June 11, 2012

Why pay lip service to Test cricket?

Everyone who says the five-day game can co-exist with the current overdose of T20 is living in a fool's paradise
134

There are a few truths about the IPL that can't be denied. It is immensely popular in India right now. It is arguably the most watched tournament. It pays cricketers more than international cricket has ever paid them. In a week of playing the IPL, for example, New Zealand cricketers make more than their annual retainer fee with NZC. The home board gets 10% of what the players earn in the IPL, which means that if eight New Zealand players feature in the tournament, it has in effect helped NZC pay the annual contracts of four of its players.

Cricketers who threatened to strike because of too much cricket six years ago now just shrug their shoulders and play on. Cricketers all over the world, in the prime of their careers, from Kevin Pietersen to Michael Clarke to James Anderson to Kumar Sangakkara, want to play in the IPL. It's futile to fight, deny or wish these facts away.

It is not rare to find administrators, commentators and columnists talking about these facts, but while doing so, they also deal in many arguable assertions and some downright lies. While it is true that the IPL is not to blame for what players do at private parties or for global warming, tirades saying so have only distracted us from what exactly is wrong with the IPL: the format of cricket, the duration over which it is played, its primacy in the world of cricket, and its effect on the game's ecosystem.

To those who believe the IPL is a celebration of decadence, it is casually mentioned it is played on a 22-yard pitch, with the same white Kookaburra, and with more or less the same bats as in other cricket. It seems to be almost immaterial that the duration of the game has been reduced drastically, that having ten wickets to lose over 20 overs has eliminated risk from batting, that the thrills are a result of the lack of consequence, that the bowler has been marginalised, that wickets have never been cheaper, that there isn't enough time for a contest to develop. You could argue this happens with 50-over cricket too, but it only does in the last few overs, and only if you have batted well to keep wickets in hand.

Not only is it said that the IPL is cricket, it is also said it is high-quality cricket. Some fall just short of saying it is of higher quality than the Test cricket it coincides with. "You must be crazy. Didn't you see 22 matches this season went into the last over?" If close finishes are the only attraction, and the only criterion for good cricket, surely F15 will produce a higher percentage of last-over finishes? T10 even more. If you play just Super Overs, every match will finish in the last over.

It is also said that those who worry about Test cricket in general, and Indian Test cricket in particular, are old fogeys, afraid of change, smoking their pipes in mahogany chairs. But there is more to their concern than just fear of change.

Look at India's workload, for example. Over the last seven years - 2011 to 2005 - India have played 34, 27, 31, 29, 37, 30 and 27 ODIs. The 37 came in 2007, when India played eight non-FTP ODIs just before the World Cup. There has been no reduction in the number of ODIs India have played since the beginning of the IPL.

The IPL has not replaced anything in India's calendar; it is an addition to the calendar. And it is played over two months in the Indian summer. It takes up the players' time and energy - physical, mental, emotional. It is said that South African players also play in the IPL and their Test cricket has not deteriorated. It could be argued that they have won only one series at home in the last five years, the significant failure being their batsmen's on seaming tracks in Durban. Is that not linked at all to an excess of T20? It is conveniently forgotten also that when South Africa's opener and captain got injured, he chose to go through with treatment so that he came back ready for Test cricket. A certain India opener knew he needed to go down the same route to come back prepared for a much-anticipated Test series last year, but he chose otherwise. And India's best batsman chose to play in the IPL before proceeding to rest during a Test series in the West Indies, even though he had never won a series there.

Shane Watson has an Australian physio who lets his IPL team know how to deal with him; Indian players, on the other hand, go to a Sri Lankan doctor who could be anything between a healer and a quack, without the BCCI's knowledge. There is a strong case for keeping the same set of people from running a business and a cricket team when the interests of the two often clash with each other.

We can argue till the cows come home about whether a full-strength India would have won the series in England or drawn it or lost just as badly or lost 3-0 or 2-0, but the fact remains that India - the board and the players - chose to not give their best to Test cricket. The choice was simple for Virender Sehwag and Sachin Tendulkar: play IPL or the Tests in the West Indies. In Sehwag's case, even if he made the recovery from surgery in the tight window he had provided himself, he would have come back with his shoulder untested for one of the most anticipated Test series in a long time.

We can also argue till the cows come home about whether what happened in England did have any impact on the Australia tour, or if the team is genuinely rubbish. Sourav Ganguly has no doubt the outcome in Australia would have been different had the England tour gone differently. He recently wrote in a column on wisdenindia.com: "A lot of people said this was our best chance to beat Australia in their backyard, so why was I wary? It was because I believed that when you lose 4-0 overseas, your confidence takes a huge battering and the result of one series influences the other."

India's last year in Test cricket - their worst away streak since the '60s - was merely a continuation (you can only hope it was also the culmination) of their scant regard for international cricket since the advent of IPL. It is conveniently forgotten that Gary Kirsten warned the BCCI about IPL fatigue after the debacle in the 2009 World Twenty20. Sure enough, in 2010, India landed in the West Indies without any warm-up games, without any time to come together as a team. Later that year they rested almost the whole side for a triangular series in Zimbabwe, and finished third. Nobody chose to not play in the IPL, though.

We can also argue whether MS Dhoni the captain has grown stale with every series. There seems to be a certain robotic element to his captaincy. And he complains of too much cricket in almost every press conference. He seems a man planted on a treadmill he can't turn off.

Perhaps the signs were all there in Dominica, when India refused to go for the kill after being 86 adrift with seven wickets in hand. Yes, the pitch was slow and the outfield slower. India did make one attempt by promoting Suresh Raina, but Duncan Fletcher's counterattacking defence of the move suggested the side had had more than enough, even though there was no way they were going to lose seven wickets in 15 overs.

A year later, a fresh Australian side, with near-identical shortcomings in their batting, pulled off a near-identical chase in near-identical conditions. They did so because they didn't give up. India could have changed the batting order, sent Harbhajan Singh ahead, or the best chaser in ODI cricket, the captain himself, and kept VVS Laxman back in case things went wrong, but tired sides don't want that extra adventure - or work if you will.

Did Dhoni's near-reflexive use of defensive fields after gaining the upper hand twice at the MCG late last year have nothing to do with too much cricket - of the defensive T20 variety? Did that not play a significant role in 0-8?

Aakash Chopra has written about how Indian cricketers practically use first-class cricket to fine-tune their IPL skills. He says that spin had been an area of concern earlier too, but the fall has been dramatic after the advent of T20. A special case in point is Harbhajan, who seems to have developed a phobia of flighting the ball.

