Cricket concerns March 17, 2009

A matter of time

It is not unusual for sport to adjust its timing to suit the structure and space of television but Test matches starting at noon will still feel strange
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It is not unusual for sport to adjust its timing to suit the structure and space of television but Test matches starting at noon will still feel strange.

For the moment, the New Zealand cricket board has managed to keep the start of the first Test against India to 11 am. But who knows what will happen before the second Test. Sony Television, which has the rights to broadcast the India-New Zealand series in India, want the Tests to be pushed back by an hour so that the start is at the slightly less unearthly time of 4.30 am.

At one level, it is a reasonable request because ultimately television runs - and pays for - sport. And non-cricket fans might wonder what the fuss is all about. After all, they will still play for six hours or more and 90 overs will still be bowled, and the light in New Zealand holds till 7 pm. And in most parts of the world, sport organises itself to the convenience of television.

The English Premier League long ago sandwiched the traditional 3 pm Saturday kick-off between matches starting at noon and at 5 pm to ensure a better spread on television. It means inconveniencing fans travelling to cities spread over a distance - they either have to start out too early or have to stay back overnight - but the truth is that television pays the salaries. The two football world cups in Mexico - in 1970 and, more famously, in 1986 - had matches starting at noon despite the heat just to suit television timings in Europe. And earlier this year Roger Federer complained about the late starts at the Australian Open that kept players on the court close to, and sometimes past, midnight. But he had to play on.

Perhaps Test cricket fans are nerdy and removed from reality in their devotion to Test cricket but a noon start just wouldn't feel right. It is contrary to the rhythm of Test cricket, in which the morning session stands for something.

Maybe it is only notional, and mostly in our minds, but the mornings are supposed to belong to the bowlers. Not that they always do but conditions - moisture on the pitch, heaviness in the atmosphere - have the potential to make the ball wobble and seam a bit.

But of course, most traditions are now disappearing. When India toured Australia in 2007-08, the Boxing Day Test in Melbourne was the series opener and not, as customary, the second Test; the upcoming Ashes in England begins on a Wednesday instead of the traditional Thursday; and they may soon print names of player on whites. And as soon as they can find a light-coloured ball to last 90 overs, they will start playing Tests at night.

That might not such a bad thing after all. But those of us who love Test cricket just the way it is reserve the right to be horrified.

Sambit Bal is the editor of ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Vivek on March 20, 2009, 10:45 GMT

    sony should not have anything to do with cricket

    They are un competant to telecast cricket...

    I hope , pray the sony never gets any telecast rights

    Same with Neo Sports

  • Mohamed Z. Rahaman (Breado) on March 18, 2009, 14:38 GMT

    Simple Solution: Establish Cricket Savings time in India, i.e., move teh clock forward or back by 1 to 1.5 hours depending on where the matches are played. In USA we do it twice a year. It's called Daylight Savings Time.

  • Mike on March 18, 2009, 3:09 GMT

    In Dec-Feb the light holds good until well after 8:00pm, so starting the West Indies test matches at 12:00 was a great idea, as anyone working to the normal 4:30/5:00pm finish time could get to watch the last session either at the ground or at home. It made the game much more accessable to working people, without having to worry about losing too much of the game to bad light. However come mid-late March we're well into autumn in NZ and the light starts to fade earlier. There would be too much risk of lost time to start the tests at noon now, so I'm glad that NZC stuck with the 11am start.

  • Aayan on March 18, 2009, 1:32 GMT

    Can you believe there s no telecast in Singapore for any live matches ? This inspite of paying a huge amount to the cable channel?

  • Ilanchezhian on March 17, 2009, 22:13 GMT

    I am against the match delay since TEST match is something you see a real cricket dere. Bowlers have an key role in TEST matches.Bcoz of this delay in start ll lead the pitch in favour of batsmen bcoz of less moisture. I think many of dem would remember the recent match between WI and ENG dere you can see the scores that was made by each team wr bowlers were crushed by the batsmen except the last day of the match

  • Satish on March 17, 2009, 22:08 GMT

    Terrible idea!! First day first session is key in terms of the due/movement and good time for bowling team to make inroads into the batting. In those terms it provides an intriguing session. moving it to noon when the sun is beating down, pitch is dry and no humidity in the air... it will ruin the contest

