November 22, 2009

Why we need a truly global Champions League

Spreading the reach of cricket can best be achieved by expanding the Champions League, cutting Tests down to three days each, and using the franchise model effectively
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A recent MCC survey has unearthed the not-so-startling-news that only 7% of Indian cricket fans favour the Test version of the game. This follows close on the heels of news that Ireland intends to apply for full-member status of the ICC.

At a time when Test cricket is in serious need of an upgrade, the addition of another second- rate team isn't the answer. The competition already has two teams, Bangladesh and Zimbabwe, who shouldn't be qualified for Test cricket, and the former champion West Indies outfit is floundering.

There is a way forward for Ireland and other second-rung cricket nations, but it involves a radical shift in thinking and massive changes to cricket's scheduling. These aren't traits generally associated with cricket's staid administration.

The Champions League was such a hit that expanding the competition has merit. This would involve regional tournaments in burgeoning cricket regions like Europe, the USA, Japan, China and parts of Asia, from which teams would qualify for an expanded Champions League as it progresses towards becoming a genuine global tournament.

The major problems with the game, apart from not having an effective worldwide ruling body, include the imbalance in financial strength among the major cricket-playing countries and the heavy workload placed on star players because of the narrowness of competition.

Currently there are only four countries producing a surplus of potential international cricketers on a regular basis: India, Australia, South Africa and Pakistan. Those countries then have a problem finding meaningful employment for the surplus after enticing young players into a life of professional cricket by offering them a stint at an academy. Until the advent of the IPL, the only choice for such disillusioned players was a stint with an English county or league team in the off season to boost earnings received from playing at home. If these players also had the opportunity to compete in an expanded Champions League, where they could complement skilful locals from budding cricket regions, then a truly global competition is possible.

The easiest part is producing the players. The difficult part is getting cricket administrators to think globally and in the best interests of the game. Nevertheless, there is a precedent, as it took a broad vision to come up with the Champions League in the first place.

Ensuring a viable global competition would require the major cricket nations to adjust their international and domestic playing schedules. This would require an alteration to the international scheduling priority, where currently quantity far outranks quality. There would also have to be careful thought given to rules and regulations, especially as they apply to player transfers, because the countries that are adept at developing young cricketers must be compensated for their efforts.

A truly global Champions League would help broaden the game's revenue base, as well as advertising and television opportunities. It would also result in more meaningful employment avenues for a larger group of players and eventually lead to increased competition in international cricket

Then there would be the not-so-minor matter of current television contracts and commercial agreements. Renegotiating these contracts would require a certain amount of goodwill and trust on both sides. Nonetheless, it's amazing how adaptable commercial partners can be if the proposed product has the potential to be vibrant, create viewer interest and make money.

The franchise system, which has been so successful in the IPL, could be utilised in partnership with local associations in regions where the game is not so well established. Apart from having the potential to greatly increase the number of exciting cricket matches and breed new stars, a truly global Champions League would help broaden the game's revenue base, as well as advertising and television opportunities. It would also result in more meaningful employment avenues for a larger group of players and eventually lead to increased competition in international cricket.

To free up some time on the international cricket calendar, Tests could eventually be reduced to a duration of three seven-hour days played under lights. A Test World Championship would be a great place to trial this innovation. It would be a step back to the future, as Test matches in England were three-day contests right up until the late 1920s. With the modern game now moving forward at a frenetic pace, this is a feasible way of allowing players more rest between engagements. Also, by reducing the style-of-play disparity between the various forms of the game, it would be easier for players to flow from one version to another.

It's radical and it'll take a "let's bail out Wall street"-style hardsell. However, it might just be a way of broadening the fans' appreciation of the game and eventually provide a path to Test cricket for teams like Ireland.

Former Australia captain Ian Chappell is now a cricket commentator and columnist

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Alexk400 on November 25, 2009, 0:25 GMT

    Bad idea. Change for the sake of change is problem. It is like sachin's bad idea.

    Ian chappell is good most of the time. Not this time though. 7 session per day? or we play 15 man team?. How do you expect fast bowlers bowl that many overs without losing quality.

    What i want though something that should make TEST result oriented and remove boring draw unless it is truly draw. May be limit Max number of overs per side (include both innings).

  • Apata on November 24, 2009, 22:04 GMT

    If you decide which team scores more in their alloted overs in each innings then the team in a commanding position would just not declare their innings and would try to accumulate more runs. To have sell out crowds just have India play in your country or get Britney Spears to sing between breaks. That should serve the purpose

  • SirJR on November 24, 2009, 20:14 GMT

    I'm in for making the game bigger and more appealing for a broader range of people but not at the expense of the current test format. This format ensures that the most skillful players are playing the game and can reallly be the way to decide which country is the strongest cricket nation. I hope the hunger for $$$ doesn't kill the game we love, just like almost everything else in the world today.

  • SatyajitM on November 24, 2009, 13:19 GMT

    @eyballfallenout, I don't think the ODI series AUS v IND recently was meaningless. You wre probably not following them. Even Ian agrees "India vs Aus is never meaningless". But I do agree that in general we do not need 7 match bilateral ODI series. If it's interesting opponents like Ind vs Aus then it could be 5 matches. In other cases it could be 3. ODI does test certain qualities of players not tested by either of the two formats. Goings by crowd response to recent Ind-Aus series, it can be a crowd puller too. No of tests should be increased and we have to try to get results in most of them by improving pitch quality.

  • Daniel_Smith on November 24, 2009, 13:16 GMT

    The 2005 Ashes was a classic because there were two teams with an equal chance of winning. There was genuine competition between bat and ball. Contrast this with the current series between Sri Lanka and India. All the power lies with the batsmen therefore there is no competition. One sided matches are killing test cricket.

    Test matches are split into three sessions, if you make these sessions exciting then people will want to go and watch. I think the suggestion to have test cricket under flood lights has to be considered, as most people are at work during the day, but we do have CricInfo to keep us up to date!

  • jlw74 on November 23, 2009, 23:58 GMT

    I think Chappelli is on to something with the expansion of T20 to get more nations involved, however not at the expense of cutting 5 day tests back to 3 even though it has been done in the past. Less ODI's and make them more meaningful. Example the 12 ODI nations play each other twice a year home and away that equals 22 ODI'S for the year you finish on top you win something. Every two years we have the Champions Trophy instead and every four years the World Cup. The T20 Champions League could even expand to have a domestic 50 over championship (dunno but its an idea). The cricket world is evolving again in the 21st century but let us not jump the test cricket ship just yet nor right off those test nations who in the history of our great game are still babies.

  • PratUSA on November 23, 2009, 18:43 GMT

    Sorry Ian but have to disagree with you on this occasion. What made you think that people will come to watch tests if they were 3 days affairs and guaranteed to end in draws (unless pitch is a minefield or Australia playing Zimbabwe)? Most 4 days games in domestic cricket around the world end in stalemates today. And why would you want style of play to be same among different formats? How about just saying that we must give lethal injection to tests? In my mind too much cricket is the reason why people are missing from the ground and it's not just test cricket. Look what happened in recent T20Is in South Africa. Play less (not shorter games), give every match and series a context and buildup, and people will come to grounds.