Kids are growing up watching spinners dart the ball in, and fast bowlers bowl fast as a variation. In his memoirs of his time as India coach, John Wright wrote about how young Indian players learned a lot of cricket watching it on TV, as opposed to through organised coaching. Nowadays the kids are growing up listening to commentators saying ad nauseam that you can't afford to give the batsmen pace to work with.

Sanjay Manjrekar wrote recently about how India needs to develop bowlers, more than batsmen, to progress in Test cricket. But why exactly will a youngster want to bowl long spells in Test cricket when he is getting paid lakhs for every slower ball he bowls in T20? Domestic coaches say bowlers increasingly go AWOL during the first-class season, and turn up fit for the IPL.

Of course, it is all forgotten come the IPL. Dhoni scores a fifty and suddenly he is a great captain again. Gautam Gambhir wins the IPL and everybody asks him if he is prepared to be Test captain - never mind that he has not scored a Test century in two years. This will sound like pop sociology, but the biggest trick the IPL has played is that every year an Indian side wins the most-watched, richest tournament in cricket. India keeps shining, and India is supposed to supply the world with the largest, most insatiable set of consumers of cola, mobile phones and chewing tobacco. Who cares about defeats? Who nurtures the hurt?

All of the above would, of course, be void if everyone involved - the players, the administrators, the commentators, the columnists - admitted that Test cricket is not the prime format. Right now Test cricket is the aged relative everybody supposedly wants to support but can't wait to put in a home.

T20 is hurting Tests. Not only does it hamper the development of skills and virtues required for Tests, a format that makes our sport unique, it is also eating into the time that Test cricket needs. Every country has its own domestic league now. Every league is willing to pay huge money to players. Then there is the Champions League. An official window for the IPL will not be acceptable to the BCCI, for it will then bring the tournament under the regulation of the ICC, nor will it guarantee players will choose Test cricket over the BBL or the BPL. IPL franchises are already reported to be putting pressure on the BCCI to make star players available for their friendlies during the IPL off season.

Australia and South Africa are playing two-Test series. South Africa have followed New Zealand in giving up the Boxing Day Test. West Indies, partly because of the IPL, and New Zealand entirely because of the clash with it, are not fielding their best teams in Test cricket. India are not interested in giving their best in Tests.

Yet all we hear is, the IPL and Tests can co-exist. From the boards, from the commentators, from the columnists, and from the players. Everybody, do us a favour. Either do something or stop pretending you care for the aged relative. Why should we bother with Tests between half-strength or half-willing sides? At least let the form die with dignity.

Sidharth Monga is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • anshu.s on June 14, 2012, 12:12 GMT

    Lot of empty rhetoric and diatribe from Siddarth Monga.this unerring belief that test cricket is only true form of cricket and looking down on shorter formats smacks of elitism and snobbery, if test matches were so popular it woudn't be played in empty stadiums with practically zero Trp's.What is this thing about Sehwag choosing to play in IPL not for country,Right now Euro's 2012 are going on and most of the players are coming after the back of 9 months long strenous,backbreaking domestic season of Football and some of them are injured,but have you ever heard Football media/ fans questioning that a Wayne Rooney or Rolanldo should have rested for there clubs to be fit for the Euro's ,never ever !! .IPL gives domestic cricketers money and a platform to be recognised and appreciated by the fans,Valthathy and Manpreet Gony were not good enough for India but it dosen't mean they don't have a right to play cricket and that my friends is a reality not a myth.

  • on June 14, 2012, 7:33 GMT

    well bcci never respects domestic ranji performances..for example bcci is trying out various options other than badrinath who they somehow feel doesn't belong to india.he is just 31 but they still say he is too old and has got "enough" opportunities.wat a joke..bcci fancies only flash hitters and dats why every aspiring cricketer wants to play slam bang ipl..

  • Leggie on June 13, 2012, 13:35 GMT

    As written earlier, I agree with every bit of what Sidharth mentions - except the point related to Sachin not playing in West Indies. In fact I was extremely upset when this happened. But later saw a news item where Sachin clarified in one of the interviews that he had been contemplating a vacation with his family for a long time and that the West Indies tour clashed exactly with the vacation dates. So, let's give the great man of Indian cricket some benefit of doubt!

  • jay57870 on June 13, 2012, 11:22 GMT

    Myth: IPL before country. Reality: Sportsmen don't just play for money & glory. Playing for country sparks their inner passion. Just ask Sachin & Rahul. Or young guns: Kohli, Pujara, Rahane & Ashwin. Or "Olympians" Paes ('96 bronze), Bhupathi & Mirza. Myth: Test cricket is dying. Reality: Cricket is in transition. There's more parity. No team is dominant. Top teams (Eng, Ind) find it hard to win on the road. Weaker teams (BD, NZ, WI) have improved. It's an uneasy equilibrium. Just wait, a revived Ind-Pak series will reignite the game! Just like the Ashes! Myth: IPL & Test cricket cannot co-exist. Reality: Optimal scheduling will properly rebalance all 3 formats. Rotation in a large player pool is good. Do not underestimate the power of players (past/present) - Gavaskar, Shastri, Srikanth, Ganguly, Kumble, Dravid & (yes MP) Tendulkar. They are the real custodians & fully understand the game's needs. They can influence BCCI to prioritise & set the future direction. Long live cricket!!

  • jay57870 on June 13, 2012, 11:07 GMT

    Myth: IPL is dissuading Indian veterans from playing Tests. Reality: Viru's & Sachin's unavailability in WI actually opened up opportunities for new talent & youngsters. Rotation policy is useful: regulars get rested, youngsters get much-needed starts. Don't then complain of seniors "depriving" team of new blood! Myth: IPL keeps "India shining". Reality: The 2011 WC tournament & India's triumph overwhelmed IPL 4! You can't teach an old dog new "IPL tricks"! India's ascendancy - on the backs of Sourav, Rahul, Sachin, Anil, VVS & Co - culminated in its top Test ranking & WC triumph in spite of IPL! That's where Dhoni learned his bag of tricks to become a magical captain in all 3 formats: Give credit where it's due! Myth: T20 is hurting Test cricket. Reality: Partly true. In India's case, multiple injuries & advancing ages caused 2 collective failures overseas. Still, IPL is only a 7-week window in a full year calendar. The root cause: Overscheduling of the entire Test/ODI/T20 system!

  • baghels.a on June 13, 2012, 8:55 GMT

    Myth The IPL has unearthed Indian talent that would otherwise have gone down the drain. Reality: IPL weather it's unearthed talent or not ,it has certainly provided them with a platform to be recognised and appreciated by people,for eg-Rahane has been making runs for fun in domestic cricket but this IPL has made him a mass figure,same holds true for Awana,Pandey,S.Tiwary,Pathan,Mandeep,Rayudu,Ashwin,Dhawan etc..... Myth The IPL and Test cricket can co-exist, like football leagues do Reality - In Football leagues all over the world club football is played all year round and international football competitons take place once in 4 years like world cups/Euro While in Cricket IPL is for 2 months and rest is intenational cricket. Myth The IPL is making domestic cricket sexy.Reality:it is enriching domestic cricket and providing incentives for domestic cricketers to perform better,for every slogger there will be guys like Rahane,Pujara,Badri whose basics are rocksolid.