  • Varun Singla on March 17, 2009, 22:07 GMT

    will expect a full 5 day play here..Hope no rain :-P .Last time,we saw 2 innings in one day :) Courtesy slippary pitches n cold winds :-P

  • Chamiraju on March 17, 2009, 22:07 GMT

    I replied to him like this" Dear dude! I am glad that you like Golf as you get more sleep ... I tried watching golf in prime time (evening 7:00PM) and after watching for 20mins or so I hear my snore..." on the other side when there was a Test match between India and Zimbabwe which typically starts at midnight 3:00AM ... I woke up with out any alarm and without anyone actually waking me up and saw the game starting from toss till the end of fifth day and its a mere draw ... but who cares. And finally missed my sleep for 5 full nights ... So I am glad that you are not a cricket follower but Golf ... "

  • Bhanu on March 17, 2009, 22:07 GMT

    When we visit NZ, we should honor their timings. In India, we love cricket...start time doesn't matter at all...I would prefer 3:30 AM bacause I can cover 5 hrs of match before leaving for office. It is a matter of sleeping early and waking up early.

  • S.N.Singh on March 17, 2009, 22:06 GMT

    Mr. Bal: we must understand that people are watching all over the world. We are making sacrifices to watch at any time. S.N.

  • Vivek on March 20, 2009, 10:45 GMT

    sony should not have anything to do with cricket

    They are un competant to telecast cricket...

    I hope , pray the sony never gets any telecast rights

    Same with Neo Sports

  • Mohamed Z. Rahaman (Breado) on March 18, 2009, 14:38 GMT

    Simple Solution: Establish Cricket Savings time in India, i.e., move teh clock forward or back by 1 to 1.5 hours depending on where the matches are played. In USA we do it twice a year. It's called Daylight Savings Time.

  • Mike on March 18, 2009, 3:09 GMT

    In Dec-Feb the light holds good until well after 8:00pm, so starting the West Indies test matches at 12:00 was a great idea, as anyone working to the normal 4:30/5:00pm finish time could get to watch the last session either at the ground or at home. It made the game much more accessable to working people, without having to worry about losing too much of the game to bad light. However come mid-late March we're well into autumn in NZ and the light starts to fade earlier. There would be too much risk of lost time to start the tests at noon now, so I'm glad that NZC stuck with the 11am start.

  • Aayan on March 18, 2009, 1:32 GMT

    Can you believe there s no telecast in Singapore for any live matches ? This inspite of paying a huge amount to the cable channel?

  • Ilanchezhian on March 17, 2009, 22:13 GMT

    I am against the match delay since TEST match is something you see a real cricket dere. Bowlers have an key role in TEST matches.Bcoz of this delay in start ll lead the pitch in favour of batsmen bcoz of less moisture. I think many of dem would remember the recent match between WI and ENG dere you can see the scores that was made by each team wr bowlers were crushed by the batsmen except the last day of the match

  • Satish on March 17, 2009, 22:08 GMT

    Terrible idea!! First day first session is key in terms of the due/movement and good time for bowling team to make inroads into the batting. In those terms it provides an intriguing session. moving it to noon when the sun is beating down, pitch is dry and no humidity in the air... it will ruin the contest

  • Varun Singla on March 17, 2009, 22:07 GMT

    will expect a full 5 day play here..Hope no rain :-P .Last time,we saw 2 innings in one day :) Courtesy slippary pitches n cold winds :-P

  • Chamiraju on March 17, 2009, 22:07 GMT

    I replied to him like this" Dear dude! I am glad that you like Golf as you get more sleep ... I tried watching golf in prime time (evening 7:00PM) and after watching for 20mins or so I hear my snore..." on the other side when there was a Test match between India and Zimbabwe which typically starts at midnight 3:00AM ... I woke up with out any alarm and without anyone actually waking me up and saw the game starting from toss till the end of fifth day and its a mere draw ... but who cares. And finally missed my sleep for 5 full nights ... So I am glad that you are not a cricket follower but Golf ... "

  • Bhanu on March 17, 2009, 22:07 GMT

    When we visit NZ, we should honor their timings. In India, we love cricket...start time doesn't matter at all...I would prefer 3:30 AM bacause I can cover 5 hrs of match before leaving for office. It is a matter of sleeping early and waking up early.

