February 19, 2010

The rot in rotation

India's rotation policy, which allocates Tests to venues, is obsolete and needs ruthless, radical change
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Harbhajan Singh was low, beat up; he'd had a catch dropped off his bowling and couldn't buy a maiden, let alone a wicket. Then, in his 16th over, he got a top edge from Jacques Kallis, saw VVS Laxman take a catch running back, looked towards the crowd, raised his arms, and saw the crowd rise in sync.

In his next over, with 35,000 behind him, he took two wickets in two balls. The 35,000 appealed with him for both those wickets and celebrated with him when the appeals were upheld. Twice he went on celebratory runs, towards his friends, the Eden Gardens crowd, who made him believe he could get a wicket every ball. They were the fabled 12th man - intimidating the batsmen and making Harbhajan a completely different bowler from Nagpur.

Imagine Harbhajan getting on a similar roll in Nagpur, creating momentum, celebrating wildly, trying to get the crowd into the batsman's ear, going on those runs towards the stands. He would have been greeted by empty blue upholstered chairs, and the air-conditioned boxes, marginally better populated with the board president's guests.

Take his home ground, in Mohali. If he went on his celebratory run there, he would have seen sunlight bouncing off uncovered and unsurprisingly empty stands. Sachin Tendulkar knows that feeling: he broke Brian Lara's record for most Test runs in front of practically nobody in Mohali.

Add Ahmedabad, where the turnout is a little better, but still disappointing, and you have three regular Test-match venues in India where Test cricket gets short shrift. Play an ODI or a Twenty20 and people - despite the uncovered stands, despite the distance from the city - throng the same stadiums.

Between this last Kolkata Test and the one before that, at the end of 2007, six Tests have been played in Nagpur, Mohali and Ahmedabad. During those matches, Tendulkar overtook Lara, India completed a series win over Australia, Rahul Dravid engineered a stunning comeback from 32 for 4. Still this Kolkata Test alone was probably watched by more people than all six others put together.

To watch those six Tests was to find some merit in the view held by the rest of the world that India - the country, not the team - doesn't care about Test cricket. To watch the one at the Eden Gardens was a pleasant reassurance that India did. That Test cricket was alive and kicking in India, the only place able to draw more than 100,000 - the figure when Eden Gardens is not undergoing renovation - to a Test match.

Harbhajan paid his friends at the ground a fitting tribute: "In Test matches, we don't even get crowds, but Eden [Gardens] is probably the best ground, as you get the crowds for the whole five days. It does not matter whether India is batting or bowling."

That sentiment, doubtless shared by Harbhajan's peers, cuts no ice with the BCCI's rotation policy: The Test against South Africa was the second at Eden Gardens since March 2005. Whether this is because of board politics - the lack of Tests coincides with a shift in power from Jagmohan Dalmiya to Sharad Pawar and Shashank Manohar - is immaterial now: the policy is obsolete anyway and needs ruthless, radical change. The purest form of the game, generally reckoned to be an endangered species nowadays, should be played at venues that care for it.

So, it is time to strike Nagpur, Mohali and Ahmedabad off the list of Test venues. The logic is simple: There is a clear mismatch there between the crowds and Test cricket. The crowds in Kolkata, Chennai, Bangalore, Mumbai, even Kanpur, and to a lesser extent Delhi, support Test cricket with their presence in the stands and should each get a match every year. They are not necessarily the best stadiums but the players will trade in the advantages - the state-of-the-art facilities, the hospitality, the indoor nets - for a large, appreciative, knowledgeable crowd that creates atmosphere. And that's true of hosts and tourists.

It will, for one, restore some of the sanctity previously accorded to the Test-match schedule. In a recent piece in the Hindu, S Venkataraghavan, the former India offspinner, wrote about the Pongal Test in Chennai. "In Madras, this festival [traditionally in mid-January] used to be synonymous with Test cricket at Chepauk," he wrote. "Schedules were carefully drawn so that a Test match was played at Chepauk during the season."

That is like the Boxing Day and New Year's Tests in Australia and South Africa, annual events that people plan for months ahead. The last time Chennai saw a Pongal Test, though, was in 1988, and there have been only 10 Tests there since. With nine venues and only five or six home Tests a year, it is impossible to develop this sort of a certainty. Take out three venues and Test cricket can become an annual event in the venues where it is cherished: Kolkata, Chennai, Bangalore, Mumbai, Kanpur (with improved facilities) and Delhi.

Tendulkar is currently three short of 50 Test centuries. If he reaches the landmark in, say, Australia or England, thousands will stand and applaud. In Mohali, a couple of schools will promise their kids free lunch and send them to the staidum for a two-hour outing. The visiting team will be confounded by the callousness of the people. Let's rule out that possibility. Especially when there is another city willing to sell out a stadium meant to take in 90,000. Whether India is batting or bowling.

Sidharth Monga is a staff writer at Cricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • on February 24, 2010, 3:20 GMT

    Test Cricket has to be played at major well equipped venues - 4 metros, Mohali, Banglaore, Hyderabad and Kanpur(?), in that order - until other cities show they have the liking for it. How will we know? Stage important Ranji/Duleep Trophy matches and see if the crowd gathers. For example, the recent Ranji Duleep finals at Mysore and Hyderabad were really good and gripping contests. If the crowds show up, then hold some Tests in such qualifying venues.

  • ThreePoundWillow on February 23, 2010, 23:58 GMT

    Agreed. Venues should earn test match status not on their facilities but on the number of people in the stands. Having said that, the BCCI has plenty of cash, why not fix up these stadiums in places where test cricket gets the respect it deserves? Why do places like Ahmedabad, Nagpur and Mohali deserve test matches when all they care about in those locations is the modern day obscenity of T20 cricket. Test matches belong to Bombay, Madras, Bangalore, Calcutta and Delhi.

  • Nampally on February 23, 2010, 20:54 GMT

    India need to fix the test venues. If there are 5 test matches, there should be 3 fixed centres and other 2 go by rotation. Mumbai, Chennai, Kolkatta should be fixed venues. Other venues by rotation involve Hyderabad, Bangalore, Delhi & Kanpur. Venues like Jaipur, Nagpur should be excluded for tests because there is not much cricket following there. There should also be a 3 or 5 year Test schedule drawn up in advance. India should also have 30 fixed test team members selected every year based on form - 14 bowlers +14 batsmen + 2 wk. The same should also apply to the ODI's. There should be a 10 man trainingcamp to fast bowlers and similar one for spinners. Indian bowlers are attrocious and need a year round training. Sharma, Sreesanth, Irfan Pathan, Tyagi & Patel must attend the camp. A training camp for batsmen is also needed. Unless these camps are put in place India will not maintain its #1 status in test cricket.

  • jbenja on February 23, 2010, 13:28 GMT

    An excellent article. While we are dying to have cricket in Chennai this stupid BCCI is only interested in conducting matches in places where their bosses are from.(Nagpur and Mohali) I had watched a few test matches matches at Mumbai some years ago and it was an awesome experience. But unfortunately I have not had a chance to experience that awesome feeling in Chennai ever since I moved here a few years back. I hope some better sense prevails soon and we get to see some matches in Chennai. Thanks to Sidharth for coming up with this article

  • Srikantesh on February 23, 2010, 12:55 GMT

    Yes! BCCI is really don't have a proper policy to allot Test to the venues. What the mess-up they doing by this rotation policy. Let them follow it for ODI/20-20 why for Test when most of the venues not participated by crowds. Of course overall the situation in entire world is not so good. May be day/night test will be the answer to address this problem as many working community cant' afford 5 days of of leave. But BCCI must and should allot the Test for better venues in terms of Fan-following and see that can we get a cricketing season in place where leisure/festivities in the particular region be better utilised. Cricinfo Please convey Fans feelings to BCCI.