  • Nampally on November 23, 2009, 16:55 GMT

    I like Ian Chappell's suggestions for a different format to 5 day Test cricket. Currently, after 5 days of battle, some matches still end in draws. This is what is killing the 5 day Test cricket. There are 2 ways to combat this. 1. Limit the number of overs for each side to say 110 overs/innings to a total of 440 overs in 4 innings. At the end which ever side scores more runs is the winner. This will permit 5 day cricket with slightly reduced overs per day 2. Reduce the Test cricket to 3 days with 60 overs per innings for each side - winner being the highest scorer. Just reducing the Test cricket to 3 days without any result is meaningless. Both 3 day or 5 day cricket with over limits will produce brighter cricket with results. They will be basically extension of ODI. The ODI's are very popular because at the end of the day there is a result. Having the Test cricket on a similar basis will meet the original intent of both the Test Cricket and the Popular ODI version.

  • pragmatist on November 23, 2009, 15:36 GMT

    Sorry Ian but you're way off on this one. Three-day Tests would kill the game. I would also take issue with the number of countries capable of producing international players, which I think is just wrong. And was the Champions League really a hit? I heard of tiny TV audiences and empty grounds.

  • shahid on November 23, 2009, 15:27 GMT

    This is an excellent idea from Chappelli. I think cricket should follow the football system. The bilateral series should not be played any more. There should be a premier league tournaments in every cricket playing countries at the same time like football. then the top teams from major cricket playing nations should then play the champions league. As far as test matches are concerned, they should be played on one off basis, in a way that the top ten test playing countries should play against each other once in an year. The top team would be the eventual champion. T20 should be played at the club or franchise level while tests and 50 over cricket, amongst the nations. Thats how cricket should be played every year with world cups of both 50 overs and T20 every 4 years time.

  • Alexk400 on November 25, 2009, 0:25 GMT

    Bad idea. Change for the sake of change is problem. It is like sachin's bad idea.

    Ian chappell is good most of the time. Not this time though. 7 session per day? or we play 15 man team?. How do you expect fast bowlers bowl that many overs without losing quality.

    What i want though something that should make TEST result oriented and remove boring draw unless it is truly draw. May be limit Max number of overs per side (include both innings).

  • Apata on November 24, 2009, 22:04 GMT

    If you decide which team scores more in their alloted overs in each innings then the team in a commanding position would just not declare their innings and would try to accumulate more runs. To have sell out crowds just have India play in your country or get Britney Spears to sing between breaks. That should serve the purpose

  • SirJR on November 24, 2009, 20:14 GMT

    I'm in for making the game bigger and more appealing for a broader range of people but not at the expense of the current test format. This format ensures that the most skillful players are playing the game and can reallly be the way to decide which country is the strongest cricket nation. I hope the hunger for $$$ doesn't kill the game we love, just like almost everything else in the world today.

  • SatyajitM on November 24, 2009, 13:19 GMT

    @eyballfallenout, I don't think the ODI series AUS v IND recently was meaningless. You wre probably not following them. Even Ian agrees "India vs Aus is never meaningless". But I do agree that in general we do not need 7 match bilateral ODI series. If it's interesting opponents like Ind vs Aus then it could be 5 matches. In other cases it could be 3. ODI does test certain qualities of players not tested by either of the two formats. Goings by crowd response to recent Ind-Aus series, it can be a crowd puller too. No of tests should be increased and we have to try to get results in most of them by improving pitch quality.

  • Daniel_Smith on November 24, 2009, 13:16 GMT

    The 2005 Ashes was a classic because there were two teams with an equal chance of winning. There was genuine competition between bat and ball. Contrast this with the current series between Sri Lanka and India. All the power lies with the batsmen therefore there is no competition. One sided matches are killing test cricket.

    Test matches are split into three sessions, if you make these sessions exciting then people will want to go and watch. I think the suggestion to have test cricket under flood lights has to be considered, as most people are at work during the day, but we do have CricInfo to keep us up to date!

  • jlw74 on November 23, 2009, 23:58 GMT

    I think Chappelli is on to something with the expansion of T20 to get more nations involved, however not at the expense of cutting 5 day tests back to 3 even though it has been done in the past. Less ODI's and make them more meaningful. Example the 12 ODI nations play each other twice a year home and away that equals 22 ODI'S for the year you finish on top you win something. Every two years we have the Champions Trophy instead and every four years the World Cup. The T20 Champions League could even expand to have a domestic 50 over championship (dunno but its an idea). The cricket world is evolving again in the 21st century but let us not jump the test cricket ship just yet nor right off those test nations who in the history of our great game are still babies.

  • PratUSA on November 23, 2009, 18:43 GMT

    Sorry Ian but have to disagree with you on this occasion. What made you think that people will come to watch tests if they were 3 days affairs and guaranteed to end in draws (unless pitch is a minefield or Australia playing Zimbabwe)? Most 4 days games in domestic cricket around the world end in stalemates today. And why would you want style of play to be same among different formats? How about just saying that we must give lethal injection to tests? In my mind too much cricket is the reason why people are missing from the ground and it's not just test cricket. Look what happened in recent T20Is in South Africa. Play less (not shorter games), give every match and series a context and buildup, and people will come to grounds.

  • Nampally on November 23, 2009, 16:55 GMT

    I like Ian Chappell's suggestions for a different format to 5 day Test cricket. Currently, after 5 days of battle, some matches still end in draws. This is what is killing the 5 day Test cricket. There are 2 ways to combat this. 1. Limit the number of overs for each side to say 110 overs/innings to a total of 440 overs in 4 innings. At the end which ever side scores more runs is the winner. This will permit 5 day cricket with slightly reduced overs per day 2. Reduce the Test cricket to 3 days with 60 overs per innings for each side - winner being the highest scorer. Just reducing the Test cricket to 3 days without any result is meaningless. Both 3 day or 5 day cricket with over limits will produce brighter cricket with results. They will be basically extension of ODI. The ODI's are very popular because at the end of the day there is a result. Having the Test cricket on a similar basis will meet the original intent of both the Test Cricket and the Popular ODI version.

  • pragmatist on November 23, 2009, 15:36 GMT

    Sorry Ian but you're way off on this one. Three-day Tests would kill the game. I would also take issue with the number of countries capable of producing international players, which I think is just wrong. And was the Champions League really a hit? I heard of tiny TV audiences and empty grounds.

  • shahid on November 23, 2009, 15:27 GMT

    This is an excellent idea from Chappelli. I think cricket should follow the football system. The bilateral series should not be played any more. There should be a premier league tournaments in every cricket playing countries at the same time like football. then the top teams from major cricket playing nations should then play the champions league. As far as test matches are concerned, they should be played on one off basis, in a way that the top ten test playing countries should play against each other once in an year. The top team would be the eventual champion. T20 should be played at the club or franchise level while tests and 50 over cricket, amongst the nations. Thats how cricket should be played every year with world cups of both 50 overs and T20 every 4 years time.

  • eyballfallenout on November 23, 2009, 13:46 GMT

    stop playing international 20-20 reduce the amount of limmited over matches, and concentrate on a proper series from visiting nations. 5 test series starting with 2 first class games and then 5 ODI to finish it off. can play everyone once every 2 years. Stop producing flat garbage wickets and then you will have great cricket that means something every time they play, unlike those meaningless ODI AUSv IND recently.

