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

How to save the game from global warming

Find a ball that will allow day-night matches, make a few compromises, and we could have Tests over three seven-hour days

Ian Chappell

December 6, 2009

Comments: 152 | Text size: A | A

A fan yawns while sitting through a rain break, Australia v New Zealand, Chappell-Hadlee Trophy, Sydney, December 16, 2007
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It was interesting and enlightening to see the concerns fans had over my idea of three-day Tests. Interesting in that fans didn't want to tamper with Test cricket, and enlightening because there's so much concern for the future of the five-day game. Considering there still appears to be a lot of love for the longer game and India are currently on a mission to claim the No. 1 Test ranking for the first time, this might be the appropriate moment to propose a plan to revamp Test cricket.

Look upon this as cricket's global-warming challenge. It may mean the next generation is paying for past excesses, but if we don't act quickly there might be nothing left to save.

The No. 1-ranked side would be best decided by playing a World Test championship among the eight major nations. This needs to be achieved in the minimum of time, hence a series of three-day Tests.

The secret is to produce a ball that will facilitate day-night Tests. If the right ball becomes available (and it appears to be closer) then you can play three seven-hour days. If the administrators and players agree to some compromises then an over rate of 16 an hour is feasible. If this were achieved, the championship games would amount to about the same number of balls bowled as in four days of a modern Test.

The compromises would include full-sized sightboards with no advertising on them, no television replays to decide boundaries, a back-foot no-ball law to virtually eradicate overstepping, ball boys beyond the ropes, and strictly controlling the number and duration of unofficial drinks breaks on the field. In return the players would agree to bowl 16 overs an hour, and if a team falls behind the rate the captain is suspended from the next championship game.

The pebble in the shoe is the newly instituted Umpire Decision Review System (UDRS), which will further slow the game. Maybe in the championship matches the UDRS could be refined and only be activated when the third umpire overrules an absolute howler.

This would be a viable tournament to crown a world Test champion rather than a team claiming No. 1 ranking on a computer. It might also prove to be a street sign for Test cricket's road ahead.

The three-day concept has merit because matches could be played on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. This makes back-to-back Tests more realistic with the players having ample rest between matches, contested on fan-friendly days of the week. The long-weekend concept would appeal to television because not only are these popular sporting days, it also means play is virtually guaranteed on all days, with a possible exciting climax on the Sunday.

The three-day concept has merit because matches could be played on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. This makes back-to-back Tests more realistic with the players having ample rest between matches, contested on fan-friendly days of the week

For this style of Test championship to have any chance of success, certain aspects of the tournament are crucial. The prize money and the points system must be pitched to substantially reward outright victory. The pitches must provide a reasonable balance between bat and ball, and games must be played where and when the chances of rain are negligible.

Administrators could also consider eradicating not-outs so that batsmen don't place too much emphasis on their averages. This attitude could be further boosted by keeping the championship statistics separate from those of traditional Test matches.

Increasing the number of rest days between games might also encourage more genuine fast bowling, and it doesn't hurt that a good portion of the cricket would be played in the cool of the evening.

Condensing the game might produce more tactical challenges as captains search for quicker ways to obtain a result. It would also favour the more aggressive selection panels. Nowadays, with so much competition from other sports and even within cricket, the longer game needs to give fans a reason to go to the ground rather than making them get up and leave.

This could become a fast-moving championship, favouring teams like India, who have the ultra-aggressive Virender Sehwag leading the charge, and Australia, with a wicket-taking fast bowler in Mitchell Johnson. The intensity of these battles would be heightened by pitches that encourage results.

For Test cricket to survive it needs to hit a happy balance between what satisfies the players and what excites the fans. An interesting concept, and who knows it may also prove to be enlightening.

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

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Posted by Dilip24 on (December 8, 2009, 23:27 GMT)

Even 2 days game could become more Interesting. Think of having 2 consecutive days of 100 each. Each team to have 2 innings of 50 overs. There could be some flexibility provided. Like if team wants to stretch any of the innings to something like 60 to 65 overs. The other innings automatically auttomatically gets reduced by those many overs. In case team gets out before 50 overs in the first innings, additional overs could be used in subsequent one. Also take restriction of maximum overs for the bowlers. Bowler in form could bowl even half of the total. Put only restriction that 5 bowlers should bowl minimum of 2 overs. That will bring lot of excitement, big scorings, big wicket hauls etc. like in test cricket.

Posted by stalefresh on (December 8, 2009, 21:11 GMT)

As much as am tired of living in an era where everything needs to change on a weekly basis and that too radically, I don't see any harm in Ian's suggestion. Make no mistake, I am a purist, and can watch test match between Bangladesh and NZL with more enthusiasm than any of the T20 circus. However, I see the need to change, not because the 5 day version has any holes in it, but purely because I want to see more test cricket be played regularly between the top nations on the weekends.

And if that means 3 day test, or day and night test, or pink ball test, or any which way to make it logistically possible and financially sustainable - I will vote for it. Test matches played on sporting pitches end in 4 days often. So if we can add an hour everyday, and push for 16 overs an hour, play under lights that can support some seam and spin, allow for bowler substitutes - we can achieve the results.

Posted by subhajit on (December 8, 2009, 18:58 GMT)

Very intresting and probably the only way to survival of test cricket in India, and hence in the cricket fraternity. But somehow makes me think even the likes of Ian Chappel is influenced by the glamor and twinkles of Twenty20. Pink ball, no moisture in the pitch on the first day-first hour, no 5th day spinning track, no white shirt, and more importantly, almost never we will see a match when a side is battling to save a match in the fourth innings, set to bat for 5 sessions. When all around the world pitches are becoming batsmn friendly, it might be eutopian to think of a pitch which assists both bowlers and batsmen in a three day match. To me, if it's gonna be a three day match, either make the pitch fast and bouncy or a turner like one at Kanpur in 2008 (against SA). Flat pitch will be a waste and once in 50 test matches you would see something like a balanced pitch, simply because it's not easy to prepare.

Overall, I would be sad to see a five day game going away.

Posted by nitsy2004 on (December 8, 2009, 17:54 GMT)

There is still a lot of support for test cricket from fans and cricketers themselves (not much support from boards though). People may not watch all five days of the game but still follow it and enjoy it. Its one day cricket that needs changing and by that i mean just get rid of it completely and replace with 20/20. Most one day games are one sided and no body has whole day to sit around and watch it. We can proper cricket in tests for purists (like me) and can have 20/20 for its excitement to bring in new fans and money offcourse.

Posted by Alexk400 on (December 8, 2009, 14:57 GMT)

Also BCCI will never do on anything on their own. We need people like Ian chappell to bring out ideas and evolve. BCCI more interested in status quo concept until all the resources used up.

I think Time for Test Season like NFL through out the year with some gaps for IPL and other 20/20 leagues same time. It can even overlap. like middle of ipl we can have tests played by Team in INDIA in several cities to bring in more money as all players are already in IPL.

There are many many ideas i have...:)

Posted by StaalBurgher on (December 8, 2009, 14:57 GMT)

Leave it at 5 days. Reducing it in anyway removes some of the skill, determination and guts needed to win consistently. Stop pronouncing the doom of cricket. So sick of hearing this over and over.

Posted by Alexk400 on (December 8, 2009, 14:53 GMT)


The quarter finals , semifinals has to be on neutral ground except finals. Final will be awarded to different countries to promote world wide audience like super bowl.

I like 5 day Test , do not want to change it. Only thing is by making a Test league , it makes people to go for a win and avoid tame draws.

Also UDRS stays but with field umpire review his own decision on pocket video player and remove the extra cost of having third umpire. Benson issue will never arise as he is the only one who over rule his own decision if he get better evidence. I like pocket player idea.

Games are played on same week , same days across all countries. Kinda like NFL sundays. Marque match up of top ranked may be moved out week later. Like india -pak , AUS - Eng , AUS-SA , SA- IN , PAK-AUS , PAK -SA ... like monday night football.

24 players per team selected for the year including injury replacement....

..more to come..

Posted by Alexk400 on (December 8, 2009, 14:43 GMT)

Ok instead of discounting Ian chappell ideas , i put forward my ideas.

1.Tets championship.

We need a concept of season. In that all top 8 teams play Test in round robin fashion start from january to october. Then semifinals and final test in november and december.

They need to scrap the future tours programme and bring in this round robin test through out the year. Every team has to play each one once. May be Add quarterfinals if we need more test to be played.

2. Test changes

a) New ball every 40 overs available. b) 3 bouncers per over. Let batsman sweat little more. That is fun and interesting. c) No third umpires and make on field umpire more responsible by making them carry Pocket video player that shows the multiple angels in rotation so umpires can see it close what happened and he can overrule his own decision. And he need to report his review why he overuled or not. We need to know logic behind the decision. d) Award 3 points for win and 1 point for draw

Posted by idontknowidontcare on (December 8, 2009, 12:11 GMT)

@ IPLFan "limiting the number of wickets doesn't necessarily eliminate the all-rounders." Oh my God! A little application of Mathematics and some common sense would tell you that if 6 players batted and 5 players bowled, and some players did both, then in the team of 11, there would be some players who NEITHER BAT NOR BOWL. Now. I am afraid somebody is going to come up with an "idea" that cricket should be played by teams of 8 players.

Posted by tfjones1978 on (December 8, 2009, 10:09 GMT)

DRAWS in test cricket occur mostly by teams having to bat too before declaring. THE SOLUTION is to make Test Cricket session by session, instead of innings by innings. FOUR SESSIONS per day over 4 days (448 overs total) where each team spends Half day batting and Half day bowling (with 20 wickets per side). If 16 sessions are completed then match is a draw.

Posted by giribabu on (December 8, 2009, 9:13 GMT)

Chappel, please stop advising changes to Test cricket. I expect lot more respect to the test cricket from an experienced person like you.

Posted by santhosh8866 on (December 8, 2009, 9:05 GMT)

Ian's idea really focuses on commercial benefit of test cricket, but really people nowadays like faster cricket just like football, the game should end within a limited time with all ingredients of an exciting game. I think we should have limited test tours so that a country can play all elite teams for a span of 4 years. Moreover having test championship for every 5 years is more meaningful if you consider the advent of 20 20 and one days. Test cricket should be given importance as it measures a players strength whether he is a batsman or bowler. I think BCCI should think having a couple of test series a year

Posted by t12s on (December 8, 2009, 6:21 GMT)

This is not going to happen!

Posted by IndianDynamos on (December 8, 2009, 4:37 GMT)

It is a good concept but i'm afraid there wont be much results present. If you look at the prime local tournament in India, which is Ranji Trophy. It is being contested for 4 days. Out of the 5 games, the leader in each group have won only 2 games. The results will further decrease if you are going to reduce the number of days.If you shorten the number of days the results just wont come by. Test cricket should be nurtured but in a proper way!!