  • satty_kolkata on February 23, 2010, 12:23 GMT

    there's no question regarding making the above mentioned 6 venues for test cricket.whether some place cant provide crowd coz people r busy with their jobs..great excuse anyway.ok as people dont get time to visit the field then y hold the match at that venue atall.after all cricketers play for their country.even they want the support behind them.the roar when tendulkar is batting in mumbai gives him the want to excel once more.when u hear the kolkata crowd cheer when bhajji is running up the pitch its deafening.it just seems to bring out the best in any player.its always seen that performance wise cricketers thrive in these venues.laxman,bhajji, in eden.kumble in delhi n chennai.dravid in chennai as well as tendulkar.it really makes a difference when u see the crowd behind u.it motivates u to give such matchwinning innings or bowling.

  • SridharSampath on February 22, 2010, 22:58 GMT

    Good article, couldn't agree more. I pray that a Pongal Test match on a sporting pitch at Chepauk will become a reality in the next 2 years. Will cricinfo sponsor a petition to the BCCI on this issue?

  • sanzo5 on February 22, 2010, 20:57 GMT

    i guess BCCI is using test cricket to safegaurd itself to pay less tax to the government by scheduling the matches in unmanned stadiums....

  • shriram2977 on February 22, 2010, 19:23 GMT

    Count me in...I'll plan my vacation for the Pongal test. I still cherish my childhood days at this remarkable chepauk pitch...the noise as u get nearer and nearer, the crowd and definitely the aroma of a fresh cricket in play.

  • Mina_Anand on February 22, 2010, 17:36 GMT

    To bis_d, and the other test loving folks: Yes, I would be the first to sign up for the petition. seriously.... if test matches come back to chennai - i have my five-day 'test match' leave letter ready !

  • on February 24, 2010, 3:20 GMT

    Test Cricket has to be played at major well equipped venues - 4 metros, Mohali, Banglaore, Hyderabad and Kanpur(?), in that order - until other cities show they have the liking for it. How will we know? Stage important Ranji/Duleep Trophy matches and see if the crowd gathers. For example, the recent Ranji Duleep finals at Mysore and Hyderabad were really good and gripping contests. If the crowds show up, then hold some Tests in such qualifying venues.

  • ThreePoundWillow on February 23, 2010, 23:58 GMT

    Agreed. Venues should earn test match status not on their facilities but on the number of people in the stands. Having said that, the BCCI has plenty of cash, why not fix up these stadiums in places where test cricket gets the respect it deserves? Why do places like Ahmedabad, Nagpur and Mohali deserve test matches when all they care about in those locations is the modern day obscenity of T20 cricket. Test matches belong to Bombay, Madras, Bangalore, Calcutta and Delhi.

  • Nampally on February 23, 2010, 20:54 GMT

    India need to fix the test venues. If there are 5 test matches, there should be 3 fixed centres and other 2 go by rotation. Mumbai, Chennai, Kolkatta should be fixed venues. Other venues by rotation involve Hyderabad, Bangalore, Delhi & Kanpur. Venues like Jaipur, Nagpur should be excluded for tests because there is not much cricket following there. There should also be a 3 or 5 year Test schedule drawn up in advance. India should also have 30 fixed test team members selected every year based on form - 14 bowlers +14 batsmen + 2 wk. The same should also apply to the ODI's. There should be a 10 man trainingcamp to fast bowlers and similar one for spinners. Indian bowlers are attrocious and need a year round training. Sharma, Sreesanth, Irfan Pathan, Tyagi & Patel must attend the camp. A training camp for batsmen is also needed. Unless these camps are put in place India will not maintain its #1 status in test cricket.

  • jbenja on February 23, 2010, 13:28 GMT

    An excellent article. While we are dying to have cricket in Chennai this stupid BCCI is only interested in conducting matches in places where their bosses are from.(Nagpur and Mohali) I had watched a few test matches matches at Mumbai some years ago and it was an awesome experience. But unfortunately I have not had a chance to experience that awesome feeling in Chennai ever since I moved here a few years back. I hope some better sense prevails soon and we get to see some matches in Chennai. Thanks to Sidharth for coming up with this article

  • Srikantesh on February 23, 2010, 12:55 GMT

    Yes! BCCI is really don't have a proper policy to allot Test to the venues. What the mess-up they doing by this rotation policy. Let them follow it for ODI/20-20 why for Test when most of the venues not participated by crowds. Of course overall the situation in entire world is not so good. May be day/night test will be the answer to address this problem as many working community cant' afford 5 days of of leave. But BCCI must and should allot the Test for better venues in terms of Fan-following and see that can we get a cricketing season in place where leisure/festivities in the particular region be better utilised. Cricinfo Please convey Fans feelings to BCCI.

  • satty_kolkata on February 23, 2010, 12:23 GMT

    there's no question regarding making the above mentioned 6 venues for test cricket.whether some place cant provide crowd coz people r busy with their jobs..great excuse anyway.ok as people dont get time to visit the field then y hold the match at that venue atall.after all cricketers play for their country.even they want the support behind them.the roar when tendulkar is batting in mumbai gives him the want to excel once more.when u hear the kolkata crowd cheer when bhajji is running up the pitch its deafening.it just seems to bring out the best in any player.its always seen that performance wise cricketers thrive in these venues.laxman,bhajji, in eden.kumble in delhi n chennai.dravid in chennai as well as tendulkar.it really makes a difference when u see the crowd behind u.it motivates u to give such matchwinning innings or bowling.

  • SridharSampath on February 22, 2010, 22:58 GMT

    Good article, couldn't agree more. I pray that a Pongal Test match on a sporting pitch at Chepauk will become a reality in the next 2 years. Will cricinfo sponsor a petition to the BCCI on this issue?

  • sanzo5 on February 22, 2010, 20:57 GMT

    i guess BCCI is using test cricket to safegaurd itself to pay less tax to the government by scheduling the matches in unmanned stadiums....

  • shriram2977 on February 22, 2010, 19:23 GMT

    Count me in...I'll plan my vacation for the Pongal test. I still cherish my childhood days at this remarkable chepauk pitch...the noise as u get nearer and nearer, the crowd and definitely the aroma of a fresh cricket in play.

  • Mina_Anand on February 22, 2010, 17:36 GMT

    To bis_d, and the other test loving folks: Yes, I would be the first to sign up for the petition. seriously.... if test matches come back to chennai - i have my five-day 'test match' leave letter ready !

  • Rajit on February 22, 2010, 11:25 GMT

    Couldn't agree more..another reason for poor attendance at these 3 venues is the quality of surface particularly at Ahmedabad ( i am from Ahmedabad)....kind of "runnathon" that we saw between India and Sri Lanka at Ahmedabad doesn't make for an interesting viewing and why should spectators pay just for the sake of bowlers getting slaughtered? We need more good quality surfaces like the one's we saw at Kolkata against SA and at CCI against SL...

  • Bobby_Talyarkhan on February 22, 2010, 9:03 GMT

    Guys can we get an online petition together stating the opinion of all true cricket lovers that test cricket in India should only be played in the 6 venues mentioned? And then send it to the BCCI?

