December 9, 2009

Scrap the Test rankings

 
24


Cometh the hour, cometh the agriculturist © AFP
 

So India are numero uno. Congrats to MS Dhoni and chums. A high five with a big foam hand to them. But large wet raspberries to the BBCI. Like a bank in possession of a painting that has has just gone up in value, the Board for Choking Cricket Indefinitely seems determined to lock its world-beating Test team away in their vault for the foreseeable. It’s not fair. We want to see ‘em. Please Mr Manohar, if we promise to write you some more cheques, will you let Sachin come out to play?

But no. As far as the BCCI goes, FTP stands for Failure To Play. Still, the fact that they can postpone a Test series with South Africa reminds us of the flexible nature of international cricket. Touring teams no longer take three weeks to arrive, having picked up a touch of scurvy and having played an awful lot of shuffleboard on the way. Test series can be scrubbed out or pencilled in overnight, entire tournaments are transplanted at a moment’s notice. And this got me thinking.

The time has come to scratch the ICC Test ranking system. It is nothing more than a fiendish attempt by statisticians to take over the game (and from there, perhaps the world). And we need not fall back on the opinions of studio-hopping, microphone-bothering former pros or the weight of internet forum anger to determine which is the best team in the world. Instead, we should take a lesson from the boxing world.

I have a vision. I am picturing a Test captain raising aloft a gleaming title belt, encrusted with jewels, signifying that his team are the undisputed Test Champions of the World. They would have to defend their title three times a year and all the other teams would fight amongst themselves for the right to get a shot at the champs. No elaborate tours programmes, no multiple divisions, no playoffs, and absolutely no algorithms.

We could go further. Let’s think about introducing enormous silk shorts instead of those tired old whites. What about a few catchy nicknames (Graeme “Strong On The Leg Side” Smith, Ricky “Rather Irascible” Ponting). Perhaps we could look into playing a Test under neon in Las Vegas. And we could also ditch a lot of those silly old laws and replace them with a pre-match chat from the umpire. Fifteen sessions, two falls or a knockout, no punching below the belt. Seconds out. Play.

Ahead of its time, perhaps. Meanwhile, those of us who like watching India play Test cricket will have to survive for a while on the memories of the last rites of the third Test in Mumbai. Sunday’s action occupied that curious netherworld that only a game that takes five days to play can produce, in which the result is known but takes rather a long time to arrive. It was a kind of sporting bureaucracy as the last “t” in defeat was crossed whilst the dignitaries and the podium erectors hovered.

However, it did give us one more look at Murali. Not the rather haunted-looking offspinner but the hearty striker of a cricket ball. When his rubber wrists finally seize up, I think that he should consider playing on as a tailender for the untainted joy that he brings to the cricket watcher. His dash of bravado on Sunday epitomised everything that is noble about the game, the last stand, the futile, yet heroic gesture.

At the fall of the eighth wicket, the camera focused on an Indian fan blowing a mighty conch and coloured head to navel in freshly gleaming saffron, white and green. The crowd were jubilant, Harbhajan was scenting blood and Zaheer was in full flight. Yet Murali strode jauntily into that arena and proceeded to bat with the vigour of the agricultural worker and the innocence of the child.

He has his own method. First there is the grimace of concentration as he takes up a stance that changes from ball to ball. Then a blur of foot movement: forward and back, side to side, quick-slow-quick, and finally the almighty thrash of the Murali blade. One was nicked off his nose, another sent spiralling over midwicket with a step-back and heave. All the subtleties of Zaheer and all the venom of Harbhajan were trumped in a gloriously pointless nine-ball dingdong.

It was good to see the old boy smiling again.

Andrew Hughes is a writer currently based in England

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Mel on December 16, 2009, 19:10 GMT

    Does the new plans on day and night tests change this status quo? Would be even better if you can come up with a piece. ;)

  • Charles on December 12, 2009, 11:03 GMT

    Any game to survive depends on popularity. There are changes in most of the world's popular games to bring in the crowd's. Let's not grudge BCCI but is it not the fans who eventually determine the direction the game is moving on? The ratings are not as bad as you make it out to be. Yes India has a long way to go to be a force as Loyd's West Indies or Steve's Australia. That was in the past. If I recall correctly two or so years ago, Peter Roebuck, who is the most unbiased writer, predicted a fall of the Aussies and had an intution that India would in a few years be right at the top. How prophetic! For an average Australian, it is tough to digest that their current team are no more the monopolist cricketers they once used to be. Their Aura seemed to have been shattered when India battled the last few series and even threatened to pull off one of the rarest defeat in Australia. South Africa's win in Australia was a result of the champ being softened. Indians cheers,it's your time now.