  • on June 13, 2012, 1:46 GMT

    dont blame the IPL for the failure of test cricket to bring in the crowds and the moolah. main reasons off the top of my head include : clash with the viewers working hours * day time ( whch always have lowest TRP and lowest corporate sponsorship return), no surety of a result (* why would you follow any event over 5 days of ur life if there is no result / no winner !), flat pitches increasingly making the game a mismatch between bat & ball etc. IPL takes away only abt 50 days in a cricketing year , so why shud test cricket be threatened - its not replacing it physically but in the fan's mind. IPL gets in more moolah - for players, boards and ex players too, increases the overall fan base ( women & kids now flock in), enjoy high TRP( so darling of sponsors & TV audiences) & thus supports other cricket formats. Why killl this golden goose & blame it for all ills ?? india & subcon players always struggled in england, NZ, SAF & Aus , so if they failed in 2012 why blame IPL? EXCUSES !

  • on June 12, 2012, 23:55 GMT

    The reason behind India's failure in test cricket is that the players are not passionate about the game. Unfortunately the bottomline is making money and defeats do not hurt too much because by giving one or two good performance in ODI and T20's the Indian public will forgive you right away. I think very soon India will slip further in the rankings after the home court advantage is over same time next year.

  • Rally_Windies on June 12, 2012, 23:18 GMT

    I disagree...

    I want to see Test and 20/20 ...

    as far as I am concerned there is no room for 50 over ODI's ...

    20/20 world cup can go global, have no automatic qualifiers and have a format similar to football ... with 2 games a day in the same stadium ....

    have qualifiers and make everyone qualify for a 20/20 WC ... and open the game to everyone, while reserving Test for the Test playing nations...

  • Jishnu.v.v on June 12, 2012, 20:23 GMT

    Superb article!!! Well written Siddharth!!! completely agree with you!!! India is not giving importance to test cricket.

    The main problem is indians forget very soon. so the 8-0 trashing suffered is forgotten when the IPL begins!!

  • anshu.s on June 14, 2012, 12:12 GMT

    Lot of empty rhetoric and diatribe from Siddarth Monga.this unerring belief that test cricket is only true form of cricket and looking down on shorter formats smacks of elitism and snobbery, if test matches were so popular it woudn't be played in empty stadiums with practically zero Trp's.What is this thing about Sehwag choosing to play in IPL not for country,Right now Euro's 2012 are going on and most of the players are coming after the back of 9 months long strenous,backbreaking domestic season of Football and some of them are injured,but have you ever heard Football media/ fans questioning that a Wayne Rooney or Rolanldo should have rested for there clubs to be fit for the Euro's ,never ever !! .IPL gives domestic cricketers money and a platform to be recognised and appreciated by the fans,Valthathy and Manpreet Gony were not good enough for India but it dosen't mean they don't have a right to play cricket and that my friends is a reality not a myth.

  • on June 14, 2012, 7:33 GMT

    well bcci never respects domestic ranji performances..for example bcci is trying out various options other than badrinath who they somehow feel doesn't belong to india.he is just 31 but they still say he is too old and has got "enough" opportunities.wat a joke..bcci fancies only flash hitters and dats why every aspiring cricketer wants to play slam bang ipl..

  • Leggie on June 13, 2012, 13:35 GMT

    As written earlier, I agree with every bit of what Sidharth mentions - except the point related to Sachin not playing in West Indies. In fact I was extremely upset when this happened. But later saw a news item where Sachin clarified in one of the interviews that he had been contemplating a vacation with his family for a long time and that the West Indies tour clashed exactly with the vacation dates. So, let's give the great man of Indian cricket some benefit of doubt!

  • jay57870 on June 13, 2012, 11:22 GMT

    Myth: IPL before country. Reality: Sportsmen don't just play for money & glory. Playing for country sparks their inner passion. Just ask Sachin & Rahul. Or young guns: Kohli, Pujara, Rahane & Ashwin. Or "Olympians" Paes ('96 bronze), Bhupathi & Mirza. Myth: Test cricket is dying. Reality: Cricket is in transition. There's more parity. No team is dominant. Top teams (Eng, Ind) find it hard to win on the road. Weaker teams (BD, NZ, WI) have improved. It's an uneasy equilibrium. Just wait, a revived Ind-Pak series will reignite the game! Just like the Ashes! Myth: IPL & Test cricket cannot co-exist. Reality: Optimal scheduling will properly rebalance all 3 formats. Rotation in a large player pool is good. Do not underestimate the power of players (past/present) - Gavaskar, Shastri, Srikanth, Ganguly, Kumble, Dravid & (yes MP) Tendulkar. They are the real custodians & fully understand the game's needs. They can influence BCCI to prioritise & set the future direction. Long live cricket!!

  • jay57870 on June 13, 2012, 11:07 GMT

    Myth: IPL is dissuading Indian veterans from playing Tests. Reality: Viru's & Sachin's unavailability in WI actually opened up opportunities for new talent & youngsters. Rotation policy is useful: regulars get rested, youngsters get much-needed starts. Don't then complain of seniors "depriving" team of new blood! Myth: IPL keeps "India shining". Reality: The 2011 WC tournament & India's triumph overwhelmed IPL 4! You can't teach an old dog new "IPL tricks"! India's ascendancy - on the backs of Sourav, Rahul, Sachin, Anil, VVS & Co - culminated in its top Test ranking & WC triumph in spite of IPL! That's where Dhoni learned his bag of tricks to become a magical captain in all 3 formats: Give credit where it's due! Myth: T20 is hurting Test cricket. Reality: Partly true. In India's case, multiple injuries & advancing ages caused 2 collective failures overseas. Still, IPL is only a 7-week window in a full year calendar. The root cause: Overscheduling of the entire Test/ODI/T20 system!

  • baghels.a on June 13, 2012, 8:55 GMT

    Myth The IPL has unearthed Indian talent that would otherwise have gone down the drain. Reality: IPL weather it's unearthed talent or not ,it has certainly provided them with a platform to be recognised and appreciated by people,for eg-Rahane has been making runs for fun in domestic cricket but this IPL has made him a mass figure,same holds true for Awana,Pandey,S.Tiwary,Pathan,Mandeep,Rayudu,Ashwin,Dhawan etc..... Myth The IPL and Test cricket can co-exist, like football leagues do Reality - In Football leagues all over the world club football is played all year round and international football competitons take place once in 4 years like world cups/Euro While in Cricket IPL is for 2 months and rest is intenational cricket. Myth The IPL is making domestic cricket sexy.Reality:it is enriching domestic cricket and providing incentives for domestic cricketers to perform better,for every slogger there will be guys like Rahane,Pujara,Badri whose basics are rocksolid.

