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'Shaking up Test cricket' - The survey results
September 29, 2005
Our first question got a mixed response, but more than half the respondents felt that Test cricket needs to lose at least one side, with 34.99% saying that both Bangladesh and Zimbabwe should be stripped of Test status, while 25.81% wanted to keep both of them and give Kenya Test status as well. Perhaps some of those votes were cast in irony; perhaps not.
The question that automatically arises next is how Test cricket should be structured. There was nothing resembling unanimity here, except on one issue: only 4.95% wanted to restrict Test cricket to a fixed number of teams. A two-tier system was favoured by 26.82%, while 23.52% favoured having a minimum performance benchmark for Test teams and 24.57% favoured a similar benchmark that would give non-Test teams provisional Test status.
There were a similar disparity of views over a two-tier system, which 47.69% were categorically against. As many as 14.11% felt that none of the systems we set forth were appropriate, which underlines the complexity of getting such a system together. If the ICC were ever to try and reform Test cricket, they'd have to carry all the Test-playing nations with them, and that kind of unanimity would be hard to pull off. The teams in the bottom half of the ranks would have an incentive to fight to broaden the pool, while the teams in the top half would be better served keeping it restricted.
More than half of our readers supported the expansion of cricket in other countries. (The percentages in the fifth and sixth questions add up to more than 100 because you could click multiple options here.) And an overwhelming majority of readers agreed with the view: "It [Test cricket] is a sporting contest full of drama which will flourish if it is well looked after." Well, that's our view too, and what keeps us going, and we suppose what keeps you hooked to the game. This raises further questions, which we couldn't quite explore within the design of the survey:
What are the changes that cricket needs? How should they be implemented? What is the future of the game?
Multiple-choice options can't encompass all the possibilities that come up in answer to these questions, so, if you have more nuanced answers to offer, please send them in to email@example.com. We'll pick the best answers and put them online. The upper word-limit is 400 words. Any emails that contain more than that will be parsed by our advanced automated email-wordcount-filter and deleted.
After the tragedy of Phillip Hughes' death, this match showed that cricket and life will continue to go on. This time Test cricket dug in and got through to tea.
Josh Hazlewood has been on Australian cricket's radar since he was a teenager. The player that made a Test debut at the Gabba was a much-improved version of the tearaway from 2010
The new stand-in captain has the makings of a long-term leader, given his ability to stay ahead of the game
Turning your back on a system that the whole cricketing world wants a discussion on, refusing to discuss it because it is not 100%, is not good enough
The failed gamble of handing Karn Sharma a Test debut despite him having a moderate first-class record means India have to rethink who their spinner will be
After a long time we have seen an Indian team and captain enjoy the challenge of trying to overcome stronger opposition in an overseas Test