  • asdeq on November 23, 2009, 11:14 GMT

    50/50 Cricket is the best formula for me. T20 is the most entertaing but its too mindless if you know what I mean. And Tests are the soul of cricket but they are a bit boring in my opinion ;)

  • tfjones1978 on November 23, 2009, 10:15 GMT

    I agree with expanding Champions League. I would have 1 team from each full member and associate domestic champion from each region (using a knockout system). Champions League should alternate between 4day, 50over & 20over with 4th year (ODI World Cup) off. Regarding test cricket, test championship of 12 teams (2 tiers relegated with associates) I agree with, 3 days I dont. Change tests from being innings by innings to be session by session (4 sessions a day, 25,25,20,20) with last 2 sessions after 6pm. Session by session will give each team 2 sessions batting each day (until 20 wickets lost), whilst still allows 450 over match (with draw much less likely). One sided matches likely to finish in 2 days and close matches will be close during the entire match, not just at the end. EG: At Stumps D2: (One Sided) A 120 & 180, B 3/301 [VS] A 120 & 5/500. (Close) A 3/270 B 4/302 [VS] A 450 B 1/100. Both occasions, crowd can see who is winning & players get equal share at pitch, so better wins.

  • GuyFromLancs on November 23, 2009, 10:08 GMT

    Can't agree with this one bit. I would have tests open-ended so teams had to play for a result.

  • Siddharth_Pandit on November 23, 2009, 9:22 GMT

    3 day tests sound bizzare to me, when we are not able to get results after 5 days in many matches. This would in turn lead to disappointment amongst fans. Touching the purest form of game would create disinterest in the game itself. However, the idea for CL looks cool.

  • thetrickster on November 23, 2009, 8:31 GMT

    Sorry Chappelli can't agree with 3 day tests. Boring draws will breakout all over the place. 3 day test might have worked on uncovered pitches, but sadly I don't see them making a come back, imagine the whinging from batsmen!

    Administrators around the world need to organise their test matches better. Tomorrow the Kiwis take on Pakistan, a test starting on a Tuesday!!! Which marketing genius thought of that? Put test matches on the best days, promote them in a postive manner, free entry for kids, all sorts of ideas to keep test matches as numero uno.

  • ww113 on November 23, 2009, 8:17 GMT

    For me,international Cricket is what it is all about.I couldn't care less about franchises,no matter how much song and dance there is.

  • Riderstorm on November 23, 2009, 7:18 GMT

    The case of 3-day test is interesting. But in such a case, the pitches made for these matches "must" be neutral in terms of providing support for the bowlers as it does to the batsmen. In such a case, the speed of the game improves alot also the flavor of test cricket remains as the players are tested for the rigors of the longer version sustaining the interest of the viewing public. This said, if the pitches are as of now, then there would be hardly any result oriented matches.

  • Mcroos on November 23, 2009, 7:14 GMT

    Test matchs are the best to watch always but need to take out batting paradise wickets which is killing the intrest of test matchs.What i suggest no home matchs for any test sides in the world.So there will be no any more benifits for the home side since what ever the teams play they are playing on a another country. we need to protect test cricket which is such a great thing to watch. just forget about the crowed about home matches.

  • Browndog1968 on November 23, 2009, 2:41 GMT

    No Ian, sorry mate, your ideas are as boring as your commentary. Typical ex cricketer having a say for a say's sake. Test cricket hasn't changed so much, you and your ilk are just comparing the crowd numbers for test matches against those of 50/50 and T20. In Australia numbers at the ground were never that great against the likes or SriLanka and Pakistan, years ago they were poor against India and South Africa, now however some of these teams pack grounds in Australia. The 2006 Ashes in Australia broke attendence records at some grounds much like the West Indies games of the late 80s. OK the West Indies have slipped in strength and therefore people wont turn up but that is balanced by packed houses against India and Sth Africa. Test cricket is still strong in our minds however the administration that runs the game is in desperate need of an overhaul. Allowing Zimb and Bangladesh to continue playing just so the boardroom power stays in the hands of the sub continent is killing the game.

  • Vencurd on November 23, 2009, 2:10 GMT

    There is no way on earth possible to get a result in a 3 day match at the international level. Shortening test cricket is certainly not the way.

  • JasonS on November 23, 2009, 0:49 GMT

    rony1008 back in the old days they used to have 3 day Tests in England and South Africa back in the 1890's and the 1900's and of course in Australia they had timeless Tests back then.

  • joshharnett on November 22, 2009, 23:50 GMT

    To JOSEPH: The problem plaguing Test Cricket stems from having very few world class bowlers on the world stage. Test cricket is about being able to take 20 wickets in a match and not about overscoring the opponent.

    The format suggested you does not take care of that issue. For example, Both the sides play out the 180 overs on placid tracks piliing hundreds of runs. Would that be exciting for you? - Kunal

  • Anneeq on November 22, 2009, 23:44 GMT

    Test cricket is our joule, this is the untouchable cricket, the cricket that has stayed the same for so long. And it should most definitely stay like that, we either have it or we dont.

    ODI's should be scrapped, they are an unnecessary workload for a cricketer as the fans quite obviously moved on from this innovation and love the twenty20 format. Yes we have had some good moments, but theres been plenty of amazing twenty20 moments like the Dutch winning England. Keiron Pollards match winning batting for Trinidad & Tobago.

    What we need is a format where 'minnow' nations domestic winners battle it out for a quota of places in the Champions league competition, whilst the domestic winners of all the test playing nations have a reserved slot. That way the cricketing authorities of the minnows will see the money on offer and fight hard to produce world class teams, which may cause upsets that attract the attention of their nations.

  • Bobby_Talyarkhan on November 22, 2009, 22:06 GMT

    Once again Ian Chappell proves himself the most farsighted, acutely perceptive and resolutely radical voice in the game. He thinks out of the box, challenges established authority and boldly traverses new frontiers, just as he did in his days as fearless, twinkle toed batsman and militant, heroic leader of his all conquering merry band of marauders. You don't have to agree with all of Ian's proposals to realise that here speaks a true cricket lover, standing foursquare on the basic principles of the sport we know and love yet always aware of the need to innovate and change in response to a changing world. Bravo Chappelli!

  • NWorsn on November 22, 2009, 21:31 GMT

    Reducing test matches to three days would increase the number of draws dramatically. Teams would hardly have enough time to set up a win. Ian Chappell should really think out his ideas a bit before committing them to paper ..

  • RomanNoseJob on November 22, 2009, 21:16 GMT

    a franchise first class model is interesting. In football club matches are higher standard than internationals, and rugby is actually going the same way in europe with the heineken cup being the best quality european rugby, not the 6 nations.

    However, 3 day tests? can't agree there.

  • kunal9657 on November 22, 2009, 20:26 GMT

    Test matches should not and never be altered. A players calibre always lies in how many test runs he has scored. 20 - 20 cricket will be played less over a period of time due to player burnouts and star players opting out of IPLs.

  • Philip_Gnana on November 22, 2009, 19:51 GMT

    A very broad outline of issues facing and the potential for future cricket. How many of the boards are driven by passion for cricket. It looks more and more that commercial reasons are the deciding and motivating factors not what is good for the game.