  • on June 13, 2012, 1:46 GMT

    dont blame the IPL for the failure of test cricket to bring in the crowds and the moolah. main reasons off the top of my head include : clash with the viewers working hours * day time ( whch always have lowest TRP and lowest corporate sponsorship return), no surety of a result (* why would you follow any event over 5 days of ur life if there is no result / no winner !), flat pitches increasingly making the game a mismatch between bat & ball etc. IPL takes away only abt 50 days in a cricketing year , so why shud test cricket be threatened - its not replacing it physically but in the fan's mind. IPL gets in more moolah - for players, boards and ex players too, increases the overall fan base ( women & kids now flock in), enjoy high TRP( so darling of sponsors & TV audiences) & thus supports other cricket formats. Why killl this golden goose & blame it for all ills ?? india & subcon players always struggled in england, NZ, SAF & Aus , so if they failed in 2012 why blame IPL? EXCUSES !

  • on June 12, 2012, 23:55 GMT

    The reason behind India's failure in test cricket is that the players are not passionate about the game. Unfortunately the bottomline is making money and defeats do not hurt too much because by giving one or two good performance in ODI and T20's the Indian public will forgive you right away. I think very soon India will slip further in the rankings after the home court advantage is over same time next year.

  • Rally_Windies on June 12, 2012, 23:18 GMT

    I disagree...

    I want to see Test and 20/20 ...

    as far as I am concerned there is no room for 50 over ODI's ...

    20/20 world cup can go global, have no automatic qualifiers and have a format similar to football ... with 2 games a day in the same stadium ....

    have qualifiers and make everyone qualify for a 20/20 WC ... and open the game to everyone, while reserving Test for the Test playing nations...

  • Jishnu.v.v on June 12, 2012, 20:23 GMT

    Superb article!!! Well written Siddharth!!! completely agree with you!!! India is not giving importance to test cricket.

    The main problem is indians forget very soon. so the 8-0 trashing suffered is forgotten when the IPL begins!!

  • jkbala143 on June 12, 2012, 19:49 GMT

    Excellently written article..!!! Every avid cricket lover should read it..!

  • on June 12, 2012, 18:50 GMT

    Thoughtful article. You do not address any solutions to this quagmire. Are you implying that none exist? The IPL has brought on some good things to Indian cricket- apart from providing financial security for domestic cricketers it has thrust many of them (good or not) into the limelight giving them great exposure. This cannot be discounted. In my opinion the IPL is here to stay.

    I think the cricket boards have to get their priorities straight and communicate their vision to the players by setting the right incentives. Pay cricketers who have cut their teeth in domestic cricket more. Come up with new metrics & criteria to determine player ratings/selections and their suitability for specific formats leading to specialist squads. To ease player workload we need to end meaningless bilateral/multilateral International ODI/T20 and limit it to a few marquee tournaments. The BCCI obviously has to lead the way.

  • johnathonjosephs on June 12, 2012, 17:47 GMT

    Amazing article. In my opinion, the IPL's primary success is the money that they generate for the players. IPL can be turned to coexist peacefully but they need to change quite a few things. First, they need to shorten the time spent playing. A month and a half is insanity. Shorten it down to 3 weeks of condensed and intense cricket playing. Second, I think the Individual country's boards need to make an agreement with their players that if they are allowed to play in the IPL, they need to agree to be able to make themselves available for Test Selection or ODI Selection (in short national duties) WHENEVER they are called upon. Then only can IPL coexist. Here's another Myth. Myth: IPL is making T20I games more popular Reality: Nobody cares about T20I, they just want to watch the IPL

  • Unmesh_cric on June 12, 2012, 13:05 GMT

    You are spot on, Mr. Monga! All the progress that was done during the Ganguly regime in terms of India's overseas Test performance has been undone by the current team in just one year. The sad thing is I am not even sure if this 8-0 overseas bashing has 'hurt' the BCCI. There are just not concerned as long as the IPL goes well.

  • ani. on June 12, 2012, 11:41 GMT

    "Australia and South Africa are playing two-Test series. South Africa have followed New Zealand in giving up the Boxing Day Test. West Indies, partly because of the IPL, and New Zealand entirely because of the clash with it, are not fielding their best teams in Test cricket. India are not interested in giving their best in Tests.

    Yet all we hear is, the IPL and Tests can co-exist. From the boards, from the commentators, from the columnists, and from the players"

    How is IPL responsible for Australia-south africa playing two test series in November 2011 or south africa/NZL giving up boxing day test in Dec to play extra odi and T20's ..WI not playing full squad in test - gayle, Brao? bravo was not part of test cricket and gayle had problem with WI board for long. Newzealand "MIGHT" not field their best team next year against England (1st test) due to clash with ipl schedule

    agree with some of the points in like playing with injures in ipl, too much of cricket why not take rest in T20

  • CricketWorldofSuhas on June 12, 2012, 11:38 GMT

    One of the best article I have read so far in CRICINFO....we should try to make test cricket interesting (by introducing Day-Night Match or introducing World Cup for Test also) or else should let it die with dignity....

  • MAK123 on June 12, 2012, 11:17 GMT

    Any test played outside England or the West Indies and also not having the SKY commentary team or the West Indian commentators are doomed. Its no fun listening to the likes of Ravi Shastri and Wasim Akram, the man with flawed English language and logic. Involve the Sky team in all tests and this form of Cricket will survive. Else, Test Cricket stands no chance!!

  • NumberXI on June 12, 2012, 11:16 GMT

    I think this piece is half rhetoric and the rest rant. For one thing, Monga seems to think that T20 is the IPL. As poor suppositions go, it is the worst one to start from. Secondly, Monga has made a very interesting choice of using the last two test series to highlight that the IPL has hurt India - while forgetting that the period that India were #1 in tests was also when the IPL was on. By the same token, England should have not lost four tests in a row after becoming #1 in tests, considering that only one of their regular XI plays at the IPL. And yet they did. The reality is that players will find it physically demanding to balance so many different needs. But as the likes of Dravid have shown, it is not impossible. Monga's article would have substance if he is able to offer more than just rhetoric to reinforce a specious argument.

  • on June 12, 2012, 9:58 GMT

    being a lover of test cricket, i really hope test cricket survives and continues to march on. However, in any place supply is based on the demand. If people like T20 more than test cricket, they'll get it. Rather than cribbing about T20 and IPL, focus should be on making test format more acceptable and watchable. That'll automatically ensure its business.