  • mmmuthukumar on February 22, 2010, 8:52 GMT

    Ok Ok Aussies are coming again for a 2 test series. hope our beloved Mr.Srinivasan allot tests to Chennai and bangalore now. Hope it never rains then.

  • Auro_007 on February 22, 2010, 7:45 GMT

    I agree with article in principle .............. but can this sort of policy be practically followed . Even Australia have added smaller venues to there test schedules (be it for Bangladesh only). I agree with the fact about giving immortal venues such as Eden their fare share of matches. But again putting mohali in the list was a little unfair. Don't you remember the test match here against Pakistan a few years back when Sachin made 94 to early go past Gavaskar's 34 centuries. Even the Australia game being talked had lesser turn-out I agree ...... but trust I was there when Sachin made his 12000th test run ( I just got there after he went past Lara) and there was nothing but ecstasy among the 2000 odd who had turned up.

    One must remember that the tricity of Chandigarh - Mohali - Panchkula is a lowly populated area which cant compete with Kolkata which has more people living there than the whole of Punjab. Having said that I myself was disappointed at the turn out on the final day

  • One_Religion_Cricket on February 22, 2010, 2:49 GMT

    I agree with your comments partly. Having less and carefully chosen test centers would also mean that they will be tended to better. But there is definite merit in what Jack_D had to say. Lesser crowds are definitely a sign of the kind of cricket thats on display (which is in turn depends on the wicket).

    Does anybody else feel that with the younger generation working much tougher and demanding jobs than say 10 years ago also might have played a part in the diminishing crowds, especially in cities where more people work day jobs and dont own businesses.

  • Mina_Anand on February 22, 2010, 2:20 GMT

    Another extract:

    "..too bad if test cricket dies and the talent temperament tenacity of a dravid sachin ponting ganguly laxman strauss and other test stalwarts cannot be showcased i really do think that the first thing to do is to throw open the stadia (such as they are !) to the public. free seats means free access and the motivation to spur people on - specially the youngsters. a big audience makes such a difference to the atmosphere - to the players, the television viewers, and to the spectators at the grounds a vibrant crowd makes for vibrant viewing, isn't it? the next step would be to make over the stadia facilities on a war footing. the consumer is treated with contempt and indifference even the IPL does not cater for the fans so what price test cricket ? the best way to revive the crowds would be to have the matches at the best grounds - Chennai (Pongal crowds) Kolkata Mumbai Delhi Bangalore for the time being - forget about rotation policies test cricket needs packed houses

  • redneck on February 22, 2010, 1:23 GMT

    whenever australia tours i do find it funny they always seem to go to nagpur but hardly ever to chenni, kolkota or mumbai when touring india and without question eden gardens should have a test every year! however i dont think anyones has mentioned distance of stadiums from city centres! eg mohali im led to believe is a satelite city next to chandigara (sorry spelling probably way off!) and nagpur's new stadium is some distance from the city. watching on tv in the 04 test in nagpur the old ground was full then in 08 when india were about to knock us aussies off the new stadium was empty. begging the question is stadium location a factor? if a test was say planned for say sector 16 stadium in chandigagra instead of the pca ground would easier access make the locals turn up? just a thought. @Sekhar_S you should really look at the boxing day attendance figures on cricinfo's score card before commenting! first 3 days had well over what you were claiming!

  • Bobby_Talyarkhan on February 21, 2010, 23:10 GMT

    I fully support Sid Mongia's advocacy of Kanpur as a sixth test venue. It has a glorious history of test cricket which has been played there much longer than in Bangalore.

  • athota on February 21, 2010, 19:08 GMT

    I truly agree with Siddharth on this issue. I have been eagerly waiting for this kind of article.Matter of fact, there are more things that are to be known here other than rotation policy. Its the red-tapism that is hampering Indian cricket from blossoming.The current bosses of the BCCI are from the west zone(Marathi). As a result too much cricket is being played in that region, does nt matter how many people do attend the match. I think in the recent past Nagpur is the venue that hosted too many matches with empty stands greeting the players. Please stop the Politics and save Cricket!!!

  • King_Viv on February 21, 2010, 18:08 GMT

    I agree wholeheartedly with this article. India should play tests where the grounds will be full and the crowds can act as India's 12th man. Touring teams would also relish playing in front of 60-90000 people. The BCCI should also consider the time of year and the weather when scheduling tests. When England's tests were rescheduled after the Mumbai attacks, Mohali was given the 2nd test and the match was destroyed by virtue of losing more than a day in total to fog in the morning and the early setting sun. Bangalore or another city further south should have hosted that game.

  • Farce-Follower on February 21, 2010, 16:43 GMT

    Just 4 venues deserve permanent status : Kolkata, Chennai, Bangalore and Mumbai. The rest are just deserted sites with no history and colour. But, seriously do you expect Mr. Manohar and Mr. Modi to do anything but petty and short-sighted? Indian cricket is just a manipulated and shallow cauldron of emotions.

  • on February 21, 2010, 7:46 GMT

    Can you avoid putting mohali in that category, the day sachin broke that record it was early morning and crowd was still pouring in... but whoever was at the stadium made a roar equal to eden garden. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m-30Vh7O-x4 Atleast there has never been an incident of people throwing bottles inside stadium like eden gardens.. people here love test cricket and we deserve it.

  • on February 21, 2010, 7:16 GMT

    It is very unfortunate to see that eden gardens kolkata is not the amount of test matches now a days as it used to get during the reins of jagmohan dalmiya.Eden gardens is the Mecca of Indian cricket.It must be alloted test match every year as it one of the largest cricket stadia in the world.Rotation policy doesn't make a sense as if India play test cricket in front of empty stadium as in Nagpur,Mohali,Ahmedabad,then whats the use of playing in front of such vacant stadium.Test cricket should be played in major cities of India as they care for test cricket

  • Final_Session on February 21, 2010, 6:23 GMT

    ... continued from previous post... more than anything else, fans want to watch the games that produce results (especially when they are asked to pay for that.....) may be its time BCCI start looking seriously at preparing the pitches that ensure the even contest between bat and ball.... as Harsha Bhogle once said on this website, kill the contest kill the game!!

  • Final_Session on February 21, 2010, 6:17 GMT

    hey Sidharth, is this your solution to 'empty stands'?.... host all test matches in India at Eden Gardens?... i'd have thought people of your intellect would have atleast some more (and may be useful ! ) suggestions... without a doubt Eden has seen the most passonate fans over the years, but surely there could be something else, other than chopping the test matches at other venues, to draw more crowd??... may be increased facilities, less ticket price (they can even make it free for fans to go and watch the game at stadiums... BCCI earns enough to support the grounds without charging fans for that !!) and improved basic infrastructure like toilets, food bars and public transport...?? as someone else said on this post, test cricket in India needs expansion to all possible venues not just to Eden where its alreday followed like a religion (hats off to people of Kolkotta for that btw....)... continued to next post

  • aryo on February 21, 2010, 6:08 GMT

    BCCI do not believe in common sense.They do not believe that a day and night match can begin earlier than 2.30 pm.they do not care which part of India the game is staged they do not care if dew affects the out come of the match.what they care is for the revenues they generate out of their worthless neo cricket channel.

  • nassat on February 21, 2010, 5:09 GMT

    hi! If I am not incorrect, till the mid-1970s at least Eden Gardens used to have a New Year Test starting on the 2nd of January, a tradition which unfortunately died a unhappy death. Except once in 4 yrs when India travels to australia, it wud'nt be a bad idea to restore that tradition, especially given that the weather at around that time is the best in the city. But hey, a Valentines Day test, like the one this year would also not be unwelcome!

