likely to be discussed again.

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • John on September 13, 2009, 15:30 GMT

    @Nipun - I guess you have all along missed the idea from my first comment. My point is in order to make cricket more popular globally (and hence financially), you have to let the up and coming countries be part of the process. By excluding teams like WI, NZ, Ban, ZIM, Ireland cricket will never become a global game. If you talk to the younger generation of the English crowd, you will find that they are interested in football/soccer than cricket. Same thing will happen in other countries outside of the subcontinent because their teams never got the opportunities to participate and develop. In the Indian subcontinent, it's a totally different story because cricket is massively popular and people follow it religiously. That brings me to my second point, Bangladesh has a much better chance to develop into the top echelon of cricket countries due to the fan base and infrastructure support.

  • kawsar on September 13, 2009, 13:51 GMT

    Mr. Nipun, there was an article in cricinfo few weeks ago, and there was a comment from you, starting with "I am an Indian, but I support Bangladesh so much after INDIA" now is there any explanation why you suddenly turn your back and talking all negative for Bangladesh Cricket????

  • Cricinfouser on September 12, 2009, 17:20 GMT

    This is a positive step forward. New experiments oftentimes result in fruitful rewards in addition to lucky inventions that have advanced human civilization over the centuries. After all, lifespan is a short time, and life is one second at a time. So, why not try something different? You never know!

  • Prince on September 12, 2009, 16:56 GMT

    @ JS82 :- Assuming you have some common sense,I guess you can understand how difficult it is difficult to sustain performance when you play about 1 test a year.India had played 23 tests in 20 years,& yet drew 12 of them.Bangladesh played 61 tests in 9 years,& they have drawn only 1 test against a full strength opposition without the help of rain.The comparisons with India are pointless anyway,since it involves a long time frame,but it's you started a pointless & invalid comparison.& in any case,the stats are heavily skewed in India's favour.Zimbabwe & Sri Lanka would present better better comparison.They had quite a few world class players when they started playing tests.In comparison,Bangladesh has Habibul Bashar,with a test average of 30,as their best test batsman by miles. lastly,I would be very happy if you present valid arguments with valid statistical support.Simply emotional arguments won't help.& yes,please EXPLAIN what you want to mean rather than presenting vague arguments.

  • Prince on September 12, 2009, 16:40 GMT

    @ JS 82 :- I don't know for how many days have you been watching cricket,but it certainly shows that it's not a big number.England won the 5th Ashes test after losing the 4th test by over an innings & something.So what do you want to mean by the fact that 5 tests before winning the first test India lost to Australia by an innings and 177 run goes beyond me.Better explain !!! & yes,remember that in those years,there were hardly more than 1/2 tests a year as far as I can guess.Bangladesh has played 61 tests within 9 years;I guess the countries which started to play test cricket in the 1930s & so played this many tests over 20 odd years.So there's more cricket now, more opportunity to learn & improve.& don't forget that in the 1950s,the Australian team,led by a certain Sir Bradman,were the Invincibles.Statsgurur has it that India drew 12 out of its first 23 tests.I didn't go beyond that because I didn't need to.These 23 tests were spread among 20 years,which means 1 tests per year.

  • Bilal on September 12, 2009, 7:33 GMT

    Remember teams complain about the DEW factor, especially when playing under lights in the sub continent, continuously having to wipe the ball. Imagine playing a test match in those conditions. There are too many Question marks attached to this idea.

    A test championship would have been a better option, but then again the boards will always have problems with broadcasting revenues.

  • John on September 11, 2009, 19:48 GMT

    @Nipun - I assume you know some world history. Comparing number of tests played by India during the World War 2 era and the Great Depression era vs the time period Bangladesh has played is downright ridiculous.

    But since you begged, I did check statsguru on it and I found that 5 tests before winning the first test India lost to Australia by an innings and 177 runs which proves my point.

    Assuming you know how to use statsguru, here are the query parameters I used and you can check it out yourself.

    View match by match list [change view] Involving team India remove India from query Start of match date less than or equal to 1 Jan 1952 remove less than or equal to 1 Jan 1952 from query Ordered by start date (ascending)

  • Atique on September 11, 2009, 16:02 GMT

    All you little geniuses forget about the statistics for God's sake. Don't use some excuse to say a word against Bangladesh!!! The ICC officials and members of the committees are probably better judge than someone like Nipun!!!

    Globalization of the game and giving chances are important. Teams like Bangladesh hardly gets a chance to play against quality oppositions, if that is regular surely they will be able to improve themselves.

  • Michael on September 11, 2009, 14:49 GMT

    ICC are a farce. Time to replace a body of faceless plutocrats with a body which looks after the game properly.

  • Prince on September 11, 2009, 13:12 GMT

    @ JS 82 :- You can also check out individual statistics of the Indian players in their initial test matches (I am mentioning only India because that's the team you've mentioned).To be honest,check out such statistics of all other nations & compare them to Bangladesh players' statistics.Guess you'll be surprised.Now don't turn up & say that STATISTICS MEAN NOTHING,mate !!!

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