  • eyballfallenout on June 12, 2012, 9:31 GMT

    Well, i watch every ball of a test i can watch, if i have 5 days of i will watch every ball i can, if I'm at work i look on cricinfo all day at commentary. T20 i will look at the scores to see who won. False shots and flat wickets don't interest me at all. N.b thats not just IPL but all t20 i don't rush home to watch int t20 either.

  • sandeepsg2010 on June 12, 2012, 9:00 GMT

    A superb well written article. Kudos to you Siddharth Monga. Though i agree with you that players are tilting towards T20, as a true cricket fan, i would like to see quality test cricket as well as a good entertaining T20 match. Hence instead of one form dying, i would like to see better scheduling of test cricket from BCCI. SA and NZ cricket boards almost had no international cricket for 6 months last year after the ODI world cup and they played only IPL and champions league in between(resulting in almost all their top players being ready for international cricket). Now BCCI can take a cue from them and play less needless ODIs and give more rest to players.

  • on June 12, 2012, 7:22 GMT

    Totally, the best article ever written on a topic like this. Can't agree more.. I'm absolutely speechless and this is exactly how i personally feel about these things. Unfortunately, i am not blessed with the talent to write so beautifully and make it interesting..

  • aditya.k on June 12, 2012, 7:15 GMT

    This is a lesson in writing. Probably the best cricketwriting I have ever come across. Brilliant.

  • kamran.afzal on June 12, 2012, 6:06 GMT

    Whoa !!! This is coming straight from the heart... Very well written, Siddharth. Truly one of the better analyses of the too-much-cricket debate.

    And while I agree that hardly anyone watches every ball of a test, what people don't seem to understand is that the cricket purists don't necessarily watch Test cricket for a result. Watching Shoaib Akhtar's bouncers whiz pass the chins of English batsmen on an idyllic afternoon, or enjoying Jacques Kallis's rock solid defense against a world-class Australian bowling line-up, or reveling in a Steyn-Tendulkar duel where every ball elicits an oooh, is much better than seeing edges flying over the boundary, and poor balls hitting the stumps.

  • venkatesh018 on June 12, 2012, 5:28 GMT

    Well said AlfredMynn. Hope your words come true and stay true for decades to come.

  • on June 12, 2012, 5:24 GMT

    Agreed that one billion people is a lot. On the other hand it's only one nation. If it'sIndia;s purpose to try to dominate the cricketing world, in the end it will find itself isolated from the rest of the cricketing world no matter the consequences. As was pointed out in another article here yesterday: Tino Best's performance at Edgebaston has shown something that cricket seems to have forgotten. Cricket is played for sheer enjoyment by players and spectators. I say: Business out, entertainment in. If the two can pair up. Fine If not throw business out.

  • on June 12, 2012, 4:27 GMT

    Sad, but true!!!! I dont see how test cricket could survive this.

  • shrikanthk on June 12, 2012, 3:37 GMT

    Cricket (by that I mean the game played with a red ball) was never meant to be a mass obsession. It was always a highly complex, rather quirky sport. Capable of gaining moderate popularity, but not likely to become a craze like Football.

    The white ball game is essentially an attempt by Cricket fraternity to help sell cricket to people who don't like cricket.

    Traditional red-ball cricket will always be popular enough to merit a place in this world. Be it in 2012 or 2112. However it is unlikely to be a craze that will help earn cricketers their millions. Ofcourse this doesn't mean that the white ball game helps "subsidize" the red-ball game. It's just that the white ball game makes cricketers richer than they otherwise would be.

    The argument of the White ball missionaries goes that in the absence of "football-like riches", how can the red-ball game attract the best talent? Ofcourse it can. Because as alfredmynn said, kids play sport not for the lucre but for the joy of playing it.

  • masud69 on June 12, 2012, 3:36 GMT

    IPL is slow poisoning test cricket

  • shrikanthk on June 12, 2012, 3:13 GMT

    Alfred Mynn - you hit the nail on the head

  • Buggsy on June 12, 2012, 2:50 GMT

    Very well written. My fear though is what becomes of bowlers? Who is seriously going to become a bowler (and a pace one at that) if the entire game is stacked against you? In Tests good bowlers are legends, in T20 you're nothing.

  • bookie7600 on June 12, 2012, 0:27 GMT

    MY WORD ! You have some GUTS to call a SPADE A SPADE. Kudos Siddharth. Keep up the good work.

  • ElBeeDubya on June 11, 2012, 21:21 GMT

    This is one the BEST articles ever written on cricinfo and definitely one of the STELLAR articles on the effect of T20 leagues written by a TRUE CRICKET FAN. Every INDIAN fan who cares about THEIR NATIONAL TEAM instead of geting excited by the PAID commentators (and, of course, columnists) who use STRAWMAN ARGUMENTS to slither away from real criticisms should read and THINK about this. I WISH EVERY COMMENTATOR AND MEDIA PERSONALITY WOULD PRINT THIS OUT AND READ THIS AT LEAST ONCE A MONTH AND PONDER ON THESE ISSUES highlighted by S. Monga before they utter any comment justifying any T20 league. Kudos to S. Monga!

  • cricfan65 on June 11, 2012, 20:09 GMT

    Excellent article Sid ! You have crystallised beautifully all the ill- effects of T 20 in general and IPL in particular. Yes, T20 and the IPL are here to stay. But, if this gluttony continues in this fashion, there is no doubt in my mind that it will lead to severe erosion of players' skills, particuary the bowlers. At some point the paying public will realise they are watching an inferior product and vote with their wallets and TV viewing choices- and switch to EPL or La Liga instead ?

  • Bobby_Talyarkhan on June 11, 2012, 19:57 GMT

    Quality.

  • mustufa on June 11, 2012, 19:55 GMT

    Mark my words, sure go ahead and keep playing it, and keep telling everyone that T20 is popular with the masses In time, when commercial pressure leads to open leagues with no restrictions on how many foreign players, you will find that your local dehli daredevil actually has one indian player, and he mostly sits on the bench. Instead of benefitting the local guys, it will start benefitting everyone else in the world, that day, see the masses change their tone, and start watching test cricket, bec it has indian players playing.

  • Naikan on June 11, 2012, 19:17 GMT

    You are spot on Mr. Sidharth. I would go a bit further and add: The writing is on the wall. (That sounds almost like a pun, what with Rahul Dravid being considered the most complete test Batsmen of recent times). TEST CRICKET IS DYING. Since all the new generations will care only for 20-20, the skills and talents that youngsters will try to develop will have little to do with Test cricket. In the end all that will be left will be players who can play T20! We will probably never get to see the smooth runin of a Micheal Holding and the lighting delivery followed by the jab and some brilliant work in the slips. Or perhaps never see the sight of 6/7 man slip cordon.