  • S.N.Singh on March 17, 2009, 22:06 GMT

    Mr. Bal: we must understand that people are watching all over the world. We are making sacrifices to watch at any time. S.N.

  • TBoss on March 17, 2009, 22:06 GMT

    While it's true that it's still light at 7pm in NZ at the moment, I think by the third test in April you'd find that trying to play til 7pm would be a risky proposition.

  • narain on March 17, 2009, 22:06 GMT

    its really interesting the watch the match at this time.. we also used to take the transistors the class room when the match is running

  • JK on March 17, 2009, 22:04 GMT

    It is really a moot point whether the game starts at 3.30 am or 4.30 am from an Indian viewer's standpoint. A person willing to wake up at 4.30 am will be equally willing to do so at 3.30 am..In fact, in India 3.30 am is probably better because the hardcore cricket fan will get a chance to watch more of the day's play before he has to head off to work! the non-hardcore fans dont really watch tests anyways...I appreciate NZ cricket taking a stand and wonder why Indian broadcasters are becoming more and more involved in things that should be above their authority..

  • prasad on March 17, 2009, 22:03 GMT

    I don't think the start of the match should be tampered with. In the examples give both players are playing in the same condition in Tennis. But in cricket it is different disciplines- batting v/s bowling. If the start it delayed, the bowlers will be at a disadvantage. You want a contest where batsmen try to survive the 1st few hours and then capitalize

  • vishal on March 17, 2009, 21:28 GMT

    i live in dubai where the match will start at 1.45 am in the moerning n i m enjoying evry bit of the moments i m spendings in wait to the stgart of match.plss let it be as it is and raj my vote is also a very big "NO"

  • geoff on March 17, 2009, 21:13 GMT

    don't no who he thinks he's kidding if he thinks the light will hold til 7 - plus they normally go over time - we would lose far 2 many overs starting at noon here - we will still lose overs to light starting at 11

  • Number8Dave on March 17, 2009, 21:13 GMT

    The bottom line is, in late March in Hamilton, the sun goes down soon after 7pm, and the players have said they're unwilling to play under lights. Though the weather here (I live about ten miles from the ground) at this time of year is generally very settled, it looks like there will be some cloud and showers over the course of the test. It's highly likely that play will have to be curtailed well before 7pm most days, so scheduling matches to finish at that time makes no sense at all. As for the West Indian series which also started at mid-day, at least in December it stays light until almost 9pm, and even later in Dunedin, where one of the games was played.

  • Vivek on March 17, 2009, 21:11 GMT

    Hmm ... I wonder why SET didn't complain when the 4th ODI at Hamilton was held on the day when Hindus celebrated 'Holi' .. hmm ..

  • Pinkesh on March 17, 2009, 21:08 GMT

    It’s so unethical to start a test match late so that SONY TV can make more money. I think for a diehard test match fan will don’t mine getting up one hour early. In fact they will love it, as they get an extra hour to watch a game before they go to work. So I think its ridiculous to start game one hour late.

  • Savio on March 17, 2009, 21:08 GMT

    Change of time...never. Remember- Sony is known because of the Test Match....The test match is not known because of Sony...so why heed to their request...its absurd.

  • Vijay Kohli on March 17, 2009, 21:01 GMT

    What is wrong with Test cricket starting at 4 PM IST, at least for the games involving India. A good amount of day’s business will be done as normal (whatever that means in India) and families and friends can get together in a party mood to enjoy the game until 11 PM. Instead of morning sessions the evening/night sessions will hold the key to the wobbling ball. I am all for it. It will also give those, who pay hundreds of dollars to watch this game in USA, a chance to watch this game at the sane hours of the day.

  • sportsfan on March 17, 2009, 20:40 GMT

    Please note that the last test match played in New Zealand (against West Indies) started at noon. No one objected to the noon start at that time. Why there is so much ado now that Sony wants to continue with the 12 o'clock start? Please don't bring in the leftist ideology of 'money is bad' into cricket. If more cricket fans can watch test cricket at reasonable hours, let it be so. Cricket or any other sport can't survive without fans.