  • rmvv1 on February 21, 2010, 4:30 GMT

    Why is Hyderabad neglected in the list? By far it is one of the best venues in India.The BCCI's power balance has to do with it .

  • Mina_Anand on February 21, 2010, 4:17 GMT

    Cricket lovers think alike ! The passage below, is from a letter I had written to a friend - on the evening the Kolkata match finished. (Before Sidharth and Dileep published their views !)

    Here is the extract from my letter:

    "...don't you think the 'rotation' policy should be thrown out.... and only test loving venues be given the test matches - just look how the eden crowd lifted the players - harbhajan in particular - you cannot have players play to empty stands - the TV viewer needs a packed atmosphere as well..

    why don't the 'authorities' see common sense !

    the argument that other venues need to 'get their share' - doesn't work in practical terms - because the crowds are not coming in anyway - these 'other venues' can get the ODIs and the T-20s ...

    Test cricket deserves the best crowds - and chennai is another passionate centre !....."

  • VVedsen on February 21, 2010, 2:06 GMT

    Its only in Kolkata that the crowd is so boistrous. Every good performance gets a good hand from the crowd. Even captains from rivals team have had great opinion about the Kolkata crowd. Some of the best tests have been played there.

    However it is very sad to see BCCI give so few tests there. The first reason currently definitely is connected to Dalmiya. When the Board power has shifted to Pawar and then Manohar, who is from Nagpur, everything goes to Nagpur.

    When they want to keep providing test matches to the centres they want, they talk of rotation policy, when they want to ignore some centers, the rotation policy goes for a toss. This wilful board policy is literally killing.

  • on February 21, 2010, 1:23 GMT

    Terrific article with a great idea to make Tests attractive and viable in India. Can't wait to eagerly await a annual Chennai Pongal test or a Holi Calcutta test or a Deepavali Bangalore test, just like the annual Boxing day tests or the Superbowl or the World Series or the Oscars ;-)

    This is the first time such an idea has been floated; hoping this will reach the appropriate people who can make it happen. Test Cricket gets better and better by the day, and this kind of good ideas are to be adopted and encouraged for it to grow big in the coming years.

    Thanks Sidharth for the wonderful article.

  • prime.lens on February 20, 2010, 23:48 GMT

    You make a very important point about having test cricket as pert of an yearly schedule that people look forward to. I remember people asking around for tickets to tests at he Eden several months in advance. But I doubt the politics and money that currently drives the BCCI will allow that sort of tradition to be restored. If T20 is where the action is at, let's give the other venues those matches. Let new formats go on, but let it not be at the cost of traditions and high quality cricket that we still see regularly in test matches.

  • sray23 on February 20, 2010, 21:59 GMT

    Even Nagpur, Mohali & Ahmedabad would get better crowds if BCCI showed some appreciation towards the fans by building decent toilets, having food outlets, having transportation facilities for the fans to these venues. Spectator comfort (or lack of it) is a big reason why Test attendences are falling in India. Question is why is the BCCI not doing anything about it??

  • StreetCricketer on February 20, 2010, 18:48 GMT

    Does anyone know the crowd numbers in Mumbai test? Based on what I have heard, the crowds were pretty thin there too. Outside of Kol, bigger crowds are probably a mirage. In any case, if it wants to survive, test cricket needs to figure out how to expand, not contract. Someone needs to figure out a way to start getting the crowds involved. I am not a fan of this cut-n-run proposal.

  • Trackmonitor on February 20, 2010, 17:56 GMT

    BCCI should stick to test matches in the Major Cities instead of fiddling around in the name of rotation policy. I was wondering the same during the first test match, when was the last time there was a full test match in Chennai????

  • on February 20, 2010, 17:54 GMT

    for me eden garden,chepauk(chennai),chinnasamy(bangalore),brabourne stadiums are best place to host test cricket.Personally i feel chennai is the safest place in india.but there are no matches held there even ODIs.

  • serendipiti on February 20, 2010, 17:31 GMT

    It's high time politics took a backseat. There shud be 5 permanent TEST venues much like in Australia, let's say:Mumbai, Chennai, Bangalore, Delhi/Mohali and Eden Gardens. Otgher stadiums shud be happy with T20s and ODIs. Test cricket should only be played in ground have a rich heritage and history.

  • SRINIVAS_CHALLAGALI on February 20, 2010, 16:01 GMT

    Really appreciate Sid on this article.They should show some logic while picking venues for the three formats.How can u justify Nagpur being such a regular venue..5 matches in less than 15 months...2 Tests 2 Odis and one t20 ..

  • Sekhar_S on February 20, 2010, 15:41 GMT

    A T20 match between Victoria and Tasmania at the MCG had an attendance of 43125 while one between Australia and Pakistan there had 90000+.But the attendance for the 2009 Boxing Day Test stood somewhere in the 20000s.World over Test cricket is witnessing empty stands and that is something India can do well to set a trend by changing.India should have a fixed annual cricketing calendar like Australia has and this period should have 5 Tests in Chennai,Kolkata,Mumbai,Delhi and Bangalore.

    @Geeva,you have a point there.Sourav Ganguly took time off to cheer India at Eden before leaving for Cuttack to play Bengal's OD match.Lalit Modi is busy preparing for IPL and we can't do much about it.What was SRK doing?A match is being played in his IPL team's home and he is least bothered about it.Shows how much he cares for international cricket.Let's see if Shilpa Shetty and Raj Kundra turn up at Jaipur tomorrow for the ODI.

  • on February 20, 2010, 14:54 GMT

    Agree with the posts and all the comments! Eager to test culture return back to India..

  • Geeva on February 20, 2010, 13:03 GMT

    Ya this a veri relevant article!If we go around the world traditional test venues are under threat!Look at england the 6 test venues are being given way to palaces like cardiff witthout any tradition instead of Old trafford.West indies have lost Bourda and the ARG as test venues and the new grounds cant even get a crowd!In south africa at least test and odi are played at historical grounds as well as with with aus!But i gues it all bout money in the modern era!!People like lalit modi dont care about cricket!Lol did anyone see SRK and Preity Zinta at the test match in kolkata??ut they will be at every IPL match go figure!!

  • on February 20, 2010, 12:31 GMT

    A well written article, probably board members should be made to read it.

  • cbesud2009 on February 20, 2010, 12:24 GMT

    Lalit Modi and his cohorts have a vested interest in killing Test cricket and promoting the T20's or they dont care. There will be enough support for test cricket at the traditional venues. Everybody remembers VVS-Dravid's stand and the great comeback win against the Aussies till today. We will remember this Eden Garden test 10 years from now for the phenomenal fighting spirit the Indian team showed in picking themselves off the mat and coming back. But can anybody remember one match from the IPL in SA last year? Frankly the only thing I remember is Manish Pandey's century which brought to light a future India player. But will we forget Sehwag's great innings or Steyn's fantastic spell of bowling? T20 is light frothy stuff. Here today , gone tomorrow. But Test cricket is the real meat. And cricket cannot survive without it.

  • dineshmek on February 20, 2010, 11:55 GMT

    Weather is nothing of a matter to fix a match in chennai or bangalore or Kolkata. Everybidy knows that chennai gets rains only in Oct - Dec period and it will be Red hot during other seasons. But, as usual BCCI planned tests in chennai over the last decade only during these times. It rained thrice during tests (Aus, Srilanka and as a result. Eng. match was a lucky one, even though rains expecetd immediately after 26/11. The fact is that the BCCI under current regime lost its traditioanl approach it enjoyed even till the time of Dalmiya. Something has to be done.