Posted by AjaySridharan on (December 8, 2009, 3:50 GMT)

Ian has good intentions, but bad ideas. I think Test Cricket is fine the way it is, so long as the administrators aren't hell bent on spoiling it...like what BCCI did with the Ahmedabad test - bad pitch, monday to friday test, and a lot of other stupid stuff to go with it. Good sporting wickets like the Adelaide test that is currently going on, and the CCI wicket at Mumbai make for a fascinating game of test cricket. A conference system like the NFL would make sense, and rotating system could ensure that each team plays each other every couple of years at least.

I would love to see some format changes in ODIs instead. Instead of each team playing 50 overs in one stretch, it could be broken into two innings of 25 each per team. This could allow for some twists and turns and a possibility of come backs and collapses. There is nothing more boring than watching a 7 hour game where the result gets predictable after the first 50 overs of the match

Posted by IPLFan on (December 8, 2009, 1:57 GMT)

@Satyajit: limiting the number of wickets doesn't necessarily eliminate the all-rounders. If you are among the top 6 batsmen *and* among the top 5 bowlers in your team, then you will both bat and bowl (there is no restriction on who is allowed to bowl). As for #10 and #11 making the matches interesting, in this case it will be #5 and #6 playing that role. You can have the last pair surviving 25-30 nail-biting overs to save or win a match. Yes, these are more accomplished batsmen than the tailenders, but I don't see why that should take away from the nailbiting-ness of the situation.

Posted by crickey_fan on (December 8, 2009, 1:04 GMT)

Your ideas are radical, but I do not see how they are feasible. I would rather scrap everything else and apply this mantra "The intensity of these battles would be heightened by pitches that encourage results. " If result-oriented pitches (lasting 4.5 - 5 days) are prepared, ensuring an even see-saw contest between bat and ball, there is nothing to beat test cricket. I would encourage ICC and the boards to focus on the quality of pitches. That alone, I believe, will go a long way towards saving the longer formats.

Posted by Nerk on (December 8, 2009, 0:38 GMT)

Watching the FIFTH day of the test between W.I. and Australia at Adelaide. I have butterflies in my stomach, sweaty palms. Can Australia drag victory from the jaws of defeat, or will the Windies do the unthinkable and actually win a test match. This is cricket at its best, at its most pure. ODI and 2020 cannot compare to this. This year at different times people have said test cricket is dying. Then when no-one is playing test cricket they say ODI's are dying. And when we start playing 10/10 they will say 20/20 is dying! Honestly, so many forms of cricket are dying I'm wondering how it is possible for massive stadium expansion, for huge pay cheques for administrators and players. Cricket will never die, and test cricket will remain the most pure form of the game know to man, the pinnacle of world cricket. Viva la Cricket!!

Posted by MaruthuDelft on (December 7, 2009, 22:22 GMT)

I think three days cricket also misses the point. Two days week end Test Cricket is the solution. When I go to watch cricket I would want to see my side batting as well as bowling. The second innings which takes a cricket match to a consmmate climax and the freedom from run rate requirements whcih allow for aggressive fast bowling and slip catching which makes beautiful watching only endowed to cricket are missing in One Day and 20/20 cricket. However to produce results within 2 days one adjustment to cricket rules has to be incorporated. If the bowler strikes any part of a batsman's body - pads, helmut, hands not wrists, thighs or chest - he gets the wicket. This rule will make every good bowler whether he is a spinner, swinger or a pacie more difficult to play. While at the crease the batsman has to make the most of his stay before a cutter brushes his pads to send him back to the pavillion. With this rule a Test would not go up to 2 days even on a placid sub continent track.

Posted by gottalovetheraindance on (December 7, 2009, 22:19 GMT)

ICC should have IPL/ 20/20 world cup, Champions trophy and ICL every 4 years like world cup instead of every year.

Maximum of 5 ODI in series except in tri nation series

World Cup should have maximum of top 12 teams every 4 years. Teams should include 10 full members of ICC plus the 2 champion's trophy finalists 10 Full members of ICC don't play champions trophy. Only top 8 associate members play champions trophy

Too much emphasis is being placed on other types of cricket This should help draw attention to test cricket.

Posted by DaNyo on (December 7, 2009, 21:21 GMT)

Its not the format ..its the dead batting pitches that are killing the game..Test cricket should be encouraged by playing on pitches that support both batsmen and bowlers equally...ICC should discourage venues which give boring draws and encourage which give good 5 days of result oriented cricket..This will create a good competition between pitch curators and local associations within the country...I am 25 and I love Test cricket when the balance is equal between ball and bat..When it gets one sides with batsmen just pounding bowlers I just change the channel because you can tell from the 1st day that this match is going no where so whats the point in wasting 5 days:S..

Posted by joaquim_dasilva on (December 7, 2009, 20:12 GMT)

5 or 6 wickets per innings is a stupid idea. There is never any shortage of time for 40 wickets to fall. If you can see 20 wickets fall in a 20-20 game, you can see 40 wickets fall in three extended days of play.

While there is no escaping that day-night cricket is the future of test cricket, I don't think shortening the game to 3 days is the answer.

5 days is still good, but improvements which speed up the play and are viewer friendly are definitely the way to go. That apart the charm of the game is always there. I've been waking up at 4am pretty much every day to watch India play because I'm here in the UK. I've been doing this for 4 years and I will continue to do so.

Posted by howizzat on (December 7, 2009, 18:51 GMT)

With so many ifs and buts strictures its nearly impossible to achieve three day status. 7 hours of play will bring unsue burden on the players as well as the spectators. So not a good idea/

Posted by inswing on (December 7, 2009, 16:43 GMT)

The problem is that Test cricket is _inherently_ a slow game. Attempts to speed it up somehow render it "not really Test cricket" and hence the interest is reduced. There is only one real way to make it faster/shorter, and that is to change the balance in favor of bowlers. There are many ways to do that, but any changes to equipment or rules again make it "not really test cricket." So there is only one remaining way, and that is to have pitches that favor bowlers somewhat. Not crazy pitches, but ones that offer some assistance to bowlers so a side can be all out in a day or so. Create strict penalties on boards to prevent run-fest draws. 5 days of cricket can be squeezed in 4 days by the suggested ideas (squeezing 4 days into 3 is not enough as it will cause a lot of draws unless the pitch is very bowler friendly). Such pitches, with less wasted time and low ticket prices will bring back the crowds. Allocate one month/year for the test championship and have only top 6 teams not 8.

Posted by SatyajitM on (December 7, 2009, 14:37 GMT)

IPLFan, I am really not a fan of only first five batsman batting and the innings ending there. Just imagine, you would not have seen Gilchrist, Dhoni, Kapil Dev and host of the all rounders/wk batting if this was around. I agree to fahadist that sometimes a #10 and #11 make a match interesting. I feel all these possible adjutments will kill test cricket. Somebody even suggested baseball. Then we better play baseball instead of cricket! @moronosaurus, Indians (just like most other countries) love to support their country and there is nothing wrong with it. But there are many people who actually appreciate the game. When I see a match between WI-Aus, I just appreciate the beauty of the game without taking side. Another mistaken conception is that if cricket die other games will prosper. That's a completely wrong notion. It's like if you kill artistic development in a country science will prosper. How many non hockey gold medal did we win when cricket was not this big?

Posted by idontknowidontcare on (December 7, 2009, 14:26 GMT)

I thought nothing can get worse than Ian Chappell's "ideas", but I was wrong. 6 wickets per innings, so that batters bat and bowlers bowl? Then what is Jacques Kallis supposed to do? What about Daniel Vettori? Shaun Pollock has retired now, so I guess that doesn't concern the "forward looking" people who proposed this idea. Oh, I nearly forgot to mention the end of the First Test of the recent Ashes (2009). By the way, Sehwag and Tendulkar are not allowed to bowl, but that is OK, because they are "batsmen".

Posted by krsna76 on (December 7, 2009, 11:37 GMT)

Ian, All your suggestions could only happen in an Ideal situation, which is not going to happen.

Posted by Elektra on (December 7, 2009, 11:09 GMT)

The enthusiasm for D/N Tests seems to be common among the Channel 9 commentators - pretty obvious that they're putting the desires of their current employer over the needs of the sport. D/N cricket has major issues that are yet to be sorted out - even in ODIs. As for three day Tests, why? What's wrong with a five day Test on a well-prepared pitch such as the one we're being treated to in Adelaide. Do we just want more draws, with a Test championship decided by who got first innings points? Test cricket is characterised by the fact that it has two innings per team, thus providing the chance for a thrilling comeback, an evenly matched contest or a complete pulverising.

PS. and I have a strong dislike towards the idea of 5 wicket innings (or any shortening of innings). Instead, fix the pitches and punish any grounds that prepare dead wickets. I'm sick of this conspiracy to kill Test cricket by some administrative bodies through preparation of lifeless wickets.

Posted by fahadist on (December 7, 2009, 10:34 GMT)

I think admins are just getting too greedy. There is a sizeable population out there who likes test matches. Test match might not be as profitable as T20 but there is a fan following and most players agree that this is the real test of a cricketer.

Fine test cricket doesn't have as many fans but so is true for field hockey yet field hockey is not being replaced by a circus. Why can't the admins let the test cricket be and have their money earned from the T20. Is Cricket Australia BCCI, PCB etc corporations answerable to their share holders or organizations to extend interest of cricketers and their fans. If they are there to support cricket then let the test cricket be the way it is. There was a time when it survived financially without T20. It can surely survive with the inflow of T20 money supporting it partially now as well.

Posted by fahadist on (December 7, 2009, 10:28 GMT)

I have yet to get up 6 in the morning to watch a T20. Reason so many of T20 get played every year happen that I really dont care. But I was up at 6 to watch Pak vs NZ because next time they meet will be atleast after 3 years. Second quality of balling (atleast pak) was great. Ballers were not just "putting the ball at the right place" to restrict runs and waiting for batters to make mistake but were working over the batsmen, finding their chinks and then methodically exploiting them.

Chappel's idea takes away most of the plot. Usually ballers are worked over by the tea session and then the batting team starts accelerating over the tired ballers. Just think what will happen after the 5th hour in Chappel's test? This is just one drawback of the proposal.

I am also against the idea of batting only till #5. How many nail bitting tests are there in history where the #10 and #11 saved the match or even won it. Cricket will be poorer with such a plan.

Posted by missileh on (December 7, 2009, 9:24 GMT)

Well, what is being suggested by Ian Chappell is not test cricket. Pure test cricket was a timeless match. Restricting it to 5 day still makes sense since in a full 5-day match, each innings get on an average more than one day to bat (as well as bowl). Why put so much strains, penulties & restrictions for such a '3day' game. Its almost like tying a beast that has gone out of control! However, here the beast is not actually 'Test Cricket' but here the beast is not 'Test Cricket' its not even 'T20' but the beasts are the cricket administrators. Simplest examples are 3 T20 World cups between 2007 to 2010 and a T20 tournament where 8 teams play each other 2 times to decide the top four who go to semifinals (also known as IPL). I am glad that Mr. Modi has not changed the format of 'semi finals' but I won't be surprized if in near future, IPL semi finals are played between 4 teams playing each other 2 or 3 times to decide the finalists who will then play a best of 5 final... Huh...!