  • Peter B on March 17, 2009, 20:16 GMT

    Theoretically, I don't mind what time it starts or finishes - it only makes a difference in your home country, everywhere else it is out of skew. What is more important is getting a full days play in. So where possible, rain delays should be made up by an earlier star or later finish, and if the bowlers don't make the quota, let them keep bowling. Over a 5 day match, the side that has to bat under lights should even out. But there will need to be some way of replacing a red (day) ball with a night(white) ball that is the same age & condition, and that is going to be very difficult.

  • Economist on March 17, 2009, 20:15 GMT

    Not sure about your assertion that the light in NZ holds till 7pm - that would generally be true in the middle of summer, but not by March. Even in December, the NZ-WI tests had some bad light issues towards the end of the day, and the daylight lasts a whole lot longer in December than it does in March.

  • Ben on March 17, 2009, 20:08 GMT

    To Mahek: Actually it is considerably wetter and more humid in December, than it is in February and March which have always been the dryest and hottest days of the year. That's the way the local climate is. Also because it took place in December, there was a lot more daylight, so there was less risk of it getting dark and the players being forced off. At this time of year, it'll be getting quite dark by 7:00pm, so if there's any cloud around it's very likely that we'd lose play.

    And as for the two test matches played against WI, people weren't happy about it. There was a good deal of discontent in New Zealand that the matches were starting so late. It's just that because it was NZ v WI, the perceived two worst proper test sides in the world, that no one in the rest of the world really paid any attention.

  • Mandy Clarke on March 17, 2009, 19:46 GMT

    Just a tip to our Indian friends, with a noon start all it will take is a little bit of cloud cover at 5:30 and the players will be off for bad light. And if it is like that now, wait until the 3rd test in Wellington in April, really play should start at 10. Against the Windies in the height of summer noon was fine because here at that time of year the sun dosen't set until 8pm and it's still light with a long dusk until 9 - 9:30 in some parts of the country.

  • Sathish Duraisamy on March 17, 2009, 19:35 GMT

    It is not possible to change the times to accommodate each and every time zones in the world. I live in UK and the ODI's between India V NewZealand started at 1 AM in the morning, but still i got up to watch the cricket and so are many other Indians here. The schedule is already fixed by the boards and dont think should be changed.

  • Shri on March 17, 2009, 19:22 GMT

    Isn't it a pep to watch cricket early in the wee hours. I still remember me and my father watching the NZ matches at wee hours with a low volume. Could't restrain from shouting and bashing,though. Test cricket has been for keen Cricket lovers but the way Test matches are played today, I am sure Test Cricket will soon have a great fan-following.

    Let's all hope for a great cricket rather than changing times.

  • cricfan on March 17, 2009, 19:06 GMT

    As a slight digression, I am wondering what HAS changed in test cricket in the last 20-30 years..lets c, 1. no ball = 1 run is a fairly recent rule, 2. 2 bouncers an over - we didnt have any such rule during the heydays of the fearsome west indian quartet of the 80s, 3. 3rd umpire (for runouts), 4. last but not least the most controversial referral system which is being tested now. Anybody, anything else? If there is a precedent, then there is no guarantee that early starts and red cherries and white flannels wont be compromised although personally I wouldn't prefer it.

  • Abhijit on March 17, 2009, 18:45 GMT

    Agreed ! Viewership is important to spread the game cricket across the world. There are only 12 test playing nations and there is a need to increase this number in future :)

  • Ashok on March 17, 2009, 18:39 GMT

    Funny .. the chances of someone waking up at 4:30 are same as someone waking up at 3:30. Either you watch the first ball .. or you watch the highlights. Most of my friends including me fall in this category. Wish we had a poll option to see how many would wake up 1 hour earlier to watch the game.

  • Pradeep Kuppusamy on March 17, 2009, 18:29 GMT

    Prinitng names on the whites!!! Oh my holy god... It sounds like players with bright Orange and Red T-Shirts running around the green meadows of Wimbledon, chasing the balls. Never gives the taste of seeing a Fed-ex in calm white outfit... Right??? Tests will be better played in whites... Lets have at least one mode that is still sticking to the tradition for the sake of us. Colors are best suited for T-20 crackers...