  • padmural on February 20, 2010, 11:27 GMT

    Like boxing day test at MCG followed by New Year (Jan2) test at SCG, we used to have New year test starting on Jan 1 at calcutta followed by pongal test Jan 13 in chennai. Can I plan my pongal 2012 at chepauk

  • 6x_CS_King on February 20, 2010, 10:42 GMT

    Perfect Article,May be BCCI doesnt want a fan fatigue to happen in these cities,so that IPL gets Full house because BCCI knows that people of Chennai Mumbai Kolkatta Delhi and Bangalore prefer test matches...I hope everyone remembers Last test played in chennai just after 26/11(mumbai terror attack) and i still saw many people out there witnessing a historic run chase on 5th day , day 1 & 2 dint get big crowds because it was just after,when the whole country saw terror attacks live on TV(Mumbai) and still people were there to acknowledge sachin's hundred and 2005 Australia test at chennai where Sehwag scored 155 and India had a perfect chance to level the series 200Odd runs on the final day with 10 wickets remaining (not sure) but spoiled to due monsoon time oct-nov-dec, i hope stadiums like EDEN,CHEPAUK,BRABOURNE,KOTLA,CHINNASWAMY get more test matches (scheduled at proper time) than Nagpur,Mohali..etc Let the IPL matches be rotated and test be alloted to major venues!!

  • ObserverUS on February 20, 2010, 9:43 GMT

    It's not only India -- were there even 500 spectators for the very entertaining NZ v Bangladesh match in Hamilton concurrent with the denouement in Kolkata? Test belongs to the Basin Reserve, especially this time of year when the winds are manageable.

  • venkatesh018 on February 20, 2010, 9:01 GMT

    Are we really going to let us fool ourselves, that Lalit Modi & Co. at the BCCI, are unaware of the obvious success Test match cricket will enjoy at Chennai, Bangalore, Mumbai and Kolkata if they are given regular test matches every year. They already very well know that and so are engaged in a not too discreet plot to kill test cricket in india, by alloting important matches against teams like australia,south africa,england etc to venues like nagpur,mohali and ahmedabad (where the turn out will be invariably very poor whether played on weekdays or weekends because these cities do not have any test match culture).This is done to project the totally baseless view that only T20 and not test cricket is liked by the masses of india.I am not hopeful that the current sad state of affairs regarding test match venues in india will change in the near future. But a great article siddarth. keep up the good work.

  • chaithan on February 20, 2010, 8:30 GMT

    only knowledgeable fans appreciate test cricket. you cannot find them in places like mohali or nagpur. i am not saying they are dumb or anything but they are the sort of fans who only like slam bang cricket not true proper cricket. in the metros you will find a good crowd if not a full house on all 5 days of a match. cant understand why the bcci allocates tests to nagpur and mohali when they are sure to earn more revenue i the metros.it would be nice if traditions like a pongal test and the others suggested by tamizan were developed. after all something similar did give cricket the boxing day test.

  • akpy on February 20, 2010, 8:19 GMT

    some of these issues are so common sensical that i wonder what are the people in-charge doing? We all know that we need sporting pitches to support tests - dont care what pitches are laid out for 1day/20:20, as long as they are not like the recent delhi pitch. How difficult is to say, we will stick to the 5-6 traditional venues for tests and prepare those pitches in such a manner that they are great for tests thru 5 days. They should be prepared with lots of pace and bounce over first 3 days and spin later on. All Ranji matches should also be played on these pitches as then we are grooming youngsters interested in playing tests on these pitches too. All the limited overs stuff can be developed on other grounds - so, simple solution to implement. Being from chennai, i remember queuing up early morning to get in and watch sunny, srikanth, kapil, viv, gower, botham, etc,. Watched a test in eden too - unbelievable atmosphere. So, wake up BCCI - not too difficult to get it right.

  • RajeevGoenka on February 20, 2010, 8:07 GMT

    awesummm! so so so so true that its infuriating ! u know the screw up? when manohar is the presi and nagpur gets an odi or test every home series noone says a thing.. but when eden got one ahead of this "ROTATIONAL" schedule if any at all when dalmiya ws there a furore was created ! another thing.. why dont they allow the use of lights when there's bad light on any given day..ok it takes away the sheen if it becomes a complete day night encounter some may say. but noone can argue an additional ten overs or so to complete the quota of 90 for the day? we want to battle nature to give the players and fans what they deserve...

  • dilscoop on February 20, 2010, 7:33 GMT

    The original 5 venues for test cricket in the 70's were delhi, calcutta, bombay, Madras & kanpur - zone based. Now the board's rotation policy means rotating venues of the top brass - it was always kolkata under dalmiya, mohali under bindra now nagpur under manohar. The 2 best test venues in terms of quality of pitches & entertaining tests over the years have been kolkata & Chennai. No comparison. So Chennai & kolkata should have a test match each year. Also the weather should be taken into account when alloting test matches. It rains in chennai oct to dec - fog & dew can rob time if matches are held in winter in the north. Pitches in delhi & kanpur have always been slow and low & never produced entertaining cricket even in the 70's. Mumbai & bangalore pitches have been average at best. The next best test pitches are nagpur & mohali. Will Mr.Srinivasan ensure the return of pongal tests to Chennai - may be he has to become president of the board to be able to accomplish this :-)

  • tamizan on February 20, 2010, 7:29 GMT

    Great piece of work by Sid Monga. I can't believe the BCCI honchos - Sharad P, Sashank M, Bindra and Lalit M are playing it dirty with centers like Chepauk, Eden, Chinnaswamy and Kotla. Wankade is still a lesser hit center. The dirty old men of BCCI needs to be spanked by public. Screw the rotation policy (which anyway is never adhered to) and give us more cricket in Chennai, Kolkata, Bengaluru and Delhi. Tier-2 cities like Nagpur, Chandigarh and Ahmedabad should get tests only after home tests have been allocated to the big five (Mumbai included). Here is my proposal. 1. Pongal Test - Chennai 2. Dassehra/Durga Puja Test - Kolkata 3. Diwali Test - Delhi 4. Ganapati/Ganesh Chathurti Test - Mumbai 5. Ugadi Test - Bengaluru 6. Chattpuja Test - Kanpur (optional)

    Give all IPL matches to Tier 2 cities. ODIs & International T20 should be split between Tier 1 and Tier 2 cities. To hell with BCCI. Long Live Indian Cricket. Long Live Chepauk, Eden, Kotla, Chinnaswamy, Wankade/Brabourne

  • OhmStanley on February 20, 2010, 6:49 GMT

    I absolutely agree with the writer. Watching a Test at some of the regular Test venues is a different experience altogether. At a time when Test matches are fading, we have to do everyhting to keep it alive. Another thought - why does'nt the ICC make it mandatory for all test playing nations to play a minimum of 15 Tests a year? Why does ICC only give lip service about saving Test Cricket and does nothing about it. Also why is the lunch/tea break never curtailed when time is lost due to to bad weather?? There are a number of things that the adminstrators need to do to keep Tests alive. Just saying Tests are the ultimate form of the game is NOT ENOUGH.