    It would be a huge leap for cricket if the Champion League style as outlined can be taken to more regions especially USA & China. Good work has been done to promote cricket - Afghanistan and Ireland (to an extent 'cos of imports). Afghanistan have been a revelation to all. What talent too. If only cricket can overcome politics. Five day cricket is a farce. It can finished in four days. Because of India's clout the franchise system is going to be based on what is good for the BCCI. We need to accept this fact. Truely a fantastic venture (recognising commercialism) for future of the players too. The County Cricket has been a great ambassador for cricket without the multi-million $s. Money could have changed this. Philip Gnana Surrey

  • juggie29 on November 22, 2009, 19:32 GMT

    Thanks Ian, 3 day tests are the way to go. However, the ICC should consider breaking tests into a set of 3,45-50 overs a side games. The overall result of the test would be guaranteed. Tests should be played with red balls and on the same pitch for the game's duration. A rest day should be considered. A team of 14-15 soud be picked and able to be changed between games. Imagine the appeal to the younger and broader audience! Everyday would be a new game so the stadiums are more likely to fill up. And finally this gives opportunity for the lesser nations to come up in the game. The traditonal format should only be left for marquee series (if the romantics insist)!

  • cric_freak88 on November 22, 2009, 19:31 GMT

    hmmmmm ...

    i guess the only ppl who want test cricket to suffer die or altered are some former players who are bored of commentating in a 5 day game.

    it's not the former players who matter , it's the current int'l players who matter most !

    ask Sachin / dravid / ponting / kallis / yousuf / vettori / muralitharan about altering test cricket they'd give u a whack(just kiddin)

    but all of em dont want to tamper test cricket. It;s the only format of the game which tells how good a side / player is .

  • Zahidsaltin on November 22, 2009, 19:15 GMT

    continued...... So Mr. Ian, the interest in tests is gone through imposing restrictions on bowlers and prepairing wickets where 1600 runs are scored in 2½ innings (india-SL). Interest in tests will be not lesser in subcontinent if there are wickets with those sexy pictures of wicketkeeper+4 slips and a gully with balls flying next to batsmens ear. In subcontinent its so painfull to see express bowlers like shoaib even balling good length with coming at knee hight and sometimes lower and getting an extra bounce before reaching the keeper. India SL and Pakistan have to creat those wickets to revive the support.

  • bobwd on November 22, 2009, 19:12 GMT

    The franchise model will only widen the divide in international cricket. Two or three teams will overspend and hog the major talent -- just witness major league baseball. There is a reason the Yankees are the most winningest franchise and the most hated team in sport.

  • Zahidsaltin on November 22, 2009, 19:07 GMT

    An international panne of experts should be there to monitor the wickets and only the balanced pitches should be approved for test playing. 85% of the matches played on supportive and balanced wickets will produce results in 4 days. Yes Lights can be used to get some more overs from a days play but would you go on playing with the same red ball when lights are on? I dont know what is the purpose? why should a test match be cut to 3 or 4 days. Why cant we keep it to 5 days but do some work so that a very high percentage of matches are finished within 4 days. Batsmen have enjoyed favours in last 20 years and this should be time to give something to bowlers, to make the matches attractive. I remember the days when Andy, Croft, Garner,Holding and Marshell were tearing apart the batting line ups and were regarded bigger heroes. And the batsmen had to be Gavaskers, Borders Miandad and Ians to earn respects and not like today where every team has 4 of them with 50+ averages... Wickets man!

  • stabby02 on November 22, 2009, 18:49 GMT

    This is my idea:

    Australia,England,S.Africa n India all have money and Good,Organised Domestic cricket.All other countries would have their own domestic leagues as well,but those 4 would be the ones attracting the BIG names.

    There would be rules about home-based players n suchlike similar to the IPL rules.Club cricket will be like club football,year round,and it will follow basically the same format the domestic cricket uses atm."Test",ODI n T20 cups would be played,and there would be International breaks at some points as well,to have Test Series(3,4,5 match,Ashes,India v Pakis),maybe ODI series as well but very little(3match series),but there would be ODI tournaments n T20 tournaments for International teams(i.e T20 World Cup,ODI World Cup).Of course,there would also be the T20 Champions league as well.

  • rony1008 on November 22, 2009, 17:11 GMT

    I have tremendous respect for Ian. But I can not agree with him this time. Three day test cricket is not a way forward. In fact that won't be test cricket at all, it will be another category of test cricket like the ODIs, T20s, test cricket. Three day first class matches are boring. I am sorry to say in the name of making cricket more interesting, many people including few ex-cricketers are coming up with radical ideas. I hope this ideas remain as ideas. As for Ian Chappell, I think he needs to take a break from coming up with these sort of ideas, may even take a break from writing cricket related articles. Being an ex-cricketer does not give him any right to destroy one of the most exciting category of cricket which unlike popular belief has significant fan following.

  • Joseph226 on November 22, 2009, 16:51 GMT

    guys, here's a new way u can play tests: a four day match...team winning toss selects to bat or field...the 90 overs in 1st day-1st innings---one team will bat....2nd day---other team bats the 90 overs......day 3---2nd innings---1st team bats or follow through.....day 4---other teams 2nd innings..........so both teams plays 180 overs...and the result will most probably be never draw match....its kind of like an extended ODI.........what do u think??

  • kalbavigr on November 22, 2009, 16:46 GMT

    Ian, the idea of a test championship is great, but changing the format of the game to 3-day is not. You have forgotten all the great matches where the real intrigue was on day 4 and 5 when the teams are trying to win or save the match. Perhaps, each year, we should divide the test teams into two regions (for ex: East and West) Pick the top 2 teams in each zone and then have them play for the world title at the end of the year. It is ok to reduce the size of the series to 3 for each zone. Also ok to rotate the teams in East and West. Also, I think test cricket will become more interesting if the series itself is played on different surfaces - for example, one great batting pitch, one spin and one for pace. (Similar to tennis tourneys where Wimbledon is grass, French is clay, etc.). But please, despite the claim that test cricket is dying, that's a load of bull. Viewership has shifted to TV and people don't have to watch every minute of the game. But there are zillions of test fans still

  • china_vanilla_bear on November 22, 2009, 16:20 GMT

    Here are some solutions to reviving the dying test format in the subcontinent: 1. No more monday-friday test matches, kids are in school, people are at work, its ridiculous. You cant even watch it on TV if your at work, which baffles me why TV broadcasters pay so much to have NO ONE watch mid-week games. 2. make tickets in india, single day tickets, so you dont have to fork out money for all 5 days! i live and breathe test cricket, but i cannot watch all 5 days at the ground. too hot. 3. increase the minimum overs to 105 a day, within the same 6 hour period, thus more cricket, and more action in a day. 4. T20 money should subsidise test cricket. 5. drop bangladesh and zimbabwe from the test calendar permantly and suspend west indies if contract disputes occur AGAIN, its embarrassing to have bangladesh versus a second string team in a test match. cutting to 3 days is not the answer, it will just be batsmen throwing their wickets, much bowlers getting clobbered, much like 20/20.