  • Andrew Hughes on December 11, 2009, 23:02 GMT

    Thanks to everyone who took the time to comment.

    The starting point for this article was to congratulate India on being number one. They are in that position on merit and they deserve it.

    I couldn't resist a little dig at the BCCI, not because they are powerful, or rich or Indian, but purely because they are denying us the chance to see the world's best Test team by arranging so few Tests over the next year. I think most people would want to see India play more Tests.

    The boxing idea was a bit of fun (although I started to warm to the concept). Methods to determine the world's best team, test championships and so on are on the agenda right now and so this was my ten pence worth.

  • Swamy on December 11, 2009, 21:05 GMT

    you got a point mate the ranking system sometimes looks like a joke... just that your timing seems to be too bad... and i don't think that australia deserves to be atop the rankings after losing the ashes..

  • Jason on December 11, 2009, 8:43 GMT

    Hooray! Australia aren't number one so we can just scrap the rankings! And I'm Australian. The rankings are a nice guide for the best team in the world, but because of several things like India only playing two tests in the next twelve months and certain teams playing easier ones than others, so they can't really be taken seriously. South deserve the no.1 ranking and will surely regain it by the end of the england test series.

  • Joe on December 11, 2009, 8:25 GMT

    I do not know why we all talk about scrapping test rankings now..Rankings need not be scrapped ..oh yeah India has not conquered the world but in some way it has a better record than any other country in the recent past against not-so-bad oppsitions..India is No.1 but it is not undisputable ..but yeah lets dispute it.. play more and figure out a system to make rankings indisputable.. It is a good thing to point out that the BCCI has not scheduled any tests for India.It is a pity that we cannot see more of test cricket now and lets face it it is not like any other country's board for that matter has turned down 20-20 and stuck to just test cricket.Everyone wants to make money and it is rather stupid to judge someone for that..

  • Prashant on December 10, 2009, 15:33 GMT

    Funny Article...lighten up folks.

  • biily on December 10, 2009, 8:00 GMT

    Ok i am not a fan of indian cricket. I am a pakistan fan but to say scrap the ranking now bcz india is on the top is really hippocriticial when South Africa and Australia were at the top. Maybe your timing is not right...maybe you always had this is mind even when Australia was winning and at the top?

    To be honest cricket especially in England is only competitive when its played against australia in Ashes and whoever wins get the crown to be the best in the world. i mean look at Andrew Flintoff. He is an average bowler if you take out the Ashes campaigns. He is mediocre at best against all the other teams. How can the english media dub him as the greatest all-rounder in the world really amazes me.

    As for the test ranking, i'll be happy to argue for its scraping when Australia, South Africa or England becomes the number 1. This reminds me of how the Aussies when they loose in T20 World Cup always argue that its not their game. They aren't into t20's. Its laughable really.

  • Gopal on December 10, 2009, 1:49 GMT

    Failure to Tour program, that was really good one! Thats what is happening.. But I tell you something, other boards are behind supporting BCCI; If they really 'cared' why do they support the bcci?? So ECB or CA or CSA are as much to be blamed for the debacle! None of the folks are hitting the nail on the head. The problem why people lost interest in test cricket is because, there is no parity between bat and ball! You want to see Sachins 148 at perth kind of innings; but on feather beds, what do you expect from bowlers!

    Me, my parents, aunt, uncle and even my grandma all watch still test cricket!! I think its in wonderful shapel IF and ONLY IF you create good pitches! Otherwise test cricket RIP! Amen!

  • Sriram on December 9, 2009, 18:43 GMT

    Why does all this talk of scrapping rankings and futility of the FTP program come up only when India tops the ranking? Till now no one had a problem with who ever was atop it be it Australia or SA. But now all of a sudden everyone seems to have a problem. The Australian media is crying hoarse about India being an undeserving No.1 side. I do agree that India is playing very few tests over the next year or so and neither am I a fan of the BCCI administrators. But nothing should be taken away from the team that has consistently won both at home and away for the last few years. They are No.1 because they have played consistently good cricket and have beaten the best sides in the world. Why should other countries worry about the number of tests India is playing? They should rather concentrate on winning their matches and reach the top of the ranking once again.