Posted by IPLFan on (December 7, 2009, 9:23 GMT)

SatyajitM: But a result in 3 days is possible if we reduce the number of wickets correspondingly, to say 5 or 6 per innings. That way, only the top order needs to bat. We can even have a 4 wicket (only the top 5 batting), single-innings, one-day match. That will be much more interesting than the limited-over one-day match because with limited-wicket one-day match you need to dismiss the opposition to win a match.

Posted by moronosaurus on (December 7, 2009, 8:52 GMT)

How quaint! People actually think cricket can be saved from oblivion! How risible. You all do realize that the reason cricket is still breathing is because Indians are desperate to have a 'global' sport they can compete in. Indians don't even care about cricket - if they did, they'd watch domestic cricket instead of only watching matches where they can yell out patriotic pablum like citizens of any other nation. Let cricket die - and let Indians shift their passion to legitimate global sports. You do realize that India is at the bottom of the world table for Olympic medals per capita, right?

Posted by SatyajitM on (December 7, 2009, 7:37 GMT)

@anitpatel, you are wrong. The interest in smaller centers is strong. Kanpur is 3 million plus city and the spectator interest was excellent. The reason why people from bigger centers do not turn out is because they have so many option for watching international level or close to internation lavel (IPL, CL) cricket. It's easier to go for a 3 hour or day compared to five days when you have option. Tier two cities would always give better response. Plus there are cities like Kolkata where you would get good response even though it's huge. Due to internal politics of BCCI (Dalmia being at helm) Eden Garden doen't get as many matches as it should. Also the numbers would be in proportion to the centers as well. The excellent match in Dunedin saw only 6000 spectator but as somebody pointed out, it was 5.4% of the population there.

Posted by SatyajitM on (December 7, 2009, 7:20 GMT)

Chris Gayle is playing a fine fine innings as WI is moving towards a respectable total. I always thought Gayle's test average is far lesser than his talent. He seems to have taken a lesson from Sehwag's knock of 293 where he played solidly for first 40 mins. Now, this is an innings of quality and test temperament. This coming from one of the early proponents for futility of test cricket! I am sure Gayle doen't think test cricket is so bad at the moment. Apart from Gayle's knock we also see a fine contest between bat and ball. Irrespective of the result of the match I see test cricket is the winner. And you know what? you could not even think about a result if this was a three day (7 hours each day) match!

Posted by SatyajitM on (December 7, 2009, 6:52 GMT)

Spot on Clyde, we need to think of planet Earth, before moving to day night test cricket ;-)

Posted by IPLFan on (December 7, 2009, 6:18 GMT)

@slugworth: I suggested something similar earlier in the thread. Limit the number of wickets per innings to 5 or 6, instead of the current 10. You are suggesting doing it only in 2nd innings, but I would say, do it in both the innings. So the batsmen bat and bowlers bowl. Should be able to have 4 innings completed in 3 days without even having to increase the number of overs per day. We don't lose anything compared to current format, except the tailenders batting.

Posted by SatyajitM on (December 7, 2009, 5:54 GMT)

I don't know why Chappell is lobbying so much for 3 day test cricket. It would have been great if we could have a championship with the 5 day test format. But just for the sake of a championship deprecating the format is akin to killing a patient to cure an illness :-) If you are really interested to have a championship, have one with only top six teams (based on their ranking on a specific date). You can possibly complete such a tournament in 3 months and it can be hosted once in four years. But the problem is that even a 3 month tourney may feel too long and unable to hold spectator interest. Current way of playing test cricket is fine as long as we get sufficient number of games. It is more about administrative greed than player/spectator interest which has reduced number of tests. We have seen good test cricket in last few weeks and a good one going on between Aus-WI at the moment!

Posted by hiroshan on (December 7, 2009, 5:30 GMT)

Good said JOPA. You got the same which I w as thinking. Reading between lines; CHappel can't digest India or even South Africa to be NO. 1. They can't digest Asian countries becoming fearless and comparable to any of Australia or England or SA.

All cricket lovers like 5 day cricket and loves those battles for 5 days. Making it 3 days is breaking it all together. Why u want to do that? If you r not a cricket fan and just want entertainment 20-20 and One day r there. PLEASE STOP WORRING ABT TEST CRICKET. WE FANS LIKE IT FOR 5 DAYS AND IT WON'T DIE FOR SURE AS LONG AS CRICKET IS LOVED BY SPECTATORS AND PLAYERS.

Posted by bobagorof on (December 7, 2009, 5:26 GMT)

I laugh at the posters suggesting Ian Chappell wrote this article because India gained the #1 Test ranking. Get over yourselves - the rest of the world is not conspiring against you!! Chappell is writing in response to an issue that has been bubbling for most of the year, if not longer. I maintain that the 'decrease in interest' is not due to the format of the game, it's due to the lack of contests - unsporting pitches, weak teams playing against far stronger teams - and the sheer number of series (Tests, ODIs and Twent20) rammed down the public's throat. Is it any wonder that people get desensitized? See the return series ENG vs WI as an example. But shortening Tests to 3 days - in effect ending Tests entirely and introducing a new format - is not the way to revive interest in the 'longer' form of the game. That sort of 'championship' can be achieved in 20- and 50-over matches.

Posted by Silverdome on (December 7, 2009, 4:35 GMT)

Making the new ball available every 50 overs would make it exciting. It would reduce the effect of flat pitches somewhat. Also will keep the Bonds, Steyns and Akhtars in the game longer.

Posted by slugworth on (December 7, 2009, 3:51 GMT)

May I propose a simpler idea, teams 2nd innings end when they lose their 5th wicket. so rather than a team requiring 20 wickets to win a game they now only need 15 wickets. I suggest this because the common view is cricket is a batsmen game so leave it to them to win it.

Posted by Podders on (December 7, 2009, 3:03 GMT)

Forget the day-night ball. You will be playing here in Lusaka 9am -5pm. May to Sept no rain at all. Perfect hours for TV in 1. India, 2. Aust, OK in England. Most time wasted changing ends. 10-ball overs needed. Sorry fast bowlers. Same wide parameters as for ODIs. That will increase the action. Sorry inaccurate bowlers. Shorter lunch break. Sorry Simon O'Donnell. New batsman 1 min to be ready. Sorry sponsors.

Posted by Tinderfan on (December 7, 2009, 2:46 GMT)

Ian Chappell has really lost the plot, it is disappointing he longer cares about Test cricket, must be all those years at channel 9. What test cricket needs are good captains, and wickets that offer something to the bowlers, these things are in very short supply. If test cricket dies, the game will become a minor sport, as the 20/20 requires minimal skill, and is not that exciting, the novelty will soon wear off. Don't play tests in countries that don't want them, when they tire of 20/20, and they will, the fans will be clamoring for Tests to be reinstated.

Posted by umayrkhan on (December 7, 2009, 2:22 GMT)

You have got to be kidding Chappell....

Exactly how drunk were you while writing this piece of ignorance

Posted by Clyde on (December 7, 2009, 1:19 GMT)

There is no sense in giving the pulic less of a game cricket, 21 hours instead of 30, but the use of more electricity just won't be allowed anyway, because of the environmental correctiobn Ian himself suggests is needed.

Posted by rony1008 on (December 7, 2009, 1:14 GMT)

One of the worst idea I've ever heard. Sadly it came from legend who almost always gets things spot on. But now we know even Mr. Chappell can come up rubbish ideas. Forget about your idea, not all ideas get realized. Hopefully this won't either.

Posted by Alexk400 on (December 7, 2009, 1:05 GMT)

NO NO NO. lets discuss different topic. Umpire review system. I am all for it.

It is a learning curve. People get used to it. I am ok with technology making mistake than human. Simply because humans can't be corrected more inconsistent.

Technological mistakes can be corrected as we learn through.

We all know how bucknor screwed up. I do not know what was wrong with bucknor , i find it he was like a poor guy try to act rich in rich circle. He wanted to be nice with australia. Now i wonder why aussies liked bucknor so much. We may have to investigate all bucknor umpired matches.

Asad rauf supposed to be good umpire makes blunder in review system. Does this guy need simple rule?. Does he not understand ..unless if there is overwhelming physical evidence you should not over rule. period.

No benefit of the doubt. Aussies always claim grounded catch hoping umpires makes mistake. Mischief.

Why ponting and bolinger not warned or banned?. ICC still run by Aussies not BCCI.

Posted by apyboutit on (December 7, 2009, 0:57 GMT)

Ian Oh Ian! U got it all wrong! Pity. The decline of Tests is officially ON then - looks like it! I cannot believe what i read. Instead of offering ways to ensure that the BEST will unambiguously be crowned periodically (say, year end) in the test format, to make it exist, you have proposed a way of getting rid of 5day matches! Dsappointing.It shows that you have not understood the whole deal about T20 or ODIs! It is not (just) the shortness. But these two shorter formats offer single easy-to-understand tournamets that will decide who is the Champ - in a short sweet period! Tests don't do that and are hence more boring, especially when they are compounded with no results, washouts, one siders, formality fixtures, flat trackers, etc. How much "not-on-the-same-page" are the fans of the game and its ...er... pundits?! Where have the pundits disappeared!? What is the next suggestion? Play tests in "Shorts?!".

Posted by Spinoza on (December 7, 2009, 0:29 GMT)

Chappell's comment is like saying let us change the institution of marriage - everything remains the same except that each partner can openly have sex outside marriage.

Let us fully embrace his suggestions - except that let us not call his format 'Test Cricket' - but call it Chaapell Format cricket and let us see if the audience improves.

Test cricket is like Classical Music.. not as many followers as for Rock or Rap but would you tamper with Mozart and Beethoven?

Posted by michaelgale on (December 6, 2009, 23:27 GMT)

Stop the insanity of a number of these comments. The game needs to evolve and evolve rapidly. Tests now finish faster than previously yet they near all lose money. Competition is abstract and culturally isolated to the majoirty of those who could be interested. Sure the ashes were great, sure India and Australia can be great but we need the world to get engaged in all major contests. We need a three day solution and fast. We need to find a way to widen the participation of kids as well as other nations or this becomes a niche sport in a world where wider appeal is critical for its long term economic success. No right thinking person could argue against the amazing tension and complexity of tests. However no right person can and should argue against the slow death test cricket in its current format is facing. We have to change or it will economically disappear like 8 track tapes

Posted by squintz01 on (December 6, 2009, 23:19 GMT)

Leave test cricket the way it is. The calendar is to full and jumbled with 3 forms of cricket and too many competitions for money rather than status. I think it is time to give ODI's the flick and stick with T20's because like it or not they're not going anywhere. If there is enough support out there why not increase the T20's to 25 overs each innings to get a bit more out of them while still been played in a relatively short time period. The loss of the ODI's could also pave the way for an increase in 4 day warm up matches for international sides that are often overlooked. I know the TV bosses won't like this idea but at this rate they will have no one watching anything as cricket loses its lustre.