  • CMIS on November 22, 2009, 16:06 GMT

    Ian, I largely agree with your opinions, but it pains me to see that you advocate three-day tests. Between flat pitches and your suggestion, will come the demise of the great format. Please leave tests as they are; tinkering with the roots might actually cause the whole tree to collapse. No daynighters, no pink balls and please, please, no 3 day tests. Some things are sacred

  • ramkip on November 22, 2009, 15:53 GMT

    Great idea. It is a must to increase the reach of cricket to the other countries where it is not that popular. The only way is to go for T20 leagues. Even today, I don't think Bangladesh or Zimbabwe can dream of beating Aus or SA in a test match. If this is the condition of existing players forget about new countries taking up test cricket. I am not sure apart from cricket which game is played for 5 days! Make 1st innings 80 overs each and second innings 60 overs each. These overs are good enough to show the "cricketing skills" that the purists are looking for

  • NBRADEE on November 22, 2009, 14:46 GMT

    Hopefully, someone will one day examine the fact that the best sport franchises are not based on country as it is in cricket. In the Caribbean teams compete regionally rahter than as a sports franchise - if there is a paucity of talent and funds in one region, coupled with poor administration that does not have profit as one of its pillars for success. If replaced by a franchise system as exists in soccer and other sports worldwide, perhaps the best players only will play and not just those who qualify as residents to represent their teams. Wrto Test cricket, until the ICC and all others who love this format the most realise that it is being played too often among teams that are not competitively balanced or at periods of time that are challenged by the weather, 40 to 50 years will be too long for it to die. Play a Test Championship every year and there may be interest poured back into the game... both for fans and sponsors. Players careers would be less injury prone, etc.

  • SatyajitM on November 22, 2009, 14:43 GMT

    I am ok with a Champions league where teams from upcoming countries can participate (but make sure they meet a basic standard). The idea of 3 day test cricket is absolutely crazy! We are not getting results with even 5 day test and you expect 3 day test to yield result? If anything we need to improve the standard of pitches so that 5 day test give result at least 75% times. 3 day cricket will be killing the game itself. Ian's comment "The Champions League was such a hit" is only half truth. While matches themselves were ok by cricketing standards but stadium attendance was average and TV ratings were abysmal. The one format which proved to be hit both in terms of cricket and audience rating was the Ind-Aus ODI series (lot of people had paid obituary to ODI recently). If anything increase number of test matches (improve pitch standard), have moderate number of ODI and very few international T20s. T20 is ok as a club format.

  • Kafir on November 22, 2009, 14:42 GMT

    Recently, Akash Chopra wrote: "Bowlers win tests, batmen win ODI/T20". His reasoning for this unrealistic advantage to the batsman in shorter version is "the absence of FEAR factor" for the batsman! I do think so. I love bowlers aggression and love it even more when batman gives it back - this dual is completely taken off in shorter formats. Here is what I think cricket should be played to test the batsman's grit/talent (like in Tests) but also short and entertaining (as in T20). 15-20 overs per inning. only 5 wickets - 5 batsmen+1 wicket keeper - allowed to bat; likewise, only 5 specialist bowlers should be allowed to bowl. This will mean the onus is on batsmen when the side is batting and on bowlers when the side is fielding. This will obviously remove allrounders - I can do with that (what's the use of Freddies, Pathans, etc). Specialists are the best any day! This will instill FEAR into the batsman's mind and bowlers can be at their aggressive best. No need to waste 1-5 d anymore!!

  • ww113 on November 22, 2009, 14:17 GMT

    Must say I'm a bit surprised you did not include England in the list of countries producing potential surplus international cricketers.Also,sometime back you had written an article "why night is not right" for test cricket.Now you are advocating three day tests under lights !

  • dragqueen1 on November 22, 2009, 13:56 GMT

    further more one of the reasons that Ireland are applying for full membership is so their best players have the opportunity to play at the highest level FOR IRELAND not being forced to change nationalities to acheive personal success.it surely helps nobody for the small pool of players of a good enough standard to be depleted. if anyone is truly intreasted in the globalisation of the game that is a serious area for concern.

  • dragqueen1 on November 22, 2009, 13:45 GMT

    it's an intresting article & there's little doubt that the sport needs to have a serious look at itself. i have to admit i quite enjoyed the CL but i've got my doubts it was quite the success IC would have us believe there seemed to be a lot of empty seats at times but i see more milage in this than the CT.however i fail to see how the presence of a Dublin or Shanghai team in the CL filled with Pakistani or Australian players(RL anyone) would benefit the Irish or Chinnese CU.he seems to completely misunderstand what happens within soccer's CL where players from small nations join big clubs what he's suggesting here is the exact opposite. on his idea for3 day tests, why 7 hour days, surely 8 would mean a drop to an equivilent of a 4 day test, something which has been suggested elsewhere however under this proposal the loss of a days play to rain is even more devestating maybe if we had a test championship we could trail it there but we haven't and nor are we likely to any time soon.

  • jakaria on November 22, 2009, 13:38 GMT

    Ian is absolutely right . His point is to make cricket more global . Popularity of T20 should be spread around the world .As a result , surplus players of strong nations will be heavily motivated to perform in the field and that will surely make cricket more interesting to watch . Most importantly , test cricket needs some radical changes .

  • Pramod75 on November 22, 2009, 13:14 GMT

    3 Day matches are not answer to improve test viewing. I am surprised that no one including Greats are thinking about simple chages. For Ex: Ensure sporting pitches, no restriction on Bouncers (after all batsmen are well protected these days) and start calling leg side balls as wide. This might make things more intersting than they are right now. To start with Ahmedabad like venues should not be given any more tests. Day Night games will definitely make viewing more interesting. More over I think Test cricket should be played only by top 6 teams and other teams should play 3 day games with second set of top 6 teams (like India A, Pak A etc).This will give them explosure to grow and develop. At the same time, I agree that expanding sport will give extra spark to the game in years to come. Before doing that some one should ensure players play for only one franchise and not for multiple teams depending on the tournament. ODIs should be more championship oriented and T20's more bilateral.

  • RCBABA on November 22, 2009, 12:45 GMT

    Ian Chappell as always is very clear , analytical and to the point. He does a lot of homework and thinking. He brings the same approach to his comments as a writer/commentator, which he used to during his playing days as a batsman and captain. The only difference is that he is very refined now. I would like to make only 1 suggestion .....Test Match Cricket if it has to be changed , should be 4 days of 6 hours . The Whites and the Red Cherry should stay. I also feel that there should be a ELITE n PLATE DIVISION with ELEVATION n RELEGATIONS... ONLY FROM THE NEW TEAMS. The Old Test Teams should not be part of the relegation process but can be ranked as per performance.

  • CMIS on November 22, 2009, 12:41 GMT

    Ian, I largely agree with your opinions, but it pains me to see that you advocate three-day tests. Between flat pitches and your suggestion, will come the demise of the great format. Please leave tests as they are; tinkering with the roots might actually cause the whole tree to collapse. No daynighters, no pink balls and please, please, no 3 day tests. Some things are sacred

  • Woody111 on November 22, 2009, 12:33 GMT

    Just because limited over cricket more reliably produces results does not make it a justification for re-modeling test cricket. It has been mentioned that the number of test matches should be reduced. How can this be reduced any further? Can there be more 20 and 50 over games scheduled? I hope not! Smarter scheduling is the answer. Sometimes clever organising goes on and other times it doesn't. While Aus' 50 over stuff in India was good cricket according to many, why was Sri Lanka not playing when they have a test series shortly after and Aus races home for its summer of cricket? If I have to accept that 20/20 will remain internationally competed in and silly isolated 50 over series be bled for dollars, I cannot accept test cricket being compromised through short attention spanned changes. No matter how much we love Trinidad and Tobago fighting in the Champion's League; their success will not culminate in West Indies heading forward in test series.