  • Mel on December 16, 2009, 19:10 GMT

    Does the new plans on day and night tests change this status quo? Would be even better if you can come up with a piece. ;)

  • Charles on December 12, 2009, 11:03 GMT

    Any game to survive depends on popularity. There are changes in most of the world's popular games to bring in the crowd's. Let's not grudge BCCI but is it not the fans who eventually determine the direction the game is moving on? The ratings are not as bad as you make it out to be. Yes India has a long way to go to be a force as Loyd's West Indies or Steve's Australia. That was in the past. If I recall correctly two or so years ago, Peter Roebuck, who is the most unbiased writer, predicted a fall of the Aussies and had an intution that India would in a few years be right at the top. How prophetic! For an average Australian, it is tough to digest that their current team are no more the monopolist cricketers they once used to be. Their Aura seemed to have been shattered when India battled the last few series and even threatened to pull off one of the rarest defeat in Australia. South Africa's win in Australia was a result of the champ being softened. Indians cheers,it's your time now.

  • Andrew Hughes on December 11, 2009, 23:02 GMT

    Thanks to everyone who took the time to comment.

    The starting point for this article was to congratulate India on being number one. They are in that position on merit and they deserve it.

    I couldn't resist a little dig at the BCCI, not because they are powerful, or rich or Indian, but purely because they are denying us the chance to see the world's best Test team by arranging so few Tests over the next year. I think most people would want to see India play more Tests.

    The boxing idea was a bit of fun (although I started to warm to the concept). Methods to determine the world's best team, test championships and so on are on the agenda right now and so this was my ten pence worth.

  • Swamy on December 11, 2009, 21:05 GMT

    you got a point mate the ranking system sometimes looks like a joke... just that your timing seems to be too bad... and i don't think that australia deserves to be atop the rankings after losing the ashes..

  • Jason on December 11, 2009, 8:43 GMT

    Hooray! Australia aren't number one so we can just scrap the rankings! And I'm Australian. The rankings are a nice guide for the best team in the world, but because of several things like India only playing two tests in the next twelve months and certain teams playing easier ones than others, so they can't really be taken seriously. South deserve the no.1 ranking and will surely regain it by the end of the england test series.

  • Joe on December 11, 2009, 8:25 GMT

    I do not know why we all talk about scrapping test rankings now..Rankings need not be scrapped ..oh yeah India has not conquered the world but in some way it has a better record than any other country in the recent past against not-so-bad oppsitions..India is No.1 but it is not undisputable ..but yeah lets dispute it.. play more and figure out a system to make rankings indisputable.. It is a good thing to point out that the BCCI has not scheduled any tests for India.It is a pity that we cannot see more of test cricket now and lets face it it is not like any other country's board for that matter has turned down 20-20 and stuck to just test cricket.Everyone wants to make money and it is rather stupid to judge someone for that..

  • Prashant on December 10, 2009, 15:33 GMT

    Funny Article...lighten up folks.

  • biily on December 10, 2009, 8:00 GMT

    Ok i am not a fan of indian cricket. I am a pakistan fan but to say scrap the ranking now bcz india is on the top is really hippocriticial when South Africa and Australia were at the top. Maybe your timing is not right...maybe you always had this is mind even when Australia was winning and at the top?

    To be honest cricket especially in England is only competitive when its played against australia in Ashes and whoever wins get the crown to be the best in the world. i mean look at Andrew Flintoff. He is an average bowler if you take out the Ashes campaigns. He is mediocre at best against all the other teams. How can the english media dub him as the greatest all-rounder in the world really amazes me.

    As for the test ranking, i'll be happy to argue for its scraping when Australia, South Africa or England becomes the number 1. This reminds me of how the Aussies when they loose in T20 World Cup always argue that its not their game. They aren't into t20's. Its laughable really.

  • Gopal on December 10, 2009, 1:49 GMT

    Failure to Tour program, that was really good one! Thats what is happening.. But I tell you something, other boards are behind supporting BCCI; If they really 'cared' why do they support the bcci?? So ECB or CA or CSA are as much to be blamed for the debacle! None of the folks are hitting the nail on the head. The problem why people lost interest in test cricket is because, there is no parity between bat and ball! You want to see Sachins 148 at perth kind of innings; but on feather beds, what do you expect from bowlers!

    Me, my parents, aunt, uncle and even my grandma all watch still test cricket!! I think its in wonderful shapel IF and ONLY IF you create good pitches! Otherwise test cricket RIP! Amen!