  • Leggie on February 20, 2010, 6:45 GMT

    Excellent article by Sidharth. More than the crowds, there is something very special about the pitches and playing conditions in Kolkata, Chennai, Mumbai & Bangalore. The late evening collapse is something of a regular in Kolkata. The fresh breeze from Hoogly literally brings in fresh air to Test cricket. The pace on the wicket on the first day is a feature of Chennai & it was by far the fastest pitch in India. The wicket turning into batsmen friendly in days 2 & 3, and the turn/bounce of days 4 & 5 is special to Chennai. The conditions are more or less same in Mumbai/Bangalore - except that the boundaries are a little short and one can get to see more 4s and 6s. Cricket appears "mature" in these four venues when the conditions favor batsman & bowlers. Let the board scrap the other venues, and let India contribute to the revival of Test cricket by sticking to these four mature venues.

  • cricsand on February 20, 2010, 6:11 GMT

    I second this idea of playing ODIs and T20s at smaller cities. Places like Chennai, Bangalore, and Mumbai have a history with Test cricket, and they appreciate and understand test cricket better. Its been while since I last saw a test match in Bangalore.

  • Pragathe on February 20, 2010, 5:40 GMT

    We must stick to Tests at the Golden Pentangle of Madras, Bangalore, Bombay, Delhi, and Calcutta.

  • AtticusFinch on February 20, 2010, 5:36 GMT

    Hear, hear . . . .I agree 100% with you, Sidharth. It is high time the BCCI woke up and stopped alloting test matches where the local mandarins are only interested in the ad revenues and care a hoot about drawing in spectators.

  • akhilhp on February 20, 2010, 5:36 GMT

    Fully Agree... If we want to save the test matches put them in the hands of crowds who know tests, love tests and cherish to be the part of it. I hope BCCI Officitals read this article.

  • SSGupta on February 20, 2010, 5:35 GMT

    Definitely the rotation policy of venues by the BCCI is confusing. It looks that the venues are not selected on the rotation basis but on the likings of BCCI top officials. Mohali, Kanpur, Nagpur and Ahmedabad are not metros, where we will see a large crowd like in Mumbai, Kolakata , Chennai, Delhi and Banglore. Even in IPL matches we won't see full capacity in Mohali. BCCI officials should also keep weather conditions in mind before finalizing the venues. One thing where almost every sport is lacking in India is - infrastructure. Cricket is no exception to this. BCCI may the one of the richest sports body of the cricketing world, but the ground and stadium facilities are far away from the world standards. Considering the fact that India has become the strongest in the world, in cricket and cricket politics, BCCI should look forward to this area as well. The grounds, we see in Australia and England for domestic events, are much better than the Indian grounds.

  • ram5160 on February 20, 2010, 5:15 GMT

    @SMahajan: Come on man, Can u imagine the crowd in eden or mumbai or chennai if sachin had crossed lara there that too against Australia? Yes, the facilities are good in Mohali but it cant hope to match these centres. As I said let Mohali Host ODIs , T20s and IPL the big cities should be made to Host TEst alone

  • ram5160 on February 20, 2010, 5:08 GMT

    @hundredpercentbarcelonista :I know it sounds elitist ,but what s wrong in playing only tests in the big centres? ODI s and T20 s still gather crowds in the other places let them play only ODIs and T20s there. If u want the rotation policy to continue it should also be more rational like mohali, nagpur get so many matches now.

  • sgguy on February 20, 2010, 5:01 GMT

    Sidarth..Your article rocks....It is high time the BCCI takes care of the fans..Hope they understand that without the fans no company will buy the TV rights....also we need to kick out these politicians from holding the posts in the Sports Associations....Also someone has to take lead and start a FANS Association....when the players can have association why not Fans....Thnaks....

  • ram5160 on February 20, 2010, 4:30 GMT

    I dont understand how this rotation policy works. Even if it is applied properly, Chennai and Kolkata will get more matches. Even ODIs and T20s go to Mohali and Nagpur. I cant remember the last time a ODI was played in Chennai. Anyway let them take all the ODI s we want only TESTS in Chennai.

  • ram5160 on February 20, 2010, 4:27 GMT

    Everyone knows this has to be done but let s not expect the BCCI to do anything for the good of the game. The other venues can have ODIs and T20s and even IPL but lets give respect to Test Cricket.

  • on February 20, 2010, 4:27 GMT

    Well written article. I remember as a kid desperately waiting to get a ticket to my first test match at the Green Park in 1969. Although I barely remember it since I was 7 or so, I remember a packed stadium applauding every shot from the wonderful blade of Vishwanath making his debut hundred. And this packed crowd was a 5th day crowd in a dead test match. I think it is high time we brought back a semblance of character to our Test match venues by bringing back the big 5 or 6. Eden Gardens always meant a Test match around New Year's, Chennai was of course a Pongal test venue. Why does the BCCI care not a whit about tradition? Venues like Melbourne, Sydney, Centurion and Lord's have such wonderful traditions. Even other sports like Wimbledon and the French Open are played according to a calendar. This BCCI fixation of flexing its muscles by "changing" the game has left it bereft of character and value. But then, a show of brawn often is an indication of a big bully, a synonym for BCCI!

  • EdwardTLogan on February 20, 2010, 3:53 GMT

    How many possible test venues are there in India? There seems to be a lot of options (bad as some of them seem to be). In Australia there are the five that are used every summer, Hobart, which is used sparingly, and Cairns and Darwin that have been used (I thnk) once each to host Bangladesh. That may change in the future, with the Olympic Stadium in Sydney pushing to host ODIs next year against Engalnd on the basis of a bigger capacity than the SCG.

    I'd be questioning the BCCI as to how the rotation policy is worked out. Although crowd figures should not be the only factor, surely playing in front of a full house is better than playing in front of near empty stadia attended only by those in corporate boxes.

  • fahadghani on February 20, 2010, 2:09 GMT

    I totally second your opinion. And I am sure many others in India would. If it is possible, please get this article published in one of the national dailies so that it receives a wider audience and stands a much better chance of creating an impact.

  • srikarthik on February 20, 2010, 1:33 GMT

    Excellent point. The only way is to get rid of politicians from BCCI.

  • HundredPercentBarcelonista on February 20, 2010, 1:13 GMT

    Wow, great idea to go back to the elitist days when cricket was confined to the big cities. It's utterly ridiculous to say that test cricket has a bigger following in Kanpur or Bangalore than it does in Mohali or Ahmedabad. Last I checked the last Ahmedabad test saw a huge crowd on the last two days. Let's just conveniently forget that the test started on a MONDAY so there wasn't a single day's play on the weekend. While I agree there should be two or three marquee tests every year, I don't think the venues like Mohali, Nagpur and Ahmedabad need to be scrapped. Instead, there needs to be a concerted effort to bring crowds to these venues. The BCCI can put the onus on the state cricket association for ensuring it happens and take away the venue's test status if the association fails to deliver.

  • Jose_Cyriac on February 19, 2010, 23:11 GMT

    Sidharth sir, you are spot on. because of some stupid BCCI politics Eden is not getting more test matches :(

  • Smahajan on February 19, 2010, 23:09 GMT

    Hey Relax u all guys....wat do u have against stadiums like mohali....It has the best facilities out of any test centers in the country..best supporting pitch...and i still remember that in 2004 pakistan came and it was full house (50000 PPl) for all five days..so ppl come in big numbers there as well...the test match that sidharth is talking about was actually surrouded by far too many ODIs and IPL matches so i guess that was the case not many ppl turned up...i remember watchin last England-India match in Mohali where the stadium was almost full for first 4 days....so where is the problem...BCCI just needs to manage all the stadia well and make sure that no one loses on quality cricket...coz we love our test cricket here..and before criticizing BCCI we hv to also luk at the indifferent weather in Chennai and the Pitch in Bnglore..where the home team only refuse to play the ranji finals..thats how dead the pitch is in Bangalore....