Posted by ShaanAgha1 on (December 6, 2009, 22:30 GMT)

As much as I have always admired and respected the depth of knowledge of Mr Ian Chappell; I think he has completely lost it. This article is not worth arguing over.

Posted by AvidCricFan on (December 6, 2009, 22:24 GMT)

The euphoria of number 1 ranking will be over sooner than later. India is playing exactly two more tests in the next 11 months, not enough to preserve number 1 ranking. Also, one overseas trip can deflate the bubble. I still think, we still do not have enough talent in the team to win consistently against the top countries on their home grounds. On the other hand, the issues with loss of interest in test cricket is clear. Even in second tier venues in India the stands are mostly empty in test cricket. The test format of 90 overs per innings makes very good sense.

Posted by Abdul.Moiz on (December 6, 2009, 22:12 GMT)

I respect you Chappel and we all know you know better than everyone, But 3-Day Test watch will kill the game. I don't follow ODIS or T20, Only thing i watch is Test cricket and I purely define it as pure cricket. Making it short will be like making sick T20 game. I am against that decision.

Posted by Daylight on (December 6, 2009, 21:25 GMT)

I dont understand why a test championship will take 1 or 2 year?? pick top 8 teams and make 2 pools of 4 teams w.r.t rankings. Pool A IND,WI,PAK,AUS Pool B SA,NZL,ENG,SRL Pool A and B play its matches either in subcontinent or in Aus/Nzl. start 4 test matches at a time, two of pool A and two of pool B. It will take 6 weeks to finish pool matches, then 2 semis and then final. Whole tournament will take less than 2 months or if it takes even 2 months then having a 2 month test championship is much better n interesting than having a 2 month IPL. what u say ???

Posted by windiesyouth.12 on (December 6, 2009, 21:09 GMT)

i agree with jackiethepen and kingofspain, nothing has to be different about test cricket, it is the ONLY form of cricket where you can see the true qualities of a player and there have been good battles over the past few years, so there is no reason for test cricket to be altered in any way

Posted by umayrkhan on (December 6, 2009, 20:11 GMT)

Absolutely useless stuff Mr. Chappell....

Just leave test cricket the way it is....

1 - No need for UDRS in tests. 2 - No need for night matches. 3 - All test playing nations to play equal number of tests each year to establish parity in terms of ranking and opportunities 4 - Test cricket should not be played in doors (NOT A CHANCE).

Just a few starters....

Posted by uknsaunders on (December 6, 2009, 20:09 GMT)

I haven't read all the comments but isn't Chappells' adding just a bit out. 16 overs * 7 hours =112 overs per day or 336 per match. Even in 4 days 360 overs are played. So we are condensing cricket down to 3.7 days? It would make more sense to play an evening day/night session and have 3 days of 8 hours ie. 4 sessions of 2 hours. This equals 128 overs per day or 384 overs or 4.3 days - still not 450 overs currently played though!. Still think Chappells' idea is stupid for the reasons many of have already stated. I'd go with 4 days of 8 hours cricket @ 14 overs an hour = 448 overs. No-one bowls 16 overs an hour anymore and you allow spectators to buy "evening tickets" for the last 2 sessions starting at 4pm (in the UK) - bringing in after work spectators. More action, more opportunities for people to watch.

Posted by Bloodline on (December 6, 2009, 20:02 GMT)

Yes pitches must be supporting but whats the logic of saying "games must be played where and when the chances of rain are negligible"??? Eradicating not-outs?? lollz You said "Increasing the number of rest days between games might also encourage more genuine fast bowling"..... but similarly u r suggesting 16 ovr an hour or if failed then captain will be suspended then how will be able to see fast bowling when captains have to maintain 16 an hour over rate ??? And sir we r satisfied with the current format, if someone wants to see some circus in ground he should go for t20 and should refrain from watching or commenting on test format. plz.

Posted by Bloodline on (December 6, 2009, 19:55 GMT)

How u can say that 3 day tests will attract more fans?? proof?? who will go to see ur 7 hour day?? How many tests usually draw nowadays?? and if in a series of 3 matches there is one draw then whats the problem ?? most of the football matches end in a draw, more than the test match draws, so u should also give an idea to fifa for penalties in every draw game. Come on yaaar....... 16 overs an hour?? u must be joking, tell me when is the last time there are 15 over rate achieved in a test match? tests are now 6 hours and 30 minutes to complete 90 ovrs so if u add half an hour and make it to 7 hour then how u will get results when even 6.5 hrs a day test is drawn in 5 days?? And those who are suggesting 90 over innings want to say that only sloggers will have the chance of making 200 or 300 in a test, wow. what about dravid? younas? yousaf?even sachin? laxman?kaliis? DO u want to bar them from making any double or triple century?

Posted by Bloodline on (December 6, 2009, 19:38 GMT)

Speechless!!! I cant believe it is written by IAN CHAPPEL ??? The person who always give opinion and coments during matches so wisely ??? Unbelievable stuff!!!! First of all who says Test Cricket is dying or people are not concerned or less concerned about test cricket ??? Why to save it when it is not dying ??? And u can have proof of it by reading the comments on ur article. Well sir, MONEY MONEY MONEY is not everything, these ideas dont come up to ur mind because test cricket is dying, these ideas came to ur mind because u think money is everything and there is more money in T20 and less in test cricket ...lollz There are more crowds in T20 but how much value these t20's have ??? if there is a 3 match t20 series between pak/ind and pk win it 3-0 as they are the best at t20 and then a test series btw pak/ind and ind won it 3-0 then what u say which team is better ?? may be u say because more crowd came in t20 so pak is a better cricket team lollzz and what the fans will feel ?think

Posted by del_ on (December 6, 2009, 19:24 GMT)

Chappelli, you, and anybody else who thinks this is a good idea, is an idiot. While most wouldn't think so, test match cricket is what holds all the formats together. Change it or take it away and the game loses its character, the true test, the battle between bowler and batsman and becomes a primarily slap and tickle game. A good over by a bowler becomes getting one ball past a batsman. People will lose interest with it as quickly as the T20 format has risen, and the only people playing 'cricket' then will be India.

Posted by sathish4 on (December 6, 2009, 19:23 GMT)

Chappell a visionary? Chappell's on a wind-up and trying to see how many idiots he can work up. So far a bunch of you are doing it hook, link and sinker. Do you seriously think Chappell believes that crap he's written here?

And to the man in the comments who believes Raina can replace one of the big 3 in the test team -- thanks for that, haven't laughed that much in awhile.

Posted by bikku on (December 6, 2009, 19:21 GMT)

usually i agree to what Ian says. but this one is rediculous. test cricket took care of itself for 127 years and it will do it in future as well.

Posted by badal on (December 6, 2009, 19:04 GMT)

Chappel, let's face it, no one will listen to your stupid ideas, so please save your energy for something worth while. Leave test matches alone. We are doing fine with five days. I like URDS , so please don't try to srew it up too. Let's face it Mr. Chappel, your days of dominance are over. Now you have to deal with India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka. We will be next cricketting power countries of world cricket.

Posted by zesu on (December 6, 2009, 18:54 GMT)

i am also agree with mr. chappel,the ranking system is ok,but i think like the world cup in one day matches,why not in test matches.Where all my indian friends are very happy with india performance,be an indian i am also happy with that.but i personally feel that australia are still far better than india in tests and one days.They win three world cup in a row and even in the last champion trophy,no one expected that australia would won that in very convincing way,even if u look at home series in india,australia beat india 4-2 and that was not australia main team,bcoz 8-9 main players missed that tour and it was like an australia A team.So all that shows australia are far better than india and they truely deserve no.1 spot.but mr. chappel,1 thing i am not agree with u,i feel most of the 3 day matches will be draw,so better if it wont change any of the format,bcoz every format like an test,one day and 20-20 have their unique charm.i personally like ur commentary n ur views.

Posted by Hariafromhyd on (December 6, 2009, 17:44 GMT)

Overcoming physical challenges ( Australia playing in India in summer or India in cold on a cloudy cold day),adjusting to foreign locations on a long tour, a deteriorating pitch, test of concentration , focus,mental strength, changing fortunes, winning every session, grinding the opposition, frustating the opposition, bowling long spells in a session planning time outs, winning, test cricket,i could go on and on....why should this change

We have so many obscure formats anyways that take up most of the calendar year and dear sir, you are suggesting that we add one more

I wish India could play more test matches, it is pathetic that a team like India will only play 5 tests next year and Bangladesh is one of the opponents

I guess someone rightly said, none of the records in test cricket set in the next 5 years will ever be broken,cause we might not see any of it

Posted by jackiethepen on (December 6, 2009, 17:09 GMT)

What we need is no interference in Test cricket. Lovers of Test cricket really like the pulse of this game as it is. Why try to jazz it up when shorter formats of cricket already exist? I really really like the slow battles of Test cricket and can watch it all the time as long as there is a true balance between bat and ball. Nothing is more enthralling. What a pity Chappell misses the point of it. If he likes speed try some other sport or Twenty-20. Test cricket is a great survivor from a great age when subtleties were appreciated and batting style is more important than just swatting the ball. Watching Sangakarra bat his lonely century was just marvellous because he is such an artist. What beauty he brings to the game and what poignancy as he stood alone to try to save Sri Lanka. You just cannot get those sort of dramatic scenarios in other forms of cricket. Test Cricket is really sport as its most majestic. If you want fast food go and eat burgers.

Posted by Menec on (December 6, 2009, 16:50 GMT)

Oh my god. Why wont everyone just be quiet? Leave test cricket as it is, all cricket fans want it how it is. Remember the Ashes? all the seats were full because we want to watch TEST 5 DAY cricket. Changing it to 3 or 4 days will make cricket the worst game ever. We have a short format called Twenty20. We had a medium format called ODI cricket. And we have a long one. So what is the point in changing them all to short formats. Test cricket is to see how good a team is. And people will simply stop watching cricket if the game is changed.

Posted by 2.14istherunrate on (December 6, 2009, 16:47 GMT)

3 day Tests? It's just searching for attention.Doesn't he see when it's time to retire gracefully from any sort publicity? This sort of planet leftfield comment only highlights his massive problem. He just ain't got it any more. Sad, but that's that. You had better days, Chappelli- please don't spoil the memory. The brother seems to have lost it too,judging by the speech...sad,but true.