  • Sanks555 on November 22, 2009, 12:13 GMT

    On pitches like Motera, even seven-day Test cricket will not yield results. And as far as IPL is concerned, I don't see how it is a big success. The quality of the teams has been put into question by the Champions league. No great talent has been unearthed by it during its two years. In popularity, it cannot be compared to the India-Australia series. The injuries, due to IPL, is hampering the Indian team even today.

  • Anu-srilanka on November 22, 2009, 12:06 GMT

    Yse T20 is the best format to spread cricket to other countries.It,s true. Bu reducing Tests to 3 days.What a stupid idea.I can't believe Ian Chappell said this.Almost all the tests will be draws and this idea will kill the format.I don't know is that the thing they want. Please commentaors, analysts... leave Tests as it is now.We can understand why Indo fans hate Tests. The best example is SLvIND 1st Test. It's the fault of the pitch not the format.

  • Garson007 on November 22, 2009, 12:02 GMT

    The solution still is, and always was, to introduce a league system into test Cricket. It really isn't that hard to grasp. Say six teams in every division.

  • Hoggy_1989 on November 22, 2009, 11:33 GMT

    Chappelli has missed the point completely. Firstly, there is a simple reason why Indians don't like Test cricket, and you only have to look at the 1st Test between India and Sri Lanka to see why. That pitch they played on is not a Test pitch, hell its not even worthy of an under 12s match. Who would want to rock up and see the world's best spin bowler be absolutely humbled by the batsman, cause the pitch produces no turn on the 5th day. Following on from that, and echoing maddy_cric's point: How does he think we can get consistent results from a 3 day Test match? Nevermind the point where we're going to abandon the fundamental point of Test cricket (5 days of play), as daschit said earlier on. The solution is simple. Get the BCCI's head out of the sand and see that it is killing cricket by chasing money with big TV rights, which basically ensure that 5 days must be played for maximum money, which in turn guarantees flat pitches will be made and played on.

  • QasimCheema on November 22, 2009, 10:38 GMT

    I hope Ian reads the feedback, would like to see his response to these comments. Global Champion League would be awesome something in the nature of UEFA champions league... but 3 day cricket???stupid beyond belief. Has anyone ever heard golfers saying to change golf to accomodate the fast paced world??i only ever remember 4 days of 12hours golf and still it is one of the most watched sports so y should we change test cricket??or 1day for that matter??t20 is a new format and let it find its place but don't mess around with the real cricket leave it as is, it has survived this long y won't it survive forever??? crickets worst enemy are its own so-called experts and lovers, y is there such a complex of making everything quicker??let us watch test and 1day in peace as is!!!

  • Uranium on November 22, 2009, 9:06 GMT

    3 day test cricket? 75% of games will be draws.

  • truefan001 on November 22, 2009, 8:40 GMT

    I've a question to Those who are opposing T20. You want to watch quality cricket thats why you prefer Test Cricket. But do you enjoy a match between Zimbabwe and Australia? No! Why isn't that Test Cricket? See that is the problem we are going to face in future when Only a couple of tems will be able to play quality cricket if Cricket is not globalised. And one thing on which you all will agree is that Cricket can't be a global game with help of Test Matches. No body is saying that demolish Test cricket. Just decrease the no of test matches and prepare other non cricketing nations wid help of T20. Once they will have cricket at grass root level they will try to achieve Test status for pride thus producing a lot of good cricketer and eventually quality cricket. I know it is easier said then done but let's give it a chance. After all how can you justify, India a country of over a billion playing with Zimbabwe having a bunch of cricketers who will be thrashed even in Ranji trophy!!

  • Test_Match_Fan on November 22, 2009, 7:40 GMT

    I do not watch anything except Test Match cricket. Sorry but every other format is just some entertainment but certainly not cricket. Ask any cricketer what is their dream. They will tell you that it is to play in the gold standard of cricket i.e. 5 day Test match. Australia is the Gold Standard of Test Match criket. Very sad state of affairs, now that even Ian Chappel has decended to not supporting 5 day Test Match cricket.

  • maddy_cric on November 22, 2009, 7:27 GMT

    Well, Ian has got his strong points but I fail to see how tests can have results in 3 days. Basing the result on first innings scores etc makes no sense to the very idea behind tests. Day/night tests is definitely something that can be tried. Also, its high time people start realizing that T-20 is just more and more money and stop having more and more tournaments. After all, who cares?...Because this champs league was staged in India, people end up going..if not, I am sure the viewership would not have been half as much..Tests have always been for the elite and the well informed cricket viewer..Its not worth trying to alter it so that it appeals to everyone..

  • Kevenergy on November 22, 2009, 6:53 GMT

    Reducing Test cricket to 21 hours of play from 30 hours would be the equivalent of reducing a doctors training from 7 years to less than 5 years. I certainly would not visit that doc and similarly a test players skills would be limited. We have seen the benefits of the reduced form of cricket creeping into the longer version, with faster scoring rates per over, more variety in stroke-play, greater skill in the field and better variation in the ball delivery - and we have more results and fewer draws in Tests. Agreed, we need to broaden the appeal of the great game, but do it without taking away the ultimate "Test". The shorter versions of the game (and we agree that these are the most commercially viable) must be promoted as far as possible and taken to all corners of the globe with various championships and leagues. The top echelon (Test cricket) will be played by the top 10 teams with promotion/relegation matches played every couple of years

  • Idol on November 22, 2009, 6:29 GMT

    Surely,opinions will be divided on Ian's views. I tend to agree with his suggestion on Champions League. T20 is an easier format for rookie countries to master & may help globalise the game. The only issue is that we may land up changing the fabric of the game irreversibly. Once that path is taken - administrators, players, TV viewers, in-stadia spectators, marketers all will be disinterested in Tests. Also, cricket's unique aspects - the impact of weather,challenges on different days of a game, old ball vs new ball tactics - all will be lost permanently. Yes, he is suggesting to have a 3 day test - but that sounds half-hearted. The better way, would be to stop ODIs. Play more T20s. This will leave more time to play tests. Also, a Test World Cup will ensure high interest levels and revive the sport - both on and off the field. T20s emerged from ODIs. Tests have always been unique. We must not lose the players who will stand the "Test" in the true sense

  • rahulbhagchandani on November 22, 2009, 6:18 GMT

    Think globalizing Champions league is something everyone must think about! No matter the TRP and ground entries reduced in its first season if the local teams (i.e. the IPL teams) didn't participated in the game. I have in the past opined about having a multi-nation multi-venue tournament just like the one going to happen while during CWC 2011. If the CL can take place in a couple of countries, more public can be duly attracted. And of course, except cricket traditionalists and intellects, most people will be partial towards the match where the players from their country will be playing. The other part of the column is something, I'd rather be on the contrary. If the test cricket is cut-shorted to 3 days, more complications for the traditions of the game will arise, and bet, ICC won't take a risk on that. The immediate effects will be like more and more draws and if we have Motera-like pitches in these games, we could have the game being ending within the first innings itself!