  • straight_driver on February 19, 2010, 21:44 GMT

    Very nice article. The rotation policy is never good anywhere (in any merit driven field), except perhaps rotating bowlers to keep them injury free and fit. If venues are allowed to professionally compete with each other over some rationally decided criteria every year (yeah right - like thats going to happen with BCCI), they will do everything possible to get crowds in - better facilities, more spectator friendly, everything will follow. The rotation system is endemic to India in many sectors, not just sport, and is at the root of the rot.

  • on February 19, 2010, 21:38 GMT

    I couldn't agree more with this article. Be it politics, rotation, or any other legitimate or crap reasons, cricket's real aura would be faded if test cricket is played in some nonsensical and obscure places . Mine is same or similar view as many of the other knowledgeable comments in this section. Leave the ODIs and T20s to lesser known ground. Get the real ones, i.e. Tests, to these grounds with quality crowds. Its the people on these places have long recognized cricket in its purest form, although am not claiming others aren't, who really deserve credits by getting matches at their nearest grounds. After all, if test cricket has to survive, not only the matches should get interesting, but also the grounds should attract people. The Indian Team has done the first over the last six years, who does the later?

  • sapatcric on February 19, 2010, 21:36 GMT

    Absolutely fantastic artile.

  • avkris on February 19, 2010, 21:29 GMT

    Its appalling that Eden Gardens doesn't get a Test every year. Apart from the crowd support, its a lucky venue for India as well. Not lost a match there in d last decade, won 5 and drawn 2. C'mon BCCI, pls wake up.

  • ElectronSmoke on February 19, 2010, 21:02 GMT

    Indeed! Sporting pitches and vociferous crowds can make Test Match cricket a spectacle worth enjoying. The atmosphere at the Eden Gardens have spurred Harbhajan and Laxman to rise and defy spectacular odds, just as much the silence it could be reduced to would have spurred Amla (or Shoaib Akhtar a decade ago when he reduced a cheering 90000 to silence with his searing yorker to Sachin). Chennai and Bangalore boast of some of the most refined cricket fans of the country - Pak's lap of honor, or Miandad's farewell ODI remains etched in the mind of many. Kanpur and Delhi too boast of a rich legacy. And what a delight it was to watch Test cricket return to the hallowed Brabourne. Its not merely the facillities, factional politics or the TV rights - no disrespect to the venues at Nagpur, Mohali or Ahmedabad; imagine how it'd be to see Maradona or Baggio score a stunning goal in front of plush state of art stadium in Tokyo or Johannesburg instead of Munich or Madrid.

  • jaiganesh0609 on February 19, 2010, 20:01 GMT

    One of the best articles by Siddharth. I was recently talking with my friends about how Nagpur seems to be getting so many matches in the recent past, because of Shashank Manohar and Sharad Pawar. Chennai, is not only not getting the tests, the last ODI to be held in Chennai, was also way back in Jan 2007. Everyone knows about the knowledgeable sporting crowds of Chennai(Rem, the lap of honour that the Pak team went on, to acknowledge the sportiveness of the crowd after the test match that India lost, despite one of Sachin's epic innings??). Yet,still we hardly get any tests in Chennai. Lets hope that BCCI allots tests in the future to worthy grounds!! and worthy cities!!!

  • isak1011 on February 19, 2010, 20:01 GMT

    A very well written piece, I think it is time for a SAVE TEST CRICKET CAMPAIGN. To ensure that the BCCI stands up and leads the way so that test cricket in India does not come to an end. We need to look at England, Australia where every test match played has good attendance over a 5 day period. Its a pity that some great cricket grounds in India do not even get a test match over two years. We shouldn't forget that epic series in 2001 when India beat Australia 2-1 in front of packed stadiums in Mumbai, Kolkata and Chennai. The beauty of cricket in India has always been the Crowds that bay for the blood of the opposition like soccer.We need Crowds like recently in Eden Gardens, who were terrific. Has the BCCI forgotten about that?? To my mind they seem to be too much on the IPL band wagon and the politics in Indian cricket has ensured that while television broadcasting revenues are guranteed the stadiums are empty.

  • on February 19, 2010, 19:57 GMT

    Thank you Sidharth for highlighting this. That has been my thought since Australia's tour in 2008. I think that was first major warning for BCCI as stands were empty despite two best teams on the field of play, which had played such exciting series one after another in preceding 10 years. It's high time India develop a test culture, before people in other venues to get frustrated with irregular scheduling and lack of matches that they so love to watch from stands. A test per year would be ideal so we don't go other extreme either.

  • Vivek7 on February 19, 2010, 18:42 GMT

    being a chennaiite , i always wondered and was frustrated why there was no madras test though a madras test always drew loads of crowd. even recently me and my friends at work were discussing this. i thought they would blame monsoon for the schedule. like venkatraghavan said years ago pongal test was a usual occurrence. i remember vallajah road and bells road leading to chidambaram stadium used to be clogged all 5 days during the test. chennai pitch has vivid memories as recent as sehwags blockbust 319. thanks for writing about it and putting it second to eden gardens.

  • mpcobra on February 19, 2010, 18:27 GMT

    Best article for indian test cricket venues..There is no point in why BCCI shouldn't consider main cricketing venues.. BCCI Please listen to All metro cities and have more of Tests in metro cities rather then given them somewhere else. Test is pinnacle of cricket and BCCI should atleast have Test in Weekend and in Big cities like eden /mumbai/chennai/banglaore/hyderabad also.. no point in wasting sachins 50 centuries and rahul/sachin/laxmans end of days to some stadium where not even 10k people come in and encourage!!!!!! hates off sidarth for this wonderfull article and BCCI Please look into this and have more test matches and make sure india is number 1 for some time ;)

  • dr_sachinfan_chennai on February 19, 2010, 18:26 GMT

    Well written piece. Its high time BCCI marks few venues like Eden, Chepauk, Chinnaswamy, Wankadhe/CCI, Eden Park, Kotla(with lot of development) as regular Test Venues and The Jamtha, D.Y.Patil stadium, Mohali as T20 regulars with rest places like Jaipur, Uppal, Gwalior, Jamshedpur for O.D.Is. Lets develop a Test calendar based on our Holidays like Holi, Diwali, Pongal, NewYear etc. India needs to do it coz now we are undoubtedly the Rulers of Cricket with our Financial and Fanbase.

  • FMatt on February 19, 2010, 18:13 GMT

    Well said, Sidharth, appreciate this article very much. I am not sure it will have much impact on BCCI's decisions but at least you have done your part. I grew up in A'bad and couldn't agree more about people thronging in if it is an ODI match (well, or now, a T20 match) but very few showing up for a Test match. I say, move it to venues where people care and would like to watch Test cricket. BCCI, HELLO??? Anybody listening?

  • sitaram58 on February 19, 2010, 17:51 GMT

    Sid admirable sentiments. But since when do sentiments have a place inthe real world of business and poilitics.

    One must appeasse the numerous boards to stay in power (cannot do so by giving free rein to the TN, Mumbai, CAB and DDCA). Besides, who cares about the paying crowd when sponsors are lining up to buy television rights for enormous sums of money.