  • on June 11, 2012, 18:39 GMT

    The days gone where people lived above 100 years and enjoyed cricket for 50 years. Test cricket is acting like drag for cricket to devolop. High time we have to replace all the test cricket lovers from cricket boards. I dont accept T20 doing any good for original cricket but it brings lot of fans who otherwise hate cricket. We should have only ODI and T20 and pack all the people in authority who supports stupid test cricket which is waste of time with empty stadiums. Problem with IPL is that teams select players not on their performance but influence and money power. It is a gate way for 300 players who would have never been selected for country in playing eleven from the population of billion plus

  • mukesh_LOVE.cricket on June 11, 2012, 18:38 GMT

    also as sidharth correctly pointed out , likes of kohli , rahane , ashwin , rohit sharma are all products of solid first class cricket , they are not IPL wonders , real IPL effect can be seen in Indian team 10 or 15 years down the line

  • mukesh_LOVE.cricket on June 11, 2012, 18:32 GMT

    What most of the pro t20 fans here don't get is the long term impact on the game. now players earning more is definitely a good thing , nobody is against it , the problem is t20 cannot and will not sustain its current interest levels in the future , this t20 and IPL is at best a sideshow and soon its fan base with their short attention span will get tired of it and move over to something else , what will happen to cricket then ? (may be a new 'exciting' T5 will come then !)

  • on June 11, 2012, 18:30 GMT

    Time to cancel test cricket altogather

  • on June 11, 2012, 17:51 GMT

    great article !! kudos to the author !! some t20 fans here are thinking tht author is bashing t20 cricket !! he is just saying the truth tht the advent of t20 concept has affected the mindset of the players !!

    tell me if u were an international fast bowler who would be paid almost 5 crores for bowling 4 overs in 1 match compared to.30 overs in a test for every day for 5 days ?? and u would be paid 1 crore for an entire year !!

    similarly if u r an batsman would u bat for an entire day gettimg singles or would u choose batting in ipl make an rapid 50 and can even man of the match and can become immemsely popular in 1 day !!

    ipl also brought many gud players into lime light like umesh yadav,aaron,virat kohli,ojha,ashwin etc ., otherwise they could have never entered the indian team !!

    the fact is most of players would prefer an fast earning money and fame like ipl to playing 4 day ranji matches !!

    hats off to ishant sharma to quit ipl and got his surgery done ,pujara too

  • wicked.wizard on June 11, 2012, 17:39 GMT

    As usual, brilliant! An article that is 10 times better in quality than that written by the editor this year for the wisden!

  • ProdigyA on June 11, 2012, 17:15 GMT

    5 days of Test cricket - When was the last time that anybody commenting here including Siddarth has watched every ball of each day. BIG NOOO. Test cricket is good only when supplied in limited quality and between two equally matched teams. Any sport should be for entertainment and if it is T20 and not Tests SO BE IT, wats the big deal. We will have a few test matches each year anyway.

  • Texmex on June 11, 2012, 17:13 GMT

    If people dont want to watch 5 day tests in India what can you do?

    IPL is here to stay. Regarding the overload issue I think India needs to remove annually about 15 ODIs or 3 test matches of their calendar so that players can better prep for the different formats.

  • PrajithR on June 11, 2012, 17:09 GMT

    Please let people decide what they want to see & what not to see.... Please try to acknowledge that people have enough intelligence to decide what they want to see.... What Mr.Monga or other commentators feel (who are in jobs where they cover cricket 24 hrs a day) will be much different from what common people desire.... IF people want T20 games 365 days a year, they should be given it.... Please do not try to push TEST matches through their throats

  • Dude.Cricket on June 11, 2012, 17:08 GMT

    Good article, in Indian context. As pointed out by Sidharth, India's test decline started in WI series when the timid management drew the test. Even a roadside team would have gone for a win from that position of strength but for some strange reason MSD & Fletcher content with a draw. England series was a disaster with all stars/Gods turning up without any mental or physical preparation that followed AUS. BCCI either should employ ROBOTS to play the amount of crickets that Team India plays or they should reduce the number of Test & ODIs. The schedule is untenable, the cricketers play all formats with GREED and not with passion. Either BCCI should commit itself to only to IPL + minimum international cricket or find a way to reduce the workload of the key players. As Sidharth said everyone is praising Gambhir and he also shamelessly says that he wants to lead Indian test team totally forgetting his record, especially overseas. IPL & existing Indian schedule cannot coexist

  • YS_USA on June 11, 2012, 16:30 GMT

    This is the same as the effect of email on post offices.

  • TheReverseDoosra_K on June 11, 2012, 15:52 GMT

    T20 is the ideal format to globalise this game. You can have a 32 team World Cup or Tournament in this format only, not in ODI or Tests. T20 is gaining popularity everywere. T20 was the only format which was accepted in 2020 Olympics.

  • Muhtasim13 on June 11, 2012, 15:15 GMT

    Yes T20 is exciting but how long will it be able to hold the viewers' interests. Lets not forget that its been less than 10 years since T20 has been started. There will be a point when the 4s & 6s, slogging & slower balls will eventually fail to excite the viewers any more. So before raising the voice about the decadence of Tests, it has to be seen how long T20 can sustain

  • on June 11, 2012, 14:54 GMT

    One of the best postmortem. 99% agree with Siddharth. 1% is not why because it is not most watched tournament in India if you count villages are also part of India where 78 % of Indian population lives. Most of villages don't have cable service. Unless it is broadcast on Doordarshan it can not be most viewed tournament. But I agree on this point most watched tournament in India by Consumer India and they watch it as cricket + entertainment.

  • on June 11, 2012, 14:45 GMT

    Take a bow Siddarth! Extremely well written, could not have better summed up exactly my state of mind when it comes to the state of Indian test cricket.

  • on June 11, 2012, 14:30 GMT

    Yet another article on IPL bashing. I would like to remind every TEST CRICKET purists that the game of cricket is played for its audience and fans. If the fan base is more then what's wrong in it? Can you guys think that no IPL or T20 would boost test cricket to its lost glory?? I never think so. It eventually lost its glory because of people are not willing to watch it, understand this point. Fans, especially Indians, aren't lazy or spend time as 10 years ago to watch the test cricket or ODI's. So with the new form of cricket(nothing but shortened version) the fan base for the game has increased drastically. So it's a good sign for cricket where it's hardly played by a bunch of nations. My opinion is that instead of killing the whole game of cricket, let it survive in some form of it, be it T20 or T10 or whatever. TO SUM UP, THERE ARE MORE T20 FANS OR AUDIENCES THAN FANS OF BOTH ODI/TESTS PUT TOGETHER, SO BE IT.