  • Richard Eggleton on March 17, 2009, 18:29 GMT

    It's really not practical at this time of year to start at 12noon. In the case of a delayed start due to inclement weather - it has been known to rain on the odd occasion in New Zealand! - the day wouldn't be due to finish until 8pm - but even now darkness is beginning to fall around 7.30pm. In a couple of weeks it will be even earlier. Interestingly over the past few seasons test matches at this time of the year have been scheduled to start at 10.30am - so we're already half an hour later. The West Indies series was scheduled to start at 12noon in an effort get more spectators to attend in the late afternoon after work. However this was in the middle of summer when the light is good in NZ until around 9pm in most parts of NZ. To Sony - you have the rights and are certainly entitled to have your say but don't leave it until the last couple of days to negotiate this change - this should have been sorted out months ago. Let's hope for some great cricket over the next 3 games.

  • Dinesh on March 17, 2009, 18:28 GMT

    Common guys all game rules change. If nothing changes we would still be playing unlimited days test match. Test match rules have always changed remember the rest day. Every game has to change to survive, for that matter everything has to change. Why not get more viewer ship what is wrong with that. No one has given one good reason other than saying keep the tradition.

  • Madhu on March 17, 2009, 18:04 GMT

    To be frank, I don't know why Sony took the TV rights. These guys really don't understand a true cricket fan. After the broadcast of highlights, I was waiting to listen to what Dhoni and Vettori got to say in the post match presentation but Sony Max was in such a hurry that post match presentation was not part of highlights and a hindi movie had already started. I will hate Sony Max forever for bringing in Mandira Bedi as commentator and she was ignorant all the time and was an unnecessary distraction all the time. It is a pleasure to wake up at odd hours and watch the match and these guys will never understand that. Personally, I make it a point not to buy any of the products that consumes one ball of a new over. Many a times I have seen first ball of a new over lost for an Ad (this issue is universal and not pertaining to Sony Max alone).

  • BLFlorida on March 17, 2009, 17:46 GMT

    Can Cricinfo pull out statistics of % of wickets down the teams batting first in the morning session in those games that ended in a result... also relative to the 2nd session? Maybe we can have the data answer instead of gut feel

  • Raj on March 17, 2009, 17:32 GMT

    If there is a vote needed to decide if the start of the test matches need to be delayed, yes or no.

    My Vote:

    No.

    No explanation here. Just plain NO.

  • Sree on March 17, 2009, 17:29 GMT

    What ever might be the timings lets hope for a great test series!!!

  • Vishnu on March 17, 2009, 17:27 GMT

    It is off-course horrifying to think that test cricket might undergo such changes. I like the matches to start at 11.00 even it means that I have to wake up at 3.30 in the morning. Nowadays with so much of limited over cricket being played, only real cricket lovers who want to see an even battle between batting and bowling watch test cricket. For the sake of those people, I request the MCC and ICC to please leave the test cricket to be what it is and never even consider doing these sort of changes.

  • Srikanth Gomadam on March 17, 2009, 17:16 GMT

    May be Sony views the situation like this... Its not related about cricket at all... It may be less likely for the ads shown between 330AM and 430AM in India to have an effect than the ads shown later during the day. Or it may be the ad companies not signing up/ indirectly pushing Sony to defer the telecast. After all Sony is a "for profit" organization.

  • Ravi Katam on March 17, 2009, 17:16 GMT

    Well, I am not supporting Sony but I do see their point and they have to run a business.Even it's only an hour it might increase their viewership and that is all they care about. Apart from that it's BCCI who needs to protect the sport from business.But I strongly believe that an hour is not going to make much of a difference for the fans. Infact it's a different kind of feeling to get up at 3:30 am and watch cricket.

  • Bijender on March 17, 2009, 17:13 GMT

    Hey sony! Do not bother we will watch the test match even if the match start at 1.00 am and end at 8.00 am. So nothing to worry buddy. Cricket is passion in india so no one will miss the match.

  • Vikram Kewalramani on March 17, 2009, 17:12 GMT

    I love my test cricket but think it makes sense to add in the TV schedule (as long as its not absurd). There is no point in sticking to a ritual if its illogical. After all isn't it in the best interest of the game to have as many viewers as possible? In the US, the start of the NFL game on Labor day is influenced by the US open men's final.