Posted by Nampally on (December 6, 2009, 16:13 GMT)

India has already sealed #1 spot in tests.Your idea of 3 day Test cricket is a good one. To ensure a result we need to implement limited overs/innings which will be dilute the test format. If there is a competition between 8 teams with an idea of establishing who wins there has to be a result in each test. I propose the following approach to ensure a winner in each set of contests. 1. Make it a 100 overs/day over 3 days. 2. Allow each side a limit of 75 overs per innings- 15 overs (max) per bowler 3.No field placing restrictions. 4. The side scoring most runs in a combined total of 2 innings wins. 5. In case of rain interuppting play D/L rules apply 6. Yellow Ball may be preferred if day- night games are played.7. Standardize pitch surface which takes spin from the first day and where ball keeps at least wicket height. 8. Boundary of 80 yards at the longest point is preferred. This format is like an extended version of ODI with more overs but extended over 2 innings

Posted by sajjathhus on (December 6, 2009, 15:57 GMT)

I don't understand why everytime some other team (other than Australia) reaches the top spot in test ranking, Ian comes up with a new format and new ranking system. What was Ian doing when Australia was at the top in the last decade? It is fact that every Australian and ex-crickteres from Australia to accept that Australia doesn't possess the same talent to match with India & S Africa. Why does they feel that test cricket is dying and need to be revamped? I do not see any reason for any sort of change in the current format. Does anyone (or Ian) have any valuable data to back that test cricket is dying?

Posted by dharshan03 on (December 6, 2009, 15:54 GMT)

my idea would be, in a test match 5th day if a 4 th innings has started (ie 2nd team is batting for the 2nd time) even if 1 ball has been bowled in the 4th innings it should goto a sixth day to get a result.

this would result in very interesting tactical ploys by the teams.

Posted by Hoggy_1989 on (December 6, 2009, 15:40 GMT)

I'm not done yet. In addition, the pitches would not deteriorate as much over 3 days, thus eliminating the true effectiveness of a spinner on a crumbling wicket on the 5th day, unless you start telling curators to create absolutely shocking pitches that crumble inside 3 days (maybe give the curator for the 2004 Australia/India Test at Wankhede Stadium a call for tips). Seriously, Chappelli forget your idea of 3 day Test matches, and my solution is to make proper Test pitches that ensure a result inside 5 days, unlike these roads we see in the sub-continent.

Posted by Hoggy_1989 on (December 6, 2009, 15:38 GMT)

Chappelli, I don't know whether to call you a heretic, lunatic or a hypocrite. For years on Channel 9 in Australia, you rammed the virtues and sanctity of Test cricket down our throats day in and day out, and now you continue to put forward plans to butcher Test cricket? One obvious point is where you claim that the UDRS should be used 'for absolute howlers'. What constitutes as a howler? You'd need to look at every single appeal, and hold the game up while you determine if it fits your definition of 'an absolute howler', thus slowing the game down. And I think the points rating system is a good one, why change it? The only thing that needs to go is the 'Future Tours Program' and get some sort of rotation going where everyone plays everyone in the space of 2 years (politics permitting). And making teams bowl 15 overs an hour? Simple. Keep them on the field until they bowl 30 overs a session . Three day Test cricket would result in more draws and more yawns from the general public.

Posted by GobbleUpCricket on (December 6, 2009, 15:18 GMT)

This is true out of the box ideas from Ian Chappel. Being an Indian fan, I must confess that the feeling after being the No. 1 status is mixed. On the one hand we all feel ecstatic; however we are also saddened by the feeling that Test cricket is, perhaps, loosing relevance. It would have evoked an more pleasant feeling had it been achieved when the Aus was still a world conquering side, say in the middle of the decade rather than end of the decade.

I suppose I am not alone in feeling that Test Cricket in its current form will not survive for long. I agree with most of Chappels thoughts. I would add , like a lot of others in the forum that, it should be made of limited overs in 3 or 4 days, preferably day night. A bit like baseball. 4 innings of 90 overs to start with; Any unused overs by the opposition to be carried over to your team and so on.

I would say that most of Chappels suggestions are refreshing and should bring Test Cricket back and thriving. I would also do away theODI

Posted by imac on (December 6, 2009, 15:13 GMT)

A True Cricket Fan, Mr.Chappel is fearing about test match cricket is because of currently series between Aus and Win attracts only less spectators.Changing test in to 3 days is stupid.It never attract people because results will reduced and only sehwag can make results.test cricket need to be played at its best way.5days.crowds not need in test matches.only true test match lovers needed.Only 5 day test match can produce real quality players,otherwise it becomes a game for time pass only.

Posted by kingofspain on (December 6, 2009, 15:07 GMT)

Truly one of the worst "ideas" I've ever seen.

I've got a plan for the future of Test Cricket- Leave it alone.

Posted by jopa on (December 6, 2009, 14:43 GMT)

Great stuff from Chappel, but all the wrong intentions. Read between the lines, and the cat springs out, the Aussie cant digest the rise of India to No.1 in the ranking. Aussies rode on the the great combination of McGrath, Warne to continually be the No.1. No love lost, the next decade is India's, surely it will take time, the new breed is fearless, India will miss the graeats when they retire, but from the evidence of the bench strength, Vijay, Pujara, Raina, they will make up for it. On the pacesrs, India is on the ascendency and Zaheeer, Srisanth, etc will be the new combo. Spin is a worry, but there is a lot of talent waiting to be unfolded. Make it three days, and which team is more poised to reap rewards better than India, with Shewag in its line up?

Posted by kalbavigr on (December 6, 2009, 14:29 GMT)

Ian, if your goal is to increase excitement and increase viewership, you might as well say why test cricket at all! We don't need anything else except T20 cricket. In a future generation, a future Ian Chappell would suggest reducing test cricket from 3 to 2 days - for the exact same reasons that you are telling us today! We must not forget Test cricket is a very unique sport. There is no other sport that goes on for days like this and yet keeps our interests so alive. It does not require us to sit and watch every ball bowled. Yet, it is something so dear to the hearts of cricket fans. There really have been very few boring draws. Many draws are really a triumphs of determined batsmen. Your first episode was published after the first India vs SL high-scoring draw. But what about the 3rd test where India scored their highest ever and yet managed to win? And what about the fact that this series produced a result in 2 out of 3 tests? Test Championship is fine but I vote for 5 day matches.

Posted by kalikesam on (December 6, 2009, 13:40 GMT)

Mr.Chappel as always you are at it again.Test cricket is at its best now thanks to guys like sehwag, ponting,johnson,watson,broad,AB,gayle,dilshan, vettori, the akmals, asif , ameer, zaheer etc. It can be more attraticve when the cooks are replaced with the morgans .

Posted by cric_freak88 on (December 6, 2009, 13:19 GMT)

The 2nd test match between Pakistan & NZ was played on a sporting wicket. It had something for the bowlers and runs for the batsmen yet the match ended on the 4th day. I remember ppl used to say test shud b of 6 days so tht we get results(i dont support this idea) . And now you want the test to be of 3 days ?? -.-

Posted by sames on (December 6, 2009, 12:52 GMT)

When Aussies were on top of test cricket, I am not sure whether Ian had bothered much to comment on the test ranking system or harp on a three day test format as a 'viable' option to crown a test champion. With now India firmly on top of the test ranking ladder, Ian seems to be coming out all guns blazing… what is that you have against India, Ian?

Posted by Shrini on (December 6, 2009, 12:22 GMT)

I guess the current format is a bit flawed. Agreed that 5-day games encorage defensive batting and unenthusisastic bowling, 3-day cricket will not give results in any case. I feel cricket needs something like a universal points system (similar to the Ranji Trophy but not as botched up) and a better FTP. Moreover, ideas like day-night tests can also be given a shot. even something like 2 innings of 150 overs 2 innings of 75 overs can also be tested.(in any case test cricket is limited overs cricket, for all practical purposes)

Posted by Lees_Legends on (December 6, 2009, 12:11 GMT)

International cricket is doing as best as it can be at the moment with one exception. The IPL. Chris Gayle and Fidel Edwards both played in the IPL/Champions League longer than the WICB wished them to and the WICB was essentially powerless to stop them. The BCCI and the ICC should have banned Gayle's and Edward's respective franchises from playing them. Same thing goes for any player defying their national boards medical advice, or team scheduling.

Posted by R_U_4_REAL_NICK on (December 6, 2009, 11:37 GMT)

"a back-foot no-ball law to virtually eradicate overstepping..." Haha, for tall, fast bowlers the ability to bowl 100mph+ will therefore be a 'step closer' (excuse the pun...!).Three's an unlucky number at the best of times.

Posted by zelig on (December 6, 2009, 11:09 GMT)

How about a double-innings limited-overs format.

Each side is allocated (say) 100 overs per innings, with the batting side able to carry over to its second innings any overs not used up in its first inning in the event of a declaration only.

No limitations on the number of overs per bowler but heavy run penalties for teams not bowling 100 overs in the day (given no weather interruptions or other non-fault delays). Otherwise, the normal laws of the current test format to apply (including fielder placements) .

A game would normally be concluded within 4 days. A fifth day could be set aside to cater for non-fault delays.

Posted by Bobby_Talyarkhan on (December 6, 2009, 11:00 GMT)

Ian Chappell is thinking out of the box and ahead of his time, as @Wisecrack rightly acknowledges. What we need are people like him to administrate the game and move it forward proactively but with sensitivity to the concerns of players and fans. The fly in the ointment and the biggest obstacle to reform aimed at saving, rather than destroying, the game is those with the biggest vested interest in letting the game drift along in the direction it is currently taking - i.e. the BCCI. How ironic that India becomes the no 1 test team with no tests scheduled for the next year except two against Bangladesh! All those traditionalists who rightly care about test cricket should remember that test cricket is currently being destroyed by greed and the fetish for one day and 20-20 cricket - the only way to rescue test cricket is to reform it along the lines Ian suggests before it is destroyed anyway! Please note how Ian resistts commercialism - no ads on sightboards etc. Bravo Ian!

Posted by pragmatist on (December 6, 2009, 10:41 GMT)

I don't know about "How to save the game from global warming". Somebody should write a feature on how to save the game from former Australia Test captains.

Posted by Arijit on (December 6, 2009, 10:28 GMT)

All great ideas, except two: Changing the basic rule of calculating averages by eradicating not outs, and having separate stats for championship games. Not counting the stats in Test records will give it an unofficial feel, which will dampen spectator interest. Also, we have three different formats already, can't afford another set of stats.

Posted by not_that_andrewhall on (December 6, 2009, 10:21 GMT)

The assertion that "most Tests are drawn" is simply wrong. Tests in the 2000s have been more result-oriented than in any other decade. Let's not have one "road" in India panic and a few empty seats in Australia us to extreme measures. Ian should have been at the Oval in 2009 to see how vibrant Test cricket can be. I personally am enjoying Tests now more than ever - and the introduction of T20 simply shows what a wonderful game Test cricket is.