  • SidLovesIndia on June 11, 2012, 14:00 GMT

    One question to Mr. Monga - was IPL to blame when India became #1 in Tests? Was that during the pre-IPL era? Oh no it wasn't - it was when we actually had a good team with players close to their peak fitness and form. It was also when we played mostly in the sub-continent (with the honourable exception of New Zealand). So case in point remains that Indian Test side has been largely the same - dominant at home and poor overseas. Didn't the same MS Dhoni-led side draw the Test series 1-1 against the mighty SA before the WC 2011?

  • on June 11, 2012, 13:43 GMT

    T20 is great entertainment. But just as I dont always want to watch sitcoms on the TV or always eat burgers and chips for my tea there needs to be a balance. I watched the early games of the last IPL with relish, but by the end of the tournament I was bored of it. Didnt watch a single ball of the last fortnight. Frankly it'd become monotonous. Test cricket provides a different story every day, indeed sometimes every session. And there's a gap between games and between series. IPL as a tournament is far too long. Excitement every day? Sorry but thats not how people live there lives. We like occasional excitement. Otherwise we'd all be lion-tamers and cliff-divers.

  • on June 11, 2012, 13:28 GMT

    I also feel some people are missing the main point of the article. More than being a hate-everything-about-T20, this article is about saying it clearly that T20 is obliterating test cricket slowly. Whether you like that or not is a separate issue, but stop pretending that test can sustain its pre-eminence in face of the T20 onslaught. That applies especially to the commentators that get paid by BCCI. I can't believe for a second that a purist like Gavaskar is not saddened by how T20 is relegating test cricket to mere formality for many international cricketers, but he will never voice this opinion. That's the main point.

  • mtalhas on June 11, 2012, 13:23 GMT

    if t20 prevails as the face of cricket, there will be no difference left between baseball and cricket. cricket was not termed as the game of gentlemen because of t20s, but it was termed so because of test matches which gave this game beauty and grace.

  • Leggie on June 11, 2012, 12:54 GMT

    Sidharth. Extremely well written article. But I'm 100% certain that "democracy" will win. ie. the masses like T20, and there is no room for purists. BCCI has ensured that masses turn away from Test cricket - so that BCCI can fill their coffers with this comical IPL. This to me is a point of no return. Just as India struggled ever since the usage of artificial turf in hockey, Indian cricket will continue to struggle with cricket in general - getting confused between T20 and Test cricket - with misplaced priorities.

  • KishorKumar25 on June 11, 2012, 12:52 GMT

    Very very thought provoking article. But I want Test cricket to be alive forever. There are still many young cricket fans like me or young players like pujara who loves Test Cricket.

  • getsetgopk on June 11, 2012, 12:43 GMT

    Another example of why T20 cricket is not cricket, recently we beat England 3-0 in UAE in test but lost 0-4 ODI and 1-2 in T20, everyone on these boards were heard saying England got whitewashed, no one seems to care about T20 or ODI's. Everyone remembers India's 0-8 in tests in Auss and Eng hardly anyone cares what happened in CB series or the ODI series in Eng. India are world champs but its England on everyone's mind who btw never won WC. Test cricket has been around for 150 years, try playing T20 cricket for one whole year and I fear anyone would want to pass near a cricket stadium let alone watch another T20 game.

  • on June 11, 2012, 12:42 GMT

    wonderful article... anybody who doesn't understand how test cricket is the ultimate form of the game, has really no clue on cricket itself...

  • on June 11, 2012, 12:19 GMT

    Top class article. I'll just additionally mention I'm from Pakistan because it won't let me post anything lesser than 25 characters.

  • mukesh_LOVE.cricket on June 11, 2012, 12:12 GMT

    Good one there sidharth , really , T20 is fun in small doses once in a while, but i don't understand how any serious cricket lover can stand it for almost 2 months . it makes a mockery of the time honored way of playing cricket and the skills it required. suddenly bits and pieces players like jadeja become superstars , people who call test cricket 'old fashioned' is obviously blind to its subtleties and should go and watch some other sport (by the way am only 24 and not an oldie defending his favorite format)

  • dork29 on June 11, 2012, 11:59 GMT

    The article raises some salient points. I cannot talk about other countries, but India, as a nation is showing greater loyalty to IPL than to test cricket. The crowds, the sponsorships and the megabucks - all of them point to IPL and not to Test cricket. so representing the country is now less of a priority than representing your club - this is purely the thinking of the Indian players - particularly the top five or six.So the need for "rest" ( Tenulkar) or a shoulder injury (Sehwag) is only for Test matches - not for IPL. One other point that Sid has made is, that IPL is in addition to the FTP, it is not in place of an existing fixture. Also, while IPL has produced some good batting talent, it has actually ruined our bowling options. Defensive bowling has assumed greater importance.Even the batsmen, are flat track bullies. The Rainas, and the Murali Vijays, do very well in IPL, but are not upto scratch at an international level. Test cricket is dying - a slow ignominous death. ALas!

  • adilladak on June 11, 2012, 11:57 GMT

    T20 is not cricket. you could turn most baseball players into T20 players. A good eye, some muscles and a swing of the bat. Is that what we have reduced our beautiful game into. For those of you who want test cricket to die. You are simply not worthy of our game. You have no idea about the essence of our game. The legends... Sobers, Gavaskar, Richards, Akram, Warne, Marshall, Botham, Lillee, Lara.. These men defined TEST cricket and its beauty.. We will not let their legacy die. Damn the day T20 was invented for it has tried to spoil the best sport on planet eart... TEST CRICKET!

  • Meety on June 11, 2012, 11:49 GMT

    Had to really read the whole article to see where he was coming from. You could pluck lines out of the article & say it was pro-T20 propaganda, but the reality is it was pretty dammning of T20/IPL. Love to see Test cricket prosper & grow, but at the end of the day, we always have the fallback of just playing the Ashes every year, oh wait it we ARE! LOL. Actually I am partly serious. The only reaon the Ashes was played every two years was because it took months to travel, so with Air travel, maybe we really can say - it's the Ashes EVERY YEAR BABY & to hell with the rest!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Vkarthik on June 11, 2012, 11:46 GMT

    Indian fans just have to lower their expectations. Players make more money by being T20 specialists not by being Test specialists. Look at Laxman. He has produced some of the best Test innings played ever under pressure against some of the very good bowling attacks. He could not find a place in any side. Even in the last few editions of IPL he was not a permanent fixture. But we had some random sloggers like Saurabh Tiwary making millions. Why would anyone in future want to be a Laxman.. They would rather be a Tiwary or Rayudu.