    There is a time and place for tradition. Reminds me of a Kent county ground wherein there was a tree within the playing area for several years. After the tree died, instead of rejoicing for having 'normal conditions', the county officials put in a replacement tree in the name of tradition.

  • saurav on March 17, 2009, 17:11 GMT

    I feel a bit strange about the proposal, considering that Indian teams have toured New Zealand in the past but no such request came from the broadcasters. It might have something to do with the fact that the present broadcaster is not a full fledged sports channel & has earned it's spurs mainly through bubble-gum programming even during sports events.

  • priyam on March 17, 2009, 17:01 GMT

    actually i think the games r a bit late as compared to other countries where they start between 9:30 - 10:30 if i am not mistaken

  • Mahek on March 17, 2009, 16:59 GMT

    It's disappointing to see the editor of cricinfo narrating only part of the story. What he hasn't mentioned is that the NZ-WI tests started at noon too. Since the series took place in the middle of the summer, wouldn't it have been even more disadvantageous for the bowlers? Surely there was less moisture in the pitch at noon back then than there would be now, isn't it?

    It's also ridiculous to see all these people comment about how bad it is for the sport with none of them mentioning it happened during the last series too. If you guys were so concerned why didn't you raise hell when this happened in the last series?

  • Harish on March 17, 2009, 16:45 GMT

    We don't mind watching the match from 3.30AM. But please don't meddle with Test Cricket. India, which cannot even decide on how to schedule and organise the IPL should be barred from tinkering with Test Cricket.

  • Bharat Kalra on March 17, 2009, 16:37 GMT

    Strange. Nobody blaming the Japanese money bags for arm twisting the honest, hard-working aussie/kiwis. All hell would have broken loose had it been a Neo Sports attempting this. The blogs would have been full of opinions about the evil Indians.

  • Kamlesh Kumar on March 17, 2009, 16:20 GMT

    Indian cricket lovers can wakeup at 3:30 AM to watch the cricket. If game will start at his time then 1-2 hours will reserve in case of rain or bad light. So Sony, don't be bother, Indian cricket lover will watch the live cricket telecast regularly.

  • Rajeev K on March 17, 2009, 16:15 GMT

    Haven't they already delayed the start of test matches to 11AM (which is 3:30AM - IST) . I remember setting my alarms up at 2:30AM back in the 90's?

  • Ram on March 17, 2009, 16:07 GMT

    Test cricket is struggling for survival amongst the hum-din, slam-bam fast food versions of crickets. Viewership and crowd support is what keeps a form of game alive and should be considered a measure of that form of game’s success. So if Sony is trying to increase the viewership (albeit for a profit), I still would consider it to be a service to test cricket. Don’t get me wrong...I am a traditionalist and love Test cricket more than other forms.....But we need the hype to be built up to a point where people just flock to their TV sets to enjoy the game that we all love..... It is a dilemma which will be answered pretty soon I think....

  • Prasanna Venkatesh on March 17, 2009, 16:05 GMT

    Test match is a class of its own. We have seen good test matches in last 8-9 months across the cricket world which gave some historical victories even better than ODI or T20. If you want to savour the good one do not change the time as it makes a lot of difference. Cricket is played between 2 11men on the highest testing level and we support our favourites by watching it. Even viewers do not like to change the timing. Infact i personally logged in for both Windies and SA recent test series and enjoyed it.If SONY is looking for money than the original taste of the game it does not look good.

  • kumar on March 17, 2009, 15:57 GMT

    Sony For money you have 1000 ways for this dont use the Traditional Test Cricket... its the heart of cricket....

  • Joseph on March 17, 2009, 15:57 GMT

    If Sony was that keen on viewership figures, why don't they just have a deferred/delayed telecast that begins an hour late? Another way of looking at it would be that a 3.30 start would give the working junta one more hour of TV viewing.

  • Vaibhav on March 17, 2009, 15:55 GMT

    I think, for a diehard test cricket fan that one hour will not make much difference.