Posted by Alexk400 on (December 6, 2009, 10:21 GMT)

Also most important change i want is I want ball to be changed every 40 overs. I want team to play more new ball to test the team. Even middle order has to play new ball on same day. It is a must. Hope ICC make this change. This allow Tests result oriented without fixing overs.

Posted by Alexk400 on (December 6, 2009, 10:17 GMT)

Ian , You are obsessed with your idea. It is second article now on this. Most people rejected it. Not because India is no 1. test . That is bogus ranking. i think SA , AUS and India are on same level but India is marginally better. Not that much.

You need quit on this 3 day Test. I think if you see lots of people respect your view in general because you come out with good stuff and fair and balanced views.

I think people are not afraid to change if it is beneficial. And i do not think 3 day test is not going to decide who is better team. It is just messing up with what already working.

What we need is though some minor tweaking of TEST. Like limit overs or make everyone play same overs even if it takes 7 days. if it is drawn test , throw away the stats.

Also fix west indies , we need west indies , it gets boring when you play again and again same teams. Every team must play same number of Test every year. That is a must. ODI and 20/20 is just plugin in the gap

Posted by anton1234 on (December 6, 2009, 10:13 GMT)

Why would you want 7-hour days when 6 hours is already considered too many? In any case, there are many days when test matches go well past close of play time, sometimes 30-40 minutes beyond.

Here are a few points to make test cricket more exciting:

A 1 or 2-year world championship - two divisions by creating a lower tier made up of countries like Ireland, kenya, Bangladesh, Holland, Canada, Scotland.

16 overs an hour because teams are getting away with murder sometimes, bowling as few as 12 overs.

Create pitches that are neutral for both batsmen and bowlers.

Maybe make it 4 days with 100 overs balled in a day's play (but tehre would still be 6 hours a day) which would mean slightly above 16 overs an hour. So, the whole match would potentially last 400 overs as opposed to the 450 overs at the moment.

Posted by ianChappellFan on (December 6, 2009, 10:10 GMT)

btw, maybe I am missing something but why cant we have tests played with colored clothing as well like ODI/T20 instead of going thru this unnecessary exercise of looking for a suitable ball for white clothing at night, I mean a pink ball will be more of a heresy than colored clothing in tests

Posted by ianChappellFan on (December 6, 2009, 10:07 GMT)

excellent article...few points to ponder: -if the ICC/Sponsors hear the 3 day test idea with longer hour, their eyes with dollars blinking, will just light up, and they would squeeze even more tests in a year, hence more money, and player burnout will increase even further -to offset the above, i think the ICC should introduce an off-season in cricket like almost all other sports. If we compare this to Major League baseball (which is even less strenous than cricket), a team plays about 150 games per season (so virtually on all days), and then 3 best of 7 playoff series (I think). After this a long offseason to relax, nurse injuries, rejuvenate, spend time with families etc -So players and fans are fresh next season -Even 2 months off-season will be good too (baseball is longer) -i personally think there should be a world cup every year for both tests and 20/20 -this can be achieved if we eradiacate the ODI, and have the best 8 teams competing with the 8th ranked team relegated

Posted by CMIS on (December 6, 2009, 10:07 GMT)

Scheduling matches on non-rainy days?! You must be joking. I am surprised you have suggested this, as you must be aware of the nightmare that is cricket scheduling nowadays. Barring the three day idea, a lot of what you say makes sense. Of course, if pitches were more sporting, all of this would be irrelevant, as that would make games more competitive and test cricket would be healthy again. Shortening the duration would ensure that a vital element of test cricket - the exercise of patience - would be lost as batting sides would try to score at a frenetic pace while bowlers get more marginalised. We will see many more declarations than we do now and a completed innings would be a rarity. It's been said often enough that the shorter the duration, the more the result is left to chance. Test cricket, as it is and has always been, leaves very little to chance. Three-day tests will only destroy the comprehensive nature of tests, and cricket will be immeasurably poorer for it.

Posted by Mina_Anand on (December 6, 2009, 10:07 GMT)

No cuts please:

We want carbon copies of the existing delights…

How can a three-day game ever replace the drama, suspense and enjoyment of a five-day Test ?

A shortened version will rob the cricket lover of the most precious sporting gifts ever.

A three-day Test sounds like a longer version of the slam-bang 20-20. In any case, with grand slammers like Viru around, to light up and set up test matches, who would want to watch a T-20 game ?

But test cricket is not just about 'hitting over the top'. One can be just as aggressive by playing according to the situation - by digging themselves in - by grinding it out - by keeping one end tight….patience plays a big role in test match cricket.

For heaven's sake (or rather Viru's !) do not tamper with the best format of the game.

Forget about future generations - we want our rights - right now !

Posted by tfjones1978 on (December 6, 2009, 9:58 GMT)

Changes I would make: * Multi-tier cricket championship that includes all 3 formats (inc Associates). * Tests two 25 over sessions in day & two 20 over sessions at night. Teams alternate batting each session for 5 days. * Match points awarded for Test Win (8), Draw (2), 1st Innings (1) and Half Day Victory (0.1). ODI (3 for win) & T20I (1 for win). * UDRS needs to be auto for each wicket and fielding side gets unlimited challenges. * Semis & Final of Cricket Championship every 2 years, with other 2 years for T20I & ODI world cups. * Replace Champions Trophy & Intercontinential Cup&Shield with above. * Allow any country to field a team at lowest tier of cricket championship.

Posted by jamesb on (December 6, 2009, 9:56 GMT)

If test cricket is dying out why are so many people watching the Aus v Windies test in Adelaide? And the crowds for India v Srl have been good too. Just goes to show that if the games are meaningful, people will go. Don't need shorter games, just well-balanced competitive matches aimed at an end goal, i.e. a test championship. Well done the guy who suggested fewer tests per year: quality, not quantity, something the ICC/BCCI (they're the same thing) just don't get. One home series, one away per year. Where has this obsession that everyone plays 10-12 tests per year come from? And fewer tests means more space for 2020 stuff to make the cash. Surely this is just common sense?

Posted by jamesb on (December 6, 2009, 9:43 GMT)

These ideas have some merit but need careful consideration. What happens to traditional 5-day tests? What about the Ashes? 16 overs an hour is highly optimistic, and let's be honest naively unrealistic. They can barely manage 15 an hour now. On a more minor note, 'get rid of not outs' is a stupid idea. What about the guy who carries his bat for 150? Does he deserve to be rated as 'out'? Or the guy who goes in with 20 to win and ends up with 15 not out? Why should he be 'out'? Ridiculous idea. And 3-day tests in India are frankly laughable when all you get are wickets that make 400 a bare minimum and 700 a regular occurence. Then again, why not just kick India out of test cricket as they only seem in interested in 2020 anyway? And despite now being top of the tree, they cancel their test series v the Saffas who they have taken over from! That could have been a great series. Unbelievable arrogance and disrespect for the game.

Posted by BellCurve on (December 6, 2009, 9:26 GMT)

What about four two-hour sessions per day of 30 overs each? The sides swap around after each session. Each side therefore gets 180 overs over three days. Because they swap around regularly they face similar conditions. And the side with the most runs wins. Draws are therefore completely eliminated. You still have only the 20 wickets. Wicket preservation is therefore still important, but batting strike rate will become far more relevant. No more draws. No more negative batting tactics. Just full throttle competition between bat and ball.

Posted by Governor on (December 6, 2009, 9:19 GMT)

You have a very good idea that will promote attacking game plans from the respective captains; a closer contest between bat and ball and entice people back into the stadiums.

However, we really need captains of all test nations to get together to save the game!! They are the ones who are killing the game by adopting the strategy of batting the opposition out of the game with an innnings of 500 plus runs.

Posted by MichaelG on (December 6, 2009, 9:17 GMT)

Day night Tests could be done by using white ball and coloured clothing in the evening session only so you don't need the white ball to last as long. ( You'll need a big box of aged red and white balls for it to work though)

Posted by omer_admani on (December 6, 2009, 8:01 GMT)

It is a very innovative idea-- perhaps 4 days would be the right balance. If pitches are going to get more bowling-oriented, the contests might get more attacking. If Pak/NZ matches are any indication, then the batsmen who attack will do well. But without actually exprimenting, it is hard to be cerain what it is going to be like.

Posted by sray23 on (December 6, 2009, 7:39 GMT)

All ideas to save Test cricket mentioned in this article have merit but they are somewhat radical and they need not be. In a nutshell this is what needs to happen with Tests: the Indian board needs to get its act together. India is a country of close to 1.5 billion people and people are saying there cannot be a healthy number of takers for Test cricket?? I find that hard to believe. Two things need to happen for Tests to thrive in the Indian market: 1) India must prepare pitches which turn and bounce from day 3 onwards 2) Test matches must be scheduled there there is a weekend on the 2nd and 3rd day of Tests. Point (1) will ensure the spinners come into play and there will be many fielders around the bat looking for bat-pad catches, a great sight of Tests in India which I feel has been lost recently due to preparation of roads as cricket pitches. Point (2) will ensure healthy crowd attendences on weekends which in turn would make Test cricket a better television product.

Posted by cook on (December 6, 2009, 7:36 GMT)

I can't see 3 day tests working. All it will do is make more matches be drawn, and no one wants that. How are teams going to get a result in India in only 3 days, with the pitches they prepare over there ? And also what happens on a rainy day, that means the test will be only 2 days, it's impossible to work. The lack of crowds has been exaggerated anyway. The current test in Adelaide has seen plenty of people attend, and the Ashes were sell outs. The currect NZ - Pak tests haven't been attended by many people but that has always been the case in NZ. The pitches need the most work so every game can have a result.

Posted by hsengiv86 on (December 6, 2009, 7:31 GMT)

In 5 day cricket is itself nowadays we are not getting a result,most of the time it ends in draw.what will be a 3 day cricket will be of ? I believe that test cricket is the only one now where there is a match between bat and ball,if you try to introduce a 3 day cricket,then captains will start thinking of having only all rounders in their final 11,then where will the bowlers go?

Posted by gorky_s on (December 6, 2009, 7:30 GMT)

With all respect, Ian we don't really expect such thoughts from you. I don't see why you can't see that this idea of three-day test is ridiculous. Next, one-day tests, and then no tests? ODI's and T20I's are very good places for innovation, can we leave Test cricket out of this plz? Test cricket survived the ODI blitz, not for no reason, and it has gained a lot from the ODI experience, similar thing is going to happen w.r.t. T20 also, we just need to give some time, and of course, do away with myopic scheduling, lik e some country playing only 3 tests in about a year. Test has survived over a century and it will survive.