  • pradeep_dealwis on November 22, 2009, 5:52 GMT

    The Idea of a global Champions League...absolutely Brilliant!... the idea of reducing tests to 3 days...stupid beyond comprehension!.. i strongly agree that T20 will be the format to spread cricket to China and North America and Europe,and the ICC should do everything it can in that regard ...but leave T3est Cricket as the beautiful game it is...10 test playing nation is MORE than enough...(probably BAN and ZIM need time to develop)...less quantity and more quality will keep test cricket the way it ..and increasing revenue from T20 SHOULD subsidize the old format. and i saw this interesting column in The Age, where they suggested China should host the 2023 ICC world Cup..i think its a brilliant idea considering China growing interest in the game.

  • T20funda on November 22, 2009, 5:46 GMT

    I totaly agree with Mr chapell franchise system will surely play a key role in globalising the game .Playing three day tests under lights is also a good option but then i think first ings decider should be started .

  • richaus on November 22, 2009, 5:44 GMT

    The ideas provided here are what cricket needs right now. Chappell is very right in saying that having international cricket as the only main attraction has great limitations, especially for countries where there are so many great players (you can only fit 11 in an international team, at the end of the day). other sports thrive under a club/franchise system, where players the world over can play in many different leagues, while enriching the experiences of other players they encounter. There is no reason why cricket can't do the same.

  • 9ST9 on November 22, 2009, 5:33 GMT

    "three seven-hour days played under lights." for test cricket?? Well to do that the ICC will have to make sure no dead tracks like the one at ahamadabad are made for these 3-day encounters, else someone will soon have to suggest one-inning per-side test matches, to produce a result.

  • Percy_Fender on November 22, 2009, 5:29 GMT

    Umpiring referrals is passe. What we could have is a software by which decisions for lbws and close catches be worked out by the hawkeye techniques and the verdict left to the computer not the 3rd umpire.I am sure technology will enable this verdict to be given on the giant screen. In this manner the Bucknors,the Koertzens and the Bensons of the umpiring pantheon will breathe easy.With such changes Test cricket can be made a fair test of true cricketing merit. Just big hitting will not be reasn enough for buff to derive satisfaction from as is the case in 20/20 matches. I am not sure I can agree with Ian Chappell on a global Champions league. Cricket the game gets watched more when it involves nations not just clubs having a global representation like in football.That brings out the essence of the game itself.

  • shahbaba on November 22, 2009, 5:12 GMT

    I wonder he played test cricket! No real facts behind his 3 day conclusion. It is impossible for people to spend time in front of TV and watch, but everyone reads cricinfo commentary and follow up fully. There are other mediums through which viewer base increase. Ian is writing for just the sake of writing.

  • RaghuramanR on November 22, 2009, 5:00 GMT

    Ian is not realising that all cricket boards will only try to strangle the goose that lays golden eggs. Three day tests are not going to enable players have more rest. Players would then play more cricket - almost 365 days in the 24/7 mould. So yes, they will take the 7 hour play per day ploy, but sure they are not going to give players any rest. I am not sure how much speculation does MCC give on amount of spectators in future cricket, if we have 'excess' cricket.

  • gottalovetheraindance on November 22, 2009, 4:59 GMT

    improving the quality of pitches in test playing countries would go a long way in helping out test cricket. these flat wickets that only help batsmen improve their averages while producing boring run fests in Pakistan, India are killing test cricket. these venues should produce better pitches or be banned by the ICC. introducing day/night test matches might be a good idea but these should not totally replace day matches. Also remember most teams start out considered not good enough to challenge top teams. not many countries produce sprint athletes that can compete with America or Jamaica at the Olympics or World Champs but nobody complains. Australia especially and other top cricketing countries should make it their priority to improve the training and other resources available (or not) to youngsters with potential in weak countries.with all this talk about the supremacy and love of test cricket its time for people & organisations to put their money where their mouth is!

  • Percy_Fender on November 22, 2009, 4:56 GMT

    While I am not too sure of the percentage of people interested in Test cricket in India as is said to have been brought out in a recent survey it is likely that the number of loyalists of the traditional game could be dwindling.In today's fast moving world, the present generation perhaps feel that in the 20/20 format,despite their otherwise busy lives,they could see the game they like so much, being competed by their favourite sides which is also over in just 3 hours with a result in the end.Eliminating Test cricket however, would be akin to doing away with the usual 90 minute game of hockey and football and brinigng in lieu thereof, the penalty shootout to decide games between say A C Milan and Arsenal. It seems blasphemous to me.To resuscitate cricket, they shoould bring in changes like 90 overs per innings,and the new ball after 45 overs. This will eliminate the toss advantage which is often very relevant All Lbw and caught decisions should be decided by hawkeye in seconds.

  • Gizza on November 22, 2009, 4:46 GMT

    Some interesting ideas thrown up here. But note that 3 seven hour days = 21 hours in total. At the moment we have 5 x 6 = 30 hours in each Test match and there are a lot of matches that are drawn or go down to the wire. 4-day Tests are perhaps a better short-term solution.

    Also has anyone thought of introducing an international First-class tournaments for ODI's and Tests? Ie. an ODI and Test Champions League. It is not as bizarre as it may sound. A long tournament is impossible but imagine Middlesex and NSW or Victoria playing the "Club Ashes" or Mumbai and Sialkot playing a 5 match ODI series. Just one or two of these series per year is good enough. And they will be interesting because the teams are NEW (this was also why the Champs League was so successful, Aus vs Ind , Eng, Pak, etc. sound so boring now)

  • gottalovetheraindance on November 22, 2009, 4:39 GMT

    with all due respect im sick & tired of all these so called experts talking about changing cricket and expanding the champions league. placing the emphasis an hurry come up money grabbing tournaments which do very little for the true fans of cricket on a whole is a mistake in my view. test and one day cricket are sports that help people to appreciate the fact that life isnt all about hype and excitement. think about it how many of these 20/20 games are remembered as being special. to this day people still talk about special performances in test cricket like lara's 277 at sydney or holdings 14 wickets at the oval. when was the last time someone mentioned gayle's 20/20 100 vs SA? instead of bashing teams that arent good at test cricket, why not help to improve the quality of cricket by helping them out?

  • divya_jain on November 22, 2009, 4:34 GMT

    Ridiculous suggestion by Mr.Chappell to reduce the test cricket to 3 days.He is expected to know that such changes are not feasible and will eventually lead to one draw after another especially with the kind of pitches that are in existence today.Please Sir,don't bother to give these suggestions just for the sake of sounding radical.

  • yaseenk2002 on November 22, 2009, 4:08 GMT

    I agree with what you have to say about expanding Champions league and how it can be made a truly global tournament. Its a fantastic idea. I dont agree with what you have to say about Test cricket! We don't want changes in Test cricket. We want to protect it and not destroy it! Reducing no. of days in Test cricket will again convert it into slam bang cricket (call it baseball). 5 days is perfect length to test concentration, temperament and skills of a cricketer. 3 days and 2 innings will provide a license for cricketers to go berserk and make a mockery of things like batting technique which might become a history.