  • Satish on March 17, 2009, 15:33 GMT

    As expressed by many Indian cricket lovers, I am also dead against of noon-starts. For last last 2 or 3 seasons Indian Cricker fans habituated to adjust their times and get up early mornings to watch the telecast. Shifting of 1 hours does not make much difference to Sony Television. In fact it they start at 11 am it will be 3.30 in India and a most of the cricket fans can watch the match at least till tea time and then go to offices. SONY TV is making blunder by giving highlights at 7 pm as most of the fans who are employed cannot catch 7 pm highlights. The ideal time would be anytime after 9.30 pm. This is not only my request but of millions of Indian cricket fans. SONY TV......please weakup early to have more number of viewers across. Unfortunately, there is no repetition of highlights with SONY whereas NEO Cricket shows the playback repeatedly so the missing people can watch as per their will and wish.

  • vinod dhar on March 17, 2009, 14:57 GMT

    Well it is really ridiculous on part of Sony Television in trying to persuade NZCA to change the timings of the test match. Examples of Boxing Day Test match and test matches in England are also not a parallel to this mockery from Sony. Well in case Boxing Day test starts on 27th December or test matches in England start on any day other than thursday, that is in no way going to change result of the match. But here, what in case of light fading soon in evening at Hamilton and captains / boards not agreeing for light towers to be used in such a case. This could mean that we might have 30-60 minutes of play curtalied everyday, in other words 30-45 overs in the whole match and that might change whole course of match. Well Sony does know very well that what happened in ODI series. So many rain breaks and hence light fading early in evenings or there was any other broadcaster at that time?

    Sheer joke on part of Sony.

  • nick on March 17, 2009, 14:51 GMT

    that's very interesting. Please be at the ground for the start of play at 11am for every test. thanks

  • Satish Kumar on March 17, 2009, 14:41 GMT

    I think asking for the time to be changed once its been decided is ridiculous.

    If SET felt audience in India would not wake up at 3:30AM, they should have factored it in before bidding for the rights. Its not as if the Earth found a new direction. I have been waking up since 1989 for the NZ matches. Anyway, with highlights packages, and re-runs ad nauseum its highly unlikely anyone in India will miss anything.

    In fact, you can also add the Singapore Grand Prix as one more event which is begun to suit TV audience. However, when the change is done as spectacularly as the SG GP was then it turns into an experience itself. Cricket unfortunately does not have that flexibility with Tests and so they should continue with whats best for local conditions.

  • Ajay Shankar on March 17, 2009, 14:32 GMT

    In my opinion, Test Cricket is the only form of unadulterated cricket. I would love to see it stay that way.

  • Ishtiak on March 17, 2009, 14:02 GMT

    Yes u r right! Cricket ovr da yrs has become a batsman friendly game nd it wil b unfair to bowlers if dey ar deprivd of da early moisture nd conditions...on da contrary night tests sure wud b welcomd...but i stil feel da curnt format is da best! Nd da johanesburg test provd it. It creatd da perfct batle betwn bat & ball..which evry crickt fan thrives for.

  • mrinal on March 17, 2009, 13:55 GMT

    the idea of shifting the starting timing of a test match to increase the no. of viewers is totally absurd.already a lot of things have happened in the recent past and changes like this doesn't augur good for the future of test cricket.test cricket (despite of ever increasing flatness of wickets)still remains a balanced fight between bat and bowl and shifting the starting timing will only tilt the balance towards batsman. so this step should be opposed and life of bowlers should not be made even harder.

  • Pranesh on March 17, 2009, 13:46 GMT

    there is no way the start will be postponed. there is trouble between Sony and BCCI. BCCI will make sure the start isnt postponed. It has ensures much tougher things in the recent past.

  • Umang Mital on March 17, 2009, 13:39 GMT

    Whatever happened to waking up in th middl of the night to check the score. My mmories of India touring th Windies is waking up at 3, stepping out of my air-conditioned bedroom, plugging a earphone in and listening to that din of steel drums and Tony Cozier. Imagine if that was lost to test cricket being played at night, something that was proposed recently.

  • Raj Jinna on March 17, 2009, 13:26 GMT

    I am definitely against a noon start for the test matches. Viewership is important, but not at the expense of manipulating traditional test match rules. We live in a world where all the time zones cannot be accomodated for a sport. I hope they leave the test match rules alone.