    Cheers

    Siti

  • gaithersburgman on February 19, 2010, 17:49 GMT

    There is a cherished history associated with the stadiums of Eden Gardens of Calcutta, Chepauk of Madras, Ferozshah Kotla of Delhi, Brabourne Stadium of Bombay and Green Park of Kanpur, no less the Cricketing Greats who made them immortal. Memories of such greats as Vijay Hazare, Vinoo Mankad, Vijay Merchant etc playing at these sites are permanantly etched in the minds of the fans who were actually there and truly love the game of cricket. We have cast the history aside for instant gratification of One-Day Cricket and devalued the game in its traditional form. ODIs and Twenty20 are for entertainment and are meant for sites in Ahmedabad, Mohali, Nagpur, Gawalior and the like. True form of Cricket played for National Pride and the Record Books belong to the hollowed grounds of the traditional sities, where the populace understands and reveres the history of the game.

  • sonofchennai on February 19, 2010, 17:33 GMT

    Very much true...I am a chennaite and I long for test matches here but it seldom happens. That the last match played vs Eng is in a distant memory but for some scintillating Indian chase. Nagpur has hosted about 5 matches in all formats after that. I am not against a city/state but this doesn't even look like a rotation of venues..Hope BCCI looks into this and acts prompt

  • on February 19, 2010, 17:30 GMT

    A very good point made. Unfortunately, as others have said the BCCI hardly cares for (test) cricket. All they want is money in the fastest possible manner.

  • essargopalan on February 19, 2010, 17:22 GMT

    Like the Boxing Day Test, we also should have 3-4 Branded test every year

    1. Holi Day Test ( During the Time of Holi festival in Eden) 2. Pongal Day Test in Chennai( During the time of Pongal-- we will have 2-3 days of holiday) 3. Diwali Day Test (during the Time of Diwali in B'lore & Mumbai)

  • rocky on February 19, 2010, 17:20 GMT

    BCCI has a rotation policy for test venues???never knew that.I'm from hyderbad and we never have any test matches over there.Even though they built a new stadium 6-7 years back,they might have had 2-3 ODI's till now.Talking about crowds we had people coming in even to watch women's cricket,hockey,tennis any national or international matches we could get.I dont think Vishkapatanam had many matches either.There are atleast 20-25 good cricketing venues in the country where people enjoy test matches in the stadiums .If the stadium 'n grounds are not upto international standard.....make them.BCCI dos'nt lack funds,we have enough labour to build 'n to watch.Even the people of nagpur and mohali will watch the matches if they have just 1-2 a year instead of making it a soap opera playing all year. I think that sort of rotation would not only benefit the coffers of all local boards ,it would also making the game popular with the local crowds.

  • nish075 on February 19, 2010, 17:00 GMT

    I feel very sad that such a beautiful, strong, firm logic as this will go as uncared for by the BCCI as test cricket in venues like Nagpur and Mohali....

  • ElementaryJeeves on February 19, 2010, 16:16 GMT

    Wonderfully put Sidharth, it is about time the board paid some serious atetntion to their choice of venues. Let the Nagpurs and Ahmedabads of the world take their T20 matches and let the ultimate gladiatorial battle be reserved for the hallowed venues of Eden Gardens, Chepaukl and Brabourne.

  • katochnr on February 19, 2010, 16:11 GMT

    two thumbs up for this .. but then again BCCI seldom takes decisions which are logical

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  • katochnr on February 19, 2010, 16:11 GMT

    two thumbs up for this .. but then again BCCI seldom takes decisions which are logical

  • ElementaryJeeves on February 19, 2010, 16:16 GMT

    Wonderfully put Sidharth, it is about time the board paid some serious atetntion to their choice of venues. Let the Nagpurs and Ahmedabads of the world take their T20 matches and let the ultimate gladiatorial battle be reserved for the hallowed venues of Eden Gardens, Chepaukl and Brabourne.

  • nish075 on February 19, 2010, 17:00 GMT

    I feel very sad that such a beautiful, strong, firm logic as this will go as uncared for by the BCCI as test cricket in venues like Nagpur and Mohali....

  • rocky on February 19, 2010, 17:20 GMT

    BCCI has a rotation policy for test venues???never knew that.I'm from hyderbad and we never have any test matches over there.Even though they built a new stadium 6-7 years back,they might have had 2-3 ODI's till now.Talking about crowds we had people coming in even to watch women's cricket,hockey,tennis any national or international matches we could get.I dont think Vishkapatanam had many matches either.There are atleast 20-25 good cricketing venues in the country where people enjoy test matches in the stadiums .If the stadium 'n grounds are not upto international standard.....make them.BCCI dos'nt lack funds,we have enough labour to build 'n to watch.Even the people of nagpur and mohali will watch the matches if they have just 1-2 a year instead of making it a soap opera playing all year. I think that sort of rotation would not only benefit the coffers of all local boards ,it would also making the game popular with the local crowds.

  • essargopalan on February 19, 2010, 17:22 GMT

    Like the Boxing Day Test, we also should have 3-4 Branded test every year

    1. Holi Day Test ( During the Time of Holi festival in Eden) 2. Pongal Day Test in Chennai( During the time of Pongal-- we will have 2-3 days of holiday) 3. Diwali Day Test (during the Time of Diwali in B'lore & Mumbai)

  • on February 19, 2010, 17:30 GMT

    A very good point made. Unfortunately, as others have said the BCCI hardly cares for (test) cricket. All they want is money in the fastest possible manner.

  • sonofchennai on February 19, 2010, 17:33 GMT

    Very much true...I am a chennaite and I long for test matches here but it seldom happens. That the last match played vs Eng is in a distant memory but for some scintillating Indian chase. Nagpur has hosted about 5 matches in all formats after that. I am not against a city/state but this doesn't even look like a rotation of venues..Hope BCCI looks into this and acts prompt

  • gaithersburgman on February 19, 2010, 17:49 GMT

    There is a cherished history associated with the stadiums of Eden Gardens of Calcutta, Chepauk of Madras, Ferozshah Kotla of Delhi, Brabourne Stadium of Bombay and Green Park of Kanpur, no less the Cricketing Greats who made them immortal. Memories of such greats as Vijay Hazare, Vinoo Mankad, Vijay Merchant etc playing at these sites are permanantly etched in the minds of the fans who were actually there and truly love the game of cricket. We have cast the history aside for instant gratification of One-Day Cricket and devalued the game in its traditional form. ODIs and Twenty20 are for entertainment and are meant for sites in Ahmedabad, Mohali, Nagpur, Gawalior and the like. True form of Cricket played for National Pride and the Record Books belong to the hollowed grounds of the traditional sities, where the populace understands and reveres the history of the game.

  • sitaram58 on February 19, 2010, 17:51 GMT

    Sid admirable sentiments. But since when do sentiments have a place inthe real world of business and poilitics.

    One must appeasse the numerous boards to stay in power (cannot do so by giving free rein to the TN, Mumbai, CAB and DDCA). Besides, who cares about the paying crowd when sponsors are lining up to buy television rights for enormous sums of money.

    Cheers

    Siti

  • FMatt on February 19, 2010, 18:13 GMT

    Well said, Sidharth, appreciate this article very much. I am not sure it will have much impact on BCCI's decisions but at least you have done your part. I grew up in A'bad and couldn't agree more about people thronging in if it is an ODI match (well, or now, a T20 match) but very few showing up for a Test match. I say, move it to venues where people care and would like to watch Test cricket. BCCI, HELLO??? Anybody listening?