Posted by ozfrog on (December 6, 2009, 7:18 GMT)

I agree that test cricket must change .... just like tennis, despite what Sir Freddie (was it really him?) has to say. About 20 years ago, a tennis match could last all day; then, for all but grand slams, they reduced the number of sets from 5 to 3 (sound familiar) and introduced tie breaks. The result - quicker more exciting games and bigger more excited crowds at the matches.

Posted by aditya87 on (December 6, 2009, 7:15 GMT)

I think that just reducing Tests to three days will just increase the number of draws, coz nobody wants to lose. We want to encourage aggressive play -- so make better pitches. Day-night Tests is not a bad idea. Further, the game needs to move faster.

Posted by AnSVad on (December 6, 2009, 7:11 GMT)

I find it extremely surprising that such a doyen of the game should suggest such a needless change. Many people of my generation already feel that the slash-bang T-20 cricket is extremely repetitive cricket which does not inspire creativity or text-book playing. Contrary to what has been suggested by Mr. Chappel, efforts should be directed towards atleast maintaining status quo, i.e., playing no more T-20 games and no less test matches. It should be remembered that while exciting cricket brings in temporary fans and temporary money, test cricket is what keeps the purists enthused, hence keeping the life blood of the game running.

Posted by Wisecrack on (December 6, 2009, 7:10 GMT)

Ian Chappel and Sachin Tendulkar are thinking ahead of time and have put forward GREAT IDEAS for cricket admistrators to think about. Everyone resists when a change happens but changes in every field is absolutely neccessary.

Posted by ynotlleb on (December 6, 2009, 7:08 GMT)

"games must be played where and when the chances of rain are negligible" so not in England then!

Posted by waseem72 on (December 6, 2009, 7:02 GMT)

moral of the story... NEVER drink AND write column!

Posted by Aswin_ganesh on (December 6, 2009, 6:50 GMT)

Mr.Ian, it is very unwise to hear of such an advice from you. Test match should be a 5-day game because it is the best timeline to get a proper result with even advantages for both teams. If we desire to save cricket, we need to revamp the pitches. Test matches will remain to be lifeless as long as pitches are favoring batsmen. Provide bowler-friendly pitches and then see how test matches fare. All of you senior cricketers always seem to treat the wrong disease.

The problem lies with the pitches, not with test matches.

Posted by RaghuramanR on (December 6, 2009, 6:47 GMT)

Some of the comments are naive to put it mildly. If we look at sports, I think only cricket has a match that could go upto 5 days and at the end of it, provide NO result. Games like Chess which can extend to days also can end in a draw but Chess is hardly a spectator sport. Also with multiple variations, one days, 20-20s, players can hardly expect to play for long. Not every player is Sachin. Ponting recently said that he would be in wheel chair if he played so long. So from a player's perspective, ICC should look at a sensible calendar. Reducing to 3 day tests should not lead to fitting in one more one-day or two 20-20s, but this is how the administrators or ICC would like at it for sure. Maybe Ian is missing this point and living in an 'ideal' world, which is certainly not the case.

Posted by MSRI on (December 6, 2009, 6:33 GMT)

Ian, Interesting point of view. Agree that Cricket needs to change with the times - the ultimate form of Cricket will continue to be Test Cricket. Like your idea of tests being played on weekends - would suggest the following changes to your idea - make it 4 days - games start on Thursday and teams play 112 overs a day in a 7 hour day - which means you still get 448 overs as opposed to the 450 now . In India,allow everyone below 16 free into test grounds , reduce ticket fees , make pitches more balanced to allow contest between bat and ball

Posted by Anu-srilanka on (December 6, 2009, 6:31 GMT)

What's up this guy.I respected him untik he suggest this bulshit first.3 day tests , what a ridicukous idea.Test championship is great but 3 day test championship will make nothing but a series with lot of draws.Also ICC shouldn't let Moodi to do ICC duty.IPL is not ICC.

Posted by virology on (December 6, 2009, 6:27 GMT)

The idea of three days test match is not the solution to save test cricket. What next no second innings or it may be 90 overs for each team for an innings. I think all this idea are senseless. Just prepare good wicket and every wicket should get a permission before a week or three days from the ICC appointed members before a match. I believe preparing a pitch is difficult one depending on the soil. But each ground knows when would be their next match at least in six months in advance. So they should have three checking points first one before three months, the second one before one month and the third one before a week. The bowlers need to be given more importance in the team than the batsman they should be paid more and each team should definitely play five specialized bowlers

Posted by vjk_17 on (December 6, 2009, 6:26 GMT)

Ian, Is Cricinfo paying you to write this nonsense or are you writing it because you have nothing else to do in life? Test cricket should not be touched! I'd much rather watch an India vs Australia test series than all these mindless twenty 20s. Here is the solution. 1. Reduce the number of ODIs and twenty 20s. 2. Reduce the number of test playing nations. 3. Result oriented pitches. 4. Use twenty 20s (or even ten10s) to generate interest in non-cricket playing countries.

Player will be more focussed and it will reduce the number of injuries. Also, public interest and viewership will be higher if there are fewer games.

Posted by PratUSA on (December 6, 2009, 6:19 GMT)

I see lots of thoughts went behind this idea and I appreciate that Ian is willing to see the change for survival but why then go on to suggest keeping "the championship statistics separate from those of traditional Test matches"? Doesn't it mean Ian that you are suggesting a fourth format altogether? Just like what T20 is to ODIs, this will be to Tests? I see some merits in your argument but not convinced sir!

Posted by Idol on (December 6, 2009, 6:11 GMT)

This is the second time Ian has written about it on Cricinfo. I really cannot believe he is serious about this nonsense. Time to start writing the epitaph of Ian Chappell, the meaningful commentator

Posted by Jim1207 on (December 6, 2009, 6:02 GMT)

Of late, Ian chappell has become so bad that he has been blabbering a lot which makes no sense. This is another gem. If cricinfo has to be respected his articles need to be heavily scrutnized before publishing. I think in his days he plaed 6 day tests too. He played 6 days tests with one rest day too. He does not have to say what we fans like the best.

Posted by sudzz71 on (December 6, 2009, 5:50 GMT)

Ian, you of all the people are least expected to bang in the nail in the coffin. A three day test, a day-night test etc are not required. Convert test cricket into a classic event with only 5-6 nations playing test cricket. Let there be only a few matches each year.

You will be surprised at how many top flight corporates might be willing to sponsor such tournaments.

Posted by vpyati on (December 6, 2009, 5:45 GMT)

I agree with the suggestion to eradicate not-outs as anyway average doesn't really tell much about the player. But as many others have pointed, even if playing hours are equivalent to the current 4-day game, the proposed 3-day test would only increase the number of draws. After all a draw is definitely better than a loss.

Also, we cannot accommodate both 3day test(assuming you are suggesting it only for test championship) and the traditional version. The test championship will need at least a month to complete, but where is the window? Haven't you heard of one Mr. Modi trying to increase the number of IPL teams and making the event biannual? Add to the proposed T20 leagues from England and SA.

I think the only solution is to improve the pitches and prevent minnows from playing test cricket

Posted by KingOwl on (December 6, 2009, 5:37 GMT)

Three days will be just too short. We can manage with four days with a bit of tinkering. But IC seems to think that replays, referrals, etc are a waste of time and make the game boring. They do not. They make it a whole lot more interesting. The tension and the anticipation of waiting for a replay are great for the spectators. So, don't get rid of such innovations, just because some of the old guard in the cricket community tend to be dinosaurs when it comes to technology.

Posted by siddharth_r2001 on (December 6, 2009, 5:33 GMT)

I have normally admired and respected Ian Chappell's comments. But he seems to have lost it here. As much as I support the idea of day-night tests that should be the ONLY change made to test cricket in its present form.

Another point, how come Mr. Chappell never thought of suggesting "The No. 1-ranked side would be best decided by playing a World Test championship among the eight major nations." in all these years when Australia were the No. 1 in Test Cricket. Now that they are currently down to no. 4 and don't appear to become no. 1 in the foreseeable future, he says the no 1 ranking should now be decided by a championship?

And how can he even compare the value of Virender Sehwag to someone as trivial as Mitchell Johnson?? What the hell has Johnson done in his career, except for the series against SA last year? We all know what happened to him in the Ashes. And Ian compares him to someone who narrowly missed out on being the first to score three 300s in the history of test cricket!

Posted by AJ_Tiger86 on (December 6, 2009, 5:31 GMT)

I have never been a fan of Ian Chappell and his views of the game. But this three-day-test-matches idea is ridiculous by even Chappell's standards. Test match cricket should be left as it is. Who says Test cricket is dying? Yes, Twenty20 format's popularity is rising rapidly, but that doesn't necessarily mean the death of test cricket. Twenty20 is attracting those people who never liked cricket anyway. The real cricket fans have always preferred the five-day format and will continue to do so in the future. If Baseball, Golf and Tennis can sustain their popularity without any major changes to the rules for over a century--then why can't test match cricket do the same? Another point: you seem to be pretty sore at the fact that India have become the number one test team in the world. You should realise that Australia's dominance in world cricket is well and truly over. They are the number 4 test team in the world and that's where to deserve to be. And Mitchell Johnson is not a world-class

Posted by IPLFan on (December 6, 2009, 5:27 GMT)

I agree with Ian Chappell about 3-day Test plan, with a slight modification. Decrease the number of wickets per innings. Let only the top 7 bat. With 6 wickets per innings, it should be easy to get 24 wickets in 3 days. That way, bowlers do their job of bowling, batsmen do the batting. Added to day-night matches, I think that makes for ideal viewing both on TV and in the ground.

Posted by Harvey on (December 6, 2009, 5:27 GMT)

Boards nowadays can't even be trusted to prepare pitches that allow a Test to be completed in 5 days, let alone 3. Also if a day of a 3-day game is washed out, then a result will be practically impossible. Your plan is a recipe for more boring draws than we currently get. Lengthening the day is hardly going to appeal to the people with short attention spans who love Twenty20, either? My view is that it would alienate lovers of Test cricket while offering nothing to persuade those who don't currently watch it to do so. I think if your plan was ever adopted, I would turn my back on the game forever. It would no longer be the sport I love.

Posted by Lees_Legends on (December 6, 2009, 5:23 GMT)

I struggle to see why everyone thinks test cricket needs "saving". Yes, Twenty20 is more popular at the moment, but that hardly means that test cricket is dead. For those who think that test crowds are dwindling, look at the old scorecards from the 80s and 90s. The crowd attendances weren't spectacular back then, yet no one seemed to think that the format was on the brink of extinction. Test cricket will never attract the crowds of 50 and 20 over matches, because the limited over games are more spectator friendly.