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  • Raj Jinna on March 17, 2009, 13:26 GMT

    I am definitely against a noon start for the test matches. Viewership is important, but not at the expense of manipulating traditional test match rules. We live in a world where all the time zones cannot be accomodated for a sport. I hope they leave the test match rules alone.

  • Umang Mital on March 17, 2009, 13:39 GMT

    Whatever happened to waking up in th middl of the night to check the score. My mmories of India touring th Windies is waking up at 3, stepping out of my air-conditioned bedroom, plugging a earphone in and listening to that din of steel drums and Tony Cozier. Imagine if that was lost to test cricket being played at night, something that was proposed recently.

  • Pranesh on March 17, 2009, 13:46 GMT

    there is no way the start will be postponed. there is trouble between Sony and BCCI. BCCI will make sure the start isnt postponed. It has ensures much tougher things in the recent past.

  • mrinal on March 17, 2009, 13:55 GMT

    the idea of shifting the starting timing of a test match to increase the no. of viewers is totally absurd.already a lot of things have happened in the recent past and changes like this doesn't augur good for the future of test cricket.test cricket (despite of ever increasing flatness of wickets)still remains a balanced fight between bat and bowl and shifting the starting timing will only tilt the balance towards batsman. so this step should be opposed and life of bowlers should not be made even harder.

  • Ishtiak on March 17, 2009, 14:02 GMT

    Yes u r right! Cricket ovr da yrs has become a batsman friendly game nd it wil b unfair to bowlers if dey ar deprivd of da early moisture nd conditions...on da contrary night tests sure wud b welcomd...but i stil feel da curnt format is da best! Nd da johanesburg test provd it. It creatd da perfct batle betwn bat & ball..which evry crickt fan thrives for.

  • Ajay Shankar on March 17, 2009, 14:32 GMT

    In my opinion, Test Cricket is the only form of unadulterated cricket. I would love to see it stay that way.

  • Satish Kumar on March 17, 2009, 14:41 GMT

    I think asking for the time to be changed once its been decided is ridiculous.

    If SET felt audience in India would not wake up at 3:30AM, they should have factored it in before bidding for the rights. Its not as if the Earth found a new direction. I have been waking up since 1989 for the NZ matches. Anyway, with highlights packages, and re-runs ad nauseum its highly unlikely anyone in India will miss anything.

    In fact, you can also add the Singapore Grand Prix as one more event which is begun to suit TV audience. However, when the change is done as spectacularly as the SG GP was then it turns into an experience itself. Cricket unfortunately does not have that flexibility with Tests and so they should continue with whats best for local conditions.

  • nick on March 17, 2009, 14:51 GMT

    that's very interesting. Please be at the ground for the start of play at 11am for every test. thanks

  • vinod dhar on March 17, 2009, 14:57 GMT

    Well it is really ridiculous on part of Sony Television in trying to persuade NZCA to change the timings of the test match. Examples of Boxing Day Test match and test matches in England are also not a parallel to this mockery from Sony. Well in case Boxing Day test starts on 27th December or test matches in England start on any day other than thursday, that is in no way going to change result of the match. But here, what in case of light fading soon in evening at Hamilton and captains / boards not agreeing for light towers to be used in such a case. This could mean that we might have 30-60 minutes of play curtalied everyday, in other words 30-45 overs in the whole match and that might change whole course of match. Well Sony does know very well that what happened in ODI series. So many rain breaks and hence light fading early in evenings or there was any other broadcaster at that time?

    Sheer joke on part of Sony.

  • Satish on March 17, 2009, 15:33 GMT

    As expressed by many Indian cricket lovers, I am also dead against of noon-starts. For last last 2 or 3 seasons Indian Cricker fans habituated to adjust their times and get up early mornings to watch the telecast. Shifting of 1 hours does not make much difference to Sony Television. In fact it they start at 11 am it will be 3.30 in India and a most of the cricket fans can watch the match at least till tea time and then go to offices. SONY TV is making blunder by giving highlights at 7 pm as most of the fans who are employed cannot catch 7 pm highlights. The ideal time would be anytime after 9.30 pm. This is not only my request but of millions of Indian cricket fans. SONY TV......please weakup early to have more number of viewers across. Unfortunately, there is no repetition of highlights with SONY whereas NEO Cricket shows the playback repeatedly so the missing people can watch as per their will and wish.