  • Sriram on December 9, 2009, 18:43 GMT

    Why does all this talk of scrapping rankings and futility of the FTP program come up only when India tops the ranking? Till now no one had a problem with who ever was atop it be it Australia or SA. But now all of a sudden everyone seems to have a problem. The Australian media is crying hoarse about India being an undeserving No.1 side. I do agree that India is playing very few tests over the next year or so and neither am I a fan of the BCCI administrators. But nothing should be taken away from the team that has consistently won both at home and away for the last few years. They are No.1 because they have played consistently good cricket and have beaten the best sides in the world. Why should other countries worry about the number of tests India is playing? They should rather concentrate on winning their matches and reach the top of the ranking once again.

  • Pawan on December 9, 2009, 10:51 GMT

    I firmly believe that India should play more Test cricket. Who else is responsible for that besides BCCI? It is disheartening to watch India play one-off Tests and best-of-13 one-day series with a couple of T20 thrown in for good measure.

    Clearly, one needs to play first to sledge or be sledged!

  • Terry Jones on December 9, 2009, 9:59 GMT

    I agree that the current FTP is a joke. What we need is a proper test championship occuring over a 2 or 4 year period. I recommend either a multi-tier or a 4 year championship similar to the ideal ODI World Cup, but over 4 years instead of 2-3 months. The Test World Championship could be: Yr1 - Group Stage (4 groups of 4). 12 Tests (3 series of home & away).

    Yr2-4 - Super Eights (1 group of 8). 36 Tests (6 series of home & away).

    Yr3-4 - Qualifiers: Associate, Affiliates & 9th+10th playoff for 8 positions in next TWC (replacing ICup & IShield), first regionally then as a round robin for winners.

    Yr4 (3mths) - Grand Final (top 2). 5 tests at HOME of #1.

    Thus, the winner of the grand final would be the World Champion for the next 4 years.

  • HammernTongs on December 9, 2009, 9:40 GMT

    Many thanks to Himasnahu, it's always good to see that famous Indian sense of humour in action. But seriously, if you opened your other eye it's hard to deny that not everything the BCCI does is in the interests of Test cricket. I had hoped that once the Indian ego had been satisfied with the no.1 Test ranking, they would stop trying to kill the game.

  • Rahul on December 9, 2009, 9:38 GMT

    hahaha.... scrap test rankings now that aus does not seem to have a realistic chance of being the no 1 team on a consistent basis. good idea!

  • Varshith on December 9, 2009, 9:33 GMT

    Now that's quite a vision Mr. Hughes, and a very good one at that! And i disagree with what Himanshu has said, as it comes off as a bit immature considering, it doesnt seem like he's fully understood the point you are tryin to make here. I dont see what Australians have to with the afore mentioned topic anyway. But about the point, Mr hughes is making about BCCI scrapping the test series, I find it to be untrue!! It is at the request of the South African cricket board(who have a packed schedule), that BCCI agreed to scrap the tests.

  • Sunny Varun on December 9, 2009, 9:03 GMT

    Gud article Sir, but sum of your boxing ideas incorporated into cricket are too comical,hope u were not serious about all of them! Ya, v cud take the idea of Test Champions defending their title against worthy contenders but thats the only worthwile suggestion. Its right that you blame the BCCI about the rarity of Test matches played by the Indian Cricket team as they are the ones responsible for deciding the FTP & I completely agree with you on this point but I dont understand why sum people like Mr.Himanshu take everything & anything personally!![unless he's working for the BCCI;)] Its true that BCCI are working to spread the game but what about seeing Sachin,Sehwag,Dravid etc play sum gud Test match cricket which is the ultimate test of a cricketer's skills & temparament. Mr.Himanshu take a chill-pill dude! & wel written Mr.Hughes.

  • vas on December 9, 2009, 8:34 GMT

    Himanshu.

    How is the BCCI promoting their no 1 team by not playing any Tests for nearly two years? Doesn't it show they are more interested in their Christmas bonuses rather than producing environments conducive to quality cricket?

    The Aussies killed the gentleman's game? Indians, with their obsession for Twenty20 and its gimmicks, may not know of a fellow called WG Grace. Read up on the some of the antics he got up to. Also there was a guy called Douglas Jardine, who didn't mind a few choice words after getting his bowlers to aim for the batsman's head. Which they were entitled to do, but sledging has been an artform practiced way before India were even a skerrick on the cricket calender.

    Besides, anyone who's watched India over the last 5 years will know they don't mind having a word themselves. Don't practise the artform while you're willing to criticise it.