Posted by fawad.Ala on (December 6, 2009, 5:17 GMT)

one thing i must mention here that cricket should not treated as dance competition that people come and entertain with in 1 hours and go back. cricket is a game of temperament from either side, players and viewers. t20 and 1day cricketl both are good to drag people, who are trying to understand cricket. people like me and many others who already been watching cricket for so long love to see 5 days cricket. 3 dayz test is not a good idea becuase it will diminsh the distance between 1day and test. how you can find quality players without current format of test matches. bradman,mcgrath, lara, marshall, saching,kumble, miadad,wasim, pollock, kallis, crowe, desilve, pietersen etc, all are famous becuase of test matches rather 1dayerz or t20. i think this format of cricket keep continuing.

Posted by Winner on (December 6, 2009, 5:10 GMT)

I like your proposal for three day tests, unlike most of the people who commented before me, you understand that this world is changing and cricket needs to change with it, otherwise cricket will lose more and more to other sports and definitely will not pick up new followers, specially here in the USA, If I talk to someone about cricket especially to those with limited knowledge the first concern is its too long and thus boring.

Posted by WJStryder on (December 6, 2009, 5:06 GMT)

I cant help but feel that in a way the decision has been made allready - we are allready closer to a ball that can be used at night time. To be honest i think ian is just the spokesperson for a decision that has a llready been made. I cant stand him for it and i cant stand the people who are driving cricket to where it is at and where it is going. they are not cricketers. They are businessmen. Get them out of our sport! They are killing it - quickly - not slowly!

Posted by keralite on (December 6, 2009, 4:49 GMT)

I don't think there are many people who would want to watch a cricket match for five days.... But having said that I don't think there would be many supporters for a 3 day match either. Still there is marginal section of cricket fans who are interested in the longest and ultimate format. Let them enjoy that as it is now. Otherwise there would be no one . Only way test cricket can survive is to produce good matches. Matches are good only when there is good competition between bat and ball. For that we need good pitches... not just flat tracks. We need more meaningful matches. Why should Australia or India play test matches against Bangladesh when they are still minnows in one day format? I do not know whether day night match is a solution but.... I, like may others would have more time to follow match that way. As a cricket fan I am sure that good pitches and good competition between bat and ball (example we had lara v warne) would help the cause.

Posted by yaseenk2002 on (December 6, 2009, 4:44 GMT)

I must say Ian your ideas can only destroy Test cricket! As a respected cricket analyst you should refrain from giving such ideas because who knows they might be taken seriously!! and the game might be destroyed! Decreasing the amount of playing hours is the last thing you want to do to 'save' test cricket. This is wholesale tampering. Let test cricket be as it is. Sporting pitches is the only answer. Day-night Tests is as far as we can go with the existing format. And computer based ranking is a very good solution I say . Aussies existed at top for 7-8 years appropriately and now India have taken up the place just as as write and quite appropriately too. :).

Posted by tombaan on (December 6, 2009, 4:12 GMT)

What next Ian...test in one day?

Posted by venkatpv83 on (December 6, 2009, 3:57 GMT)

Ian, With all due respect, I think you have completely lost it! 5 day tests are absolutely fine. I can live with a pink ball (day-night tests), but pretty much every other idea is worth trashing, like eradicating not outs, what the hell!

5 day tests are good. The best idea to improve popularity of tests is to have good pitches, nothing more, nothing less.

A little bit of rain now and then also won't hurt.those kinds of uncertainties help in separating the men from the boys, batsmen like Dravid combating overcast conditions or damp pitches.

Posted by pragmatist on (December 6, 2009, 3:56 GMT)

Ian, I have huge respect for you and the positive intent behind your comments. However I really can't bring myself to agree with the three day Test plan. Test cricket needs to be given space to breathe, and the current five day format seems to be the best way to accommodate this. Far from increasing the excitement, I can see the shortening of the game doing exactly the opposite and increasing the likelihood of draws. To liven up the game I suggest that the ICC should take action against self-serving boards preparing dead pitches, should consider changing the ball used outside England to give bowlers more help. To help players, we should also resist the temptation to shove back-to-back Tests into the schedule as well as ending two-Test series completely. Day/night Tests are not the answer. I do agree with you on your idea of a genuine Test championship, though. The format of the game that needs the most help, in my view, is the 50 over game, which really is formulaic and dull.

Posted by i_love_red_sox on (December 6, 2009, 3:40 GMT)

Thanks Ian for the insights. Its just too ambitious and I fear too many draws!! Must be experimented before its implemented in the so called championship. I think 75 overs a side per inning (with a total of 300 overs bowled over 3 days) is a viable option. Again, that becomes limited over cricket then!!

Posted by SrinR on (December 6, 2009, 3:38 GMT)

I normally respect your opinions Ian, but I don't understand why you are trying to labour this point. Leave test cricket be. It is endlessly intriguing as it is. Witness the various matches taking place right now.

It is normal for interest levels in test cricket to wax and wane over time. My opinion is it is determined by the characters, those special players who capture people's imaginations - the Sehwags, Mohammed Asifs, Shane Bonds and so on. As long as we keep test cricket accessible to youngsters, there will always be someone coming in now and then who will set the world alight and people will flock to the stadiums to see them. There is no need to IPL'ise test cricket.

Posted by Obaidcric on (December 6, 2009, 3:25 GMT)

well i liked your idea ... and i hate the way cricket's administrators are dealing with the game .. i don't know why aren't they taking innovative measures to save the game ..if i would have been ryte there on top then I would have definitely scrap out the ODIs and had done everything to make the Test Cricket interesting ... i might be Cricket fanatic; but a moderate person won't wait for the game ... he has the options to choose between other sports and cricket alone ! so whatever ICC needs to do they need to do it now ... btw thumbs up for 20 / 20 .. the game does attract the audience so m satisfied as far as it's good for Cricket !

Posted by Alexk400 on (December 6, 2009, 3:10 GMT)

I am not really into this hoopla of Test championship or 3 day Test. The best team can be decided only if all 8 teams are playing in same ground and same conditions. Which is not possible because in normal ground unless you play in covered stadium. That will remove the shine of Test.

I would vote Yes if i see better option , so far i am not convinced of Ian chappell views. What i really want though is result oriented Test and avoid sachin accumulate runs in flat wickets to make his stats look more value than actually it is.

I think all stats should be removed if the Test is drawn. Period. That way all sachin useless stats can be removed. I want real value of player.

The best way to solve is make Test result oriented by making each Team play as fix number of overs , unless rain god comes in , then game is drawn and the stats should be thrown out.

I still do not like people play more than 5 hrs because bowlers won't be efficient and tired. We want players to play at their peak..

Posted by dyogesh on (December 6, 2009, 3:01 GMT)

Ian, i think the question can we get wickets that detoriate very badly in 3 days ? I think 3 days is too short to get a result. 4 days seems more reasonable if they feel the need to shorten it. But i rather prefer the 5 day format. There seems to be something associated with it that makes players play differently on different days. And on good wickets, over 5 days you get time for everything - good batting, good fast bowling and good spin bowling. But on 3 day matches, some of these could be totally redundant. Many of the classic matches of our age would have been lost but for that crucial fifth day. Any team that manages to bat a day and a quarter at a good rate just won't lose at all in 3 day tests.

Posted by djfw666 on (December 6, 2009, 2:46 GMT)

After reading this, I can quite safely say Mr Chappell - What a ridiculous proposal. Why not just hold it over 1 day... Wait, we already have 1 day games.

Posted by jammydravid on (December 6, 2009, 2:40 GMT)

Good Morning Sir,

Its still early hours in England (where I am replying this from), but these days your comments are becoming more and more ridiculous. Test cricket is being enjoyed all over the world, in India, New Zealand (procuding the best cricket after ashes) and Australia too. The last thing cricket needs today is another format. All ready we have three formats, now if we implement your idea test cricket which we see today is doomed forever. Let things be as they are, obiously there wil be some draws or matches where one team will dominate the other as australia are dominating west indies or thete will be some yawning draws (like india vs lanka) but atleast we have some orthodox wonderfull test matches like pakistan vs new zealand. If we implement your method, we would be left with limited over internationals of more no of overs. Lets improve quality of pitches esp India (I grew in ahmedabad and I am ashamed of it now) and there will be no talk of a new version of the game.

Posted by Nemo2011 on (December 6, 2009, 2:38 GMT)

The article seemed like a fantasy to me.....I think, Ian's mind is not working properly, and is at his last stage of his Cricket writing. This happens to everybody with increasing age. In my opinion, Test Cricket should be continued with as minimal change as possible.....I am ready to spend hours in front of TV watching Aus v Ind, Eng v Aus, Aus v SA, Ind v Pak Test matches...by the way I am 28 yrs old....

Posted by RaghuramanR on (December 6, 2009, 2:38 GMT)

I think most experts are barking up the wrong tree without laying emphasis on pitches and captains. Statistics (cricinfo is a good place to see) shows that Australia despite playing almost double the number of tests played by India has lesser number of draws. India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka have played in the highest percentage of draws. Not all of these are exciting draws like the sensational one between Australia and New Zealand and to bear in mind, it was a rain curtailed test match. India is very draw-savvy and draw is used only as a pretext to amplify their personal batting records. Obviously draws have a negative effect on the career of bowlers. It would be an interesting exercise to see the number of hundreds scored in test matches that ended in a draw.

Posted by idontknowidontcare on (December 6, 2009, 2:36 GMT)

Now Mr. Chappell, take it easy. Don't get overexcited. You are a cricket expert, so please limit your comments to your area of expertise. Your choice of the term "Global Warming" as an analogy for the state of cricket was a really bad one. Apparently, you don't understand that playing under floodlights would _increase_ Global Warming (the real one, not your misconstructed analogy).

Posted by Wisdom_of_Cricket on (December 6, 2009, 2:35 GMT)

I like the idea. However, even with 16 overs per hour --(totalling 336 overs over 3 days) may not be enough to get results as often as you want....Instead I say we stick to 13 overs----this will reduce plenty of headache for captains, umpires and everyone as they are so used it....AND reduce the number of wickets needed to bowl out a team from 10 to 6 . Why six ? --Currently, we have around 450 overs in a Test match so thats like 11.25 overs per wicket (40 wickets in all). With 7 hr 3 days, there are about 270 overs. At the rate of 11.25 overs per wicket, it will allow for a maximum of 24 wickets spread over 4 innings...24 divided by 4 equals 6....

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Ian ChappellClose
Ian Chappell Widely regarded as the best Australian captain of the last 50 years, Ian Chappell moulded a team in his image: tough, positive, and fearless. Even though Chappell sometimes risked defeat playing for a win, Australia did not lose a Test series under him between 1971 and 1975. He was an aggressive batsman himself, always ready to hook a bouncer and unafraid to use his feet against the spinners. In 1977 he played a lead role in the defection of a number of Australian players to Kerry Packer's World Series Cricket, which did not endear him to the administrators, who he regarded with contempt in any case. After retirement, he made an easy switch to television, where he has come to be known as a trenchant and fiercely independent voice.

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