  • Wisdom_of_Cricket on November 22, 2009, 3:27 GMT

    Ian, I like your idea of shortening Test matches. If tests are to be reduced to three days, we may need to reduce the number of wickets from 10 to 6. That means, each team would need 6 wickets to end the oppositions batting innings. Otherwise we would end up having a lot of drawn matches. But the problem with 6 wickets is that fans wont see the likes of Harbhajan Singh and Mitchell Johnson bat---tailenders who are capable of wagging and creating some interest during the closing overs of an innings. But by not reducing the overs in Test cricket, we are definitely going to lose fans eventually.

    Another option is to keep tests for 5 days, but with 3.5 hours per day..About 50 overs. And schedule games between 5 pm- 10pm...Except maybe in England where it might be too cold during those hours. But will the ICC jump out of their conservative roots ? They are too conservative to even use a super-sub in Test cricket.

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  • Wisdom_of_Cricket on November 22, 2009, 3:27 GMT

    Ian, I like your idea of shortening Test matches. If tests are to be reduced to three days, we may need to reduce the number of wickets from 10 to 6. That means, each team would need 6 wickets to end the oppositions batting innings. Otherwise we would end up having a lot of drawn matches. But the problem with 6 wickets is that fans wont see the likes of Harbhajan Singh and Mitchell Johnson bat---tailenders who are capable of wagging and creating some interest during the closing overs of an innings. But by not reducing the overs in Test cricket, we are definitely going to lose fans eventually.

    Another option is to keep tests for 5 days, but with 3.5 hours per day..About 50 overs. And schedule games between 5 pm- 10pm...Except maybe in England where it might be too cold during those hours. But will the ICC jump out of their conservative roots ? They are too conservative to even use a super-sub in Test cricket.

  • yaseenk2002 on November 22, 2009, 4:08 GMT

    I agree with what you have to say about expanding Champions league and how it can be made a truly global tournament. Its a fantastic idea. I dont agree with what you have to say about Test cricket! We don't want changes in Test cricket. We want to protect it and not destroy it! Reducing no. of days in Test cricket will again convert it into slam bang cricket (call it baseball). 5 days is perfect length to test concentration, temperament and skills of a cricketer. 3 days and 2 innings will provide a license for cricketers to go berserk and make a mockery of things like batting technique which might become a history.

  • divya_jain on November 22, 2009, 4:34 GMT

    Ridiculous suggestion by Mr.Chappell to reduce the test cricket to 3 days.He is expected to know that such changes are not feasible and will eventually lead to one draw after another especially with the kind of pitches that are in existence today.Please Sir,don't bother to give these suggestions just for the sake of sounding radical.

  • gottalovetheraindance on November 22, 2009, 4:39 GMT

    with all due respect im sick & tired of all these so called experts talking about changing cricket and expanding the champions league. placing the emphasis an hurry come up money grabbing tournaments which do very little for the true fans of cricket on a whole is a mistake in my view. test and one day cricket are sports that help people to appreciate the fact that life isnt all about hype and excitement. think about it how many of these 20/20 games are remembered as being special. to this day people still talk about special performances in test cricket like lara's 277 at sydney or holdings 14 wickets at the oval. when was the last time someone mentioned gayle's 20/20 100 vs SA? instead of bashing teams that arent good at test cricket, why not help to improve the quality of cricket by helping them out?

  • Gizza on November 22, 2009, 4:46 GMT

    Some interesting ideas thrown up here. But note that 3 seven hour days = 21 hours in total. At the moment we have 5 x 6 = 30 hours in each Test match and there are a lot of matches that are drawn or go down to the wire. 4-day Tests are perhaps a better short-term solution.

    Also has anyone thought of introducing an international First-class tournaments for ODI's and Tests? Ie. an ODI and Test Champions League. It is not as bizarre as it may sound. A long tournament is impossible but imagine Middlesex and NSW or Victoria playing the "Club Ashes" or Mumbai and Sialkot playing a 5 match ODI series. Just one or two of these series per year is good enough. And they will be interesting because the teams are NEW (this was also why the Champs League was so successful, Aus vs Ind , Eng, Pak, etc. sound so boring now)

  • Percy_Fender on November 22, 2009, 4:56 GMT

    While I am not too sure of the percentage of people interested in Test cricket in India as is said to have been brought out in a recent survey it is likely that the number of loyalists of the traditional game could be dwindling.In today's fast moving world, the present generation perhaps feel that in the 20/20 format,despite their otherwise busy lives,they could see the game they like so much, being competed by their favourite sides which is also over in just 3 hours with a result in the end.Eliminating Test cricket however, would be akin to doing away with the usual 90 minute game of hockey and football and brinigng in lieu thereof, the penalty shootout to decide games between say A C Milan and Arsenal. It seems blasphemous to me.To resuscitate cricket, they shoould bring in changes like 90 overs per innings,and the new ball after 45 overs. This will eliminate the toss advantage which is often very relevant All Lbw and caught decisions should be decided by hawkeye in seconds.

  • gottalovetheraindance on November 22, 2009, 4:59 GMT

    improving the quality of pitches in test playing countries would go a long way in helping out test cricket. these flat wickets that only help batsmen improve their averages while producing boring run fests in Pakistan, India are killing test cricket. these venues should produce better pitches or be banned by the ICC. introducing day/night test matches might be a good idea but these should not totally replace day matches. Also remember most teams start out considered not good enough to challenge top teams. not many countries produce sprint athletes that can compete with America or Jamaica at the Olympics or World Champs but nobody complains. Australia especially and other top cricketing countries should make it their priority to improve the training and other resources available (or not) to youngsters with potential in weak countries.with all this talk about the supremacy and love of test cricket its time for people & organisations to put their money where their mouth is!

  • RaghuramanR on November 22, 2009, 5:00 GMT

    Ian is not realising that all cricket boards will only try to strangle the goose that lays golden eggs. Three day tests are not going to enable players have more rest. Players would then play more cricket - almost 365 days in the 24/7 mould. So yes, they will take the 7 hour play per day ploy, but sure they are not going to give players any rest. I am not sure how much speculation does MCC give on amount of spectators in future cricket, if we have 'excess' cricket.

  • shahbaba on November 22, 2009, 5:12 GMT

    I wonder he played test cricket! No real facts behind his 3 day conclusion. It is impossible for people to spend time in front of TV and watch, but everyone reads cricinfo commentary and follow up fully. There are other mediums through which viewer base increase. Ian is writing for just the sake of writing.

  • Percy_Fender on November 22, 2009, 5:29 GMT

    Umpiring referrals is passe. What we could have is a software by which decisions for lbws and close catches be worked out by the hawkeye techniques and the verdict left to the computer not the 3rd umpire.I am sure technology will enable this verdict to be given on the giant screen. In this manner the Bucknors,the Koertzens and the Bensons of the umpiring pantheon will breathe easy.With such changes Test cricket can be made a fair test of true cricketing merit. Just big hitting will not be reasn enough for buff to derive satisfaction from as is the case in 20/20 matches. I am not sure I can agree with Ian Chappell on a global Champions league. Cricket the game gets watched more when it involves nations not just clubs having a global representation like in football.That brings out the essence of the game itself.