  • Usman Moorad on December 9, 2009, 8:33 GMT

    However atleast the Australians play consistent test matches... And sledging is irrelevant in terms of this article, but apart from that 'respectable' sledging is a wonderful part of this game. I think something like a Test title belt is a very interesting idea, with 3 series a year to defend it seperately. However scheduling would be veery hectic.

  • Shailesh Shukla on December 9, 2009, 8:24 GMT

    India has been playing far less test matches since the early 90's. Had Sachin been an Australian or Englishman, he would have played close to 225-230 test matches by now and would have been sitting on 20,000 plus runs. Sad isnt it? But why just blame BCCI, even the masses want to see the quicker version of the game. The Aussies and Englishg cry hoarse about the big spending and how important it is to play for their country. But give them the opportunity and they will bend backwards to earn the IPL moolah. If you like Test Matches so much then dont play the quicker versions, simple isnt it? Some purist still like to see the old glory but times have changed. We just need to brace ourselves and move on.

  • Bob on December 9, 2009, 8:20 GMT

    Himasnhu, you have issues. Hughes makes the fair point that the BCCI are restricting India's test schedule, which is a shame as they are a quality test side.

    I personally would love to see them play far more test cricket, rather than just ODIs and "hit and giggle" cricket (20/20), two formats which, quite ironically they aren't particularly good at.

    Good article. I enjoyed the humour and insight into some of the unique aspects of test cricket, as well as the mental images of Murali batting. I will never forget his test fifty!

  • Pavan on December 9, 2009, 8:18 GMT

    I'm rather amused by all the self-righteousness of the above post. Yes, the BCCI is killing the game. It is a money driven organization that looks for cheap thrills. I don't even see how sledging has anything to do with this topic. Sure, the Aussies are aggressive, but its not uncommon for the Indians to sledge as well. BCCI is only spreading the game to places which it may profit from, and even then, not Test cricket. I spent a summer in India a couple years back, and almost everyone I talked to disparaged Test cricket, calling Twenty20 the only worthwhile format. I was absolutely appalled. All this is coming from someone who was born in India.

  • Mustafa Rangwala on December 9, 2009, 8:12 GMT

    Sehwag's complained about the lack of tests. So have Sachin and Dhoni. Countless fans all over the nation are feeling the same and grumbling away to themselves. The only place where silence prevails is the BCCI. Guess they are too busy trying to figure the amount of money they'll be make by ensuring that our players play everything but test cricket.

  • Pinaki Rath on December 9, 2009, 7:58 GMT

    Your column is all very nice. It would have done your cause more good had this piece been written when the Aussies or South Africans were on top of the rankings. You surely liked Murali's tailend batting.....I would rather pay to see him bowl. And the Indian fan played the conch which in our culture is a sign of victory. You grudge that? If BCCI makes money, why should that be anyone's problem? We do't have problems with Manchester United or for that problem Goldman Sachs making money, and tons of them. Chill!

  • Himasnhu on December 9, 2009, 7:24 GMT

    So Mr. Andrew Hughes do you think that BCCI is killing the test cricket by sheer money power? Then i think the list should be topped by the Australians who brought sledging in fashion to such an extent that other teams couldn't bear and started giving back in same currency. Australians killed the GENTLEMEN'S GAME and still they proudly say that its a mind tactic to win a match? For every bad thing that happens in cricket just don't blame BCCI and ya do remember that its BCCI which working the most in spreading the game to newer places...

    Hope you have ur words in the right places before accusing the right.

  • No featured comments at the moment.

  • Himasnhu on December 9, 2009, 7:24 GMT

    So Mr. Andrew Hughes do you think that BCCI is killing the test cricket by sheer money power? Then i think the list should be topped by the Australians who brought sledging in fashion to such an extent that other teams couldn't bear and started giving back in same currency. Australians killed the GENTLEMEN'S GAME and still they proudly say that its a mind tactic to win a match? For every bad thing that happens in cricket just don't blame BCCI and ya do remember that its BCCI which working the most in spreading the game to newer places...

    Hope you have ur words in the right places before accusing the right.

  • Pinaki Rath on December 9, 2009, 7:58 GMT

    Your column is all very nice. It would have done your cause more good had this piece been written when the Aussies or South Africans were on top of the rankings. You surely liked Murali's tailend batting.....I would rather pay to see him bowl. And the Indian fan played the conch which in our culture is a sign of victory. You grudge that? If BCCI makes money, why should that be anyone's problem? We do't have problems with Manchester United or for that problem Goldman Sachs making money, and tons of them. Chill!

  • Mustafa Rangwala on December 9, 2009, 8:12 GMT

    Sehwag's complained about the lack of tests. So have Sachin and Dhoni. Countless fans all over the nation are feeling the same and grumbling away to themselves. The only place where silence prevails is the BCCI. Guess they are too busy trying to figure the amount of money they'll be make by ensuring that our players play everything but test cricket.

  • Pavan on December 9, 2009, 8:18 GMT

    I'm rather amused by all the self-righteousness of the above post. Yes, the BCCI is killing the game. It is a money driven organization that looks for cheap thrills. I don't even see how sledging has anything to do with this topic. Sure, the Aussies are aggressive, but its not uncommon for the Indians to sledge as well. BCCI is only spreading the game to places which it may profit from, and even then, not Test cricket. I spent a summer in India a couple years back, and almost everyone I talked to disparaged Test cricket, calling Twenty20 the only worthwhile format. I was absolutely appalled. All this is coming from someone who was born in India.

  • Bob on December 9, 2009, 8:20 GMT

    Himasnhu, you have issues. Hughes makes the fair point that the BCCI are restricting India's test schedule, which is a shame as they are a quality test side.

    I personally would love to see them play far more test cricket, rather than just ODIs and "hit and giggle" cricket (20/20), two formats which, quite ironically they aren't particularly good at.

    Good article. I enjoyed the humour and insight into some of the unique aspects of test cricket, as well as the mental images of Murali batting. I will never forget his test fifty!

  • Shailesh Shukla on December 9, 2009, 8:24 GMT

    India has been playing far less test matches since the early 90's. Had Sachin been an Australian or Englishman, he would have played close to 225-230 test matches by now and would have been sitting on 20,000 plus runs. Sad isnt it? But why just blame BCCI, even the masses want to see the quicker version of the game. The Aussies and Englishg cry hoarse about the big spending and how important it is to play for their country. But give them the opportunity and they will bend backwards to earn the IPL moolah. If you like Test Matches so much then dont play the quicker versions, simple isnt it? Some purist still like to see the old glory but times have changed. We just need to brace ourselves and move on.

  • Usman Moorad on December 9, 2009, 8:33 GMT

    However atleast the Australians play consistent test matches... And sledging is irrelevant in terms of this article, but apart from that 'respectable' sledging is a wonderful part of this game. I think something like a Test title belt is a very interesting idea, with 3 series a year to defend it seperately. However scheduling would be veery hectic.

  • vas on December 9, 2009, 8:34 GMT

    Himanshu.

    How is the BCCI promoting their no 1 team by not playing any Tests for nearly two years? Doesn't it show they are more interested in their Christmas bonuses rather than producing environments conducive to quality cricket?

    The Aussies killed the gentleman's game? Indians, with their obsession for Twenty20 and its gimmicks, may not know of a fellow called WG Grace. Read up on the some of the antics he got up to. Also there was a guy called Douglas Jardine, who didn't mind a few choice words after getting his bowlers to aim for the batsman's head. Which they were entitled to do, but sledging has been an artform practiced way before India were even a skerrick on the cricket calender.

    Besides, anyone who's watched India over the last 5 years will know they don't mind having a word themselves. Don't practise the artform while you're willing to criticise it.

  • Sunny Varun on December 9, 2009, 9:03 GMT

    Gud article Sir, but sum of your boxing ideas incorporated into cricket are too comical,hope u were not serious about all of them! Ya, v cud take the idea of Test Champions defending their title against worthy contenders but thats the only worthwile suggestion. Its right that you blame the BCCI about the rarity of Test matches played by the Indian Cricket team as they are the ones responsible for deciding the FTP & I completely agree with you on this point but I dont understand why sum people like Mr.Himanshu take everything & anything personally!![unless he's working for the BCCI;)] Its true that BCCI are working to spread the game but what about seeing Sachin,Sehwag,Dravid etc play sum gud Test match cricket which is the ultimate test of a cricketer's skills & temparament. Mr.Himanshu take a chill-pill dude! & wel written Mr.Hughes.

  • Varshith on December 9, 2009, 9:33 GMT

    Now that's quite a vision Mr. Hughes, and a very good one at that! And i disagree with what Himanshu has said, as it comes off as a bit immature considering, it doesnt seem like he's fully understood the point you are tryin to make here. I dont see what Australians have to with the afore mentioned topic anyway. But about the point, Mr hughes is making about BCCI scrapping the test series, I find it to be untrue!! It is at the request of the South African cricket board(who have a packed schedule), that BCCI agreed to scrap the tests.