  • Vilander on June 11, 2012, 11:40 GMT

    you need to see IPL in the larger scheme of things. if you want to improve indian test skills, improve nutrition of young kids in schools, improve physical fitness training of kids, improve social status of sports persons ,improve sporting traditions in India etc... if you want to have fun with IPL, watch IPL and if you want to make money out of cricket promote IPL. India is too large and too poor a country to worry about world sporting recognition, let us have fun boss.

  • KTiwari on June 11, 2012, 11:24 GMT

    Sidharth- Why is test cricket more important than other format. If it is pure and must be preserved then why very few are watching this. Why is IPL or any T20 league bad? Is it because players are earning too much money and we can not accept cricketers earning so much. This socialist attitude must change...earning more money is not bad if it is earned providing services which audiences are willing to pay for...... For test cricket survival: Less is more for test cricket to protect its novelty. I would say that we are having too much test cricket and that's why very few are watching.

  • ganeshram78 on June 11, 2012, 11:22 GMT

    awesome article. you spoke my mind.

  • on June 11, 2012, 11:17 GMT

    As I have said before, Test Match Cricket is the best form of the game because it tests most of the player's skill sets. Equally importantly, it tests the spectator's skills - their ability to watch and pick up all the thousands of subtle variations in the game. This does not, of course, guarantee its immortality. But neither does it mean that it will die simply because the majority of sub-continental audiences, most of whom have not played at any serious level, and are not interested in sports, want to have 'fun' (I am from India myself). Let them have their 'fun'. And let those who care for the endurance of skill work out a serious way of continuing cricket as a way of life. That is what I take Siddharth saying here.

  • Carpathian on June 11, 2012, 11:04 GMT

    @Selassie-I Hear hear. I totally agree. T20 is for fans with a short-attention span who only appreciate/grasp indiscriminately attacking batting and short, defensive bowling spells. Test cricket (and indeed first-class cricket) is a showcase of the gamut of cricketing skills and situations. A session of Test match cricket offers more of this than a year's worth of T20 matches.

  • Selassie-I on June 11, 2012, 10:43 GMT

    I disagree, test cricket still has a huge following and it should not be just put out to pasture. How ridiculous, penalty shootouts are exciting in football, so why not just play penalty shootouts instead of wasting 90 minutes wathinng a game? beacuse it would take out most of the game's skills! Just as t20 removes HALF of the game of cricket, defensive play, bowlers having to show consitency & accuracy, batters having to focus for hours and so on, these are the hardest skills in cricket and T20 does not purvay them. If for you all you want to see is someone knock the ball out the park again and again on a track designed to make it easy then fine, but to me that's not cricket, it's a heavily diluted version for the masses. I don't know why people keep saying 'no one has time to watch 5 days any more' are people working more these days than they used to? do they not have timesaving gadgets? surely we have more time than ever, do people just follow the marketing blindly?

  • Herbet on June 11, 2012, 10:42 GMT

    T20 is like a horrible joke cricket has played on itself. 20 overs, fielding restrictions, no close catchers, leg side wides, short boundarys. Its like if proper football was replaced with 5 a side, on a half sized pitch, with no goalkeepers allowed for 10 minutes each half. Sure, they'd be more goals, more goals from long range and more attacking, but everyone would know it was fake and contrived. This seems to have passed cricket by. ODI's might be interesting if they were played to test rules, but one innings each over 1 day. Otherwise they are fake cricket. This only seems to be understood in England. Maybe because we have, in football, an exciting but money driven sport, and don't need another one, preferring our cricket to be the way it always was. Interesting mention of South Africa. South Africa dont suffer from burn out as they play 3 tests a year, with a year off in between. Or so it seems.

  • on June 11, 2012, 10:19 GMT

    Let the test cricket die ,number of people who saw WI-Eng matches is less than number of journalist who write about " Saving Test Cricket". Test cricket has no place in this modern world .Who has 5 days to watch a game apart from journalist?

  • Erebus26 on June 11, 2012, 9:35 GMT

    I think Test cricket and T20 can co-exist effectively if they drop the 50 over game. I think many of these games are pointless and are often tagged onto the end of long tours (such as the Ashes). No wonder players like KP are becoming hacked off with the heavy workload. I actually like T20 cricket. I think it is good for the fans and it isn't too taxing on the players. Playing three T20's at the beginning or end of a tour is less taxing than a five or seven game ODI series.

  • on June 11, 2012, 9:28 GMT

    the simple truth is the indian cricket international best are slowing going past them. the article shows the slide is long term. india does need to stop 8 match losing streak away from home.

  • rahulcricket007 on June 11, 2012, 9:06 GMT

    Australia and South Africa are playing two-Test series. South Africa have followed New Zealand in giving up the Boxing Day Test. West Indies, partly because of the IPL, and New Zealand entirely because of the clash with it, are not fielding their best teams in Test cricket. India are not interested in giving their best in Tests. THIS IS THE REAL REASON WHY ENGLAND ARE NO .1 IN TESTS . THEY PLAY MOST TEST MATCHES THAN ANY TEAM . THEY MANAGE THEIR PLAYERS FOR PLAYING IN IMPORTANT TEST SERIES ( LIKE ANDERSON HAS GIVEN A BREAK BEFORE SA SERIES ).THEIR PLAYERS GIVE THEIR BEST IN TESTS . IF YOU COMPARE ENGLISH PLAYERS BODY LANGUAGE IN TESTS & ODIS THEN IT IS COMPLETELY DIFFERENT.

  • on June 11, 2012, 9:03 GMT

    Honestly, guys, what's so great about tests? I still believe that Odis are the most interesting form of the game, maybe because the world cup is in the form of Odis. The simple fact is that we don't have time for five days of mind-numbingly boring play, with no promise of a result. Even those who exhol the virtues of tests-when was the last time they actually sat down and watched an entire test match from start to finish? Games have to evolve to keep up with the times. A testmatch will soon be just a reminder of a bygone era, and I won't mourn its death.

  • ladycricfan on June 11, 2012, 8:45 GMT

    India is 7th in the ICC T20I ranking list.T20 needs strong muscles to hit constant sixes. Indians can never match the strength of the likes of KP or Gayle. Indians' strength is in the longer format. That is where they develop their skills. They bring that skills into T20. IPL is fun for 7 weeks.. People who say T20 is for sloggers are deluding themselves. Sloggers don't last. Those who play proper cricketing shots are the ones who are successful in T20 and commanding millions of $$$ in IPL. T20 and Test matches should co exist. Can co exist.

  • on June 11, 2012, 8:44 GMT

    T20 was specifically designed for people who don't like cricket.

  • eZoha on June 11, 2012, 8:39 GMT

    Wonderfully put, Sidharth. Agree with every single word you have said here. On a side note, I cannot but wonder what will happen if people start getting bored during the middle overs of T20 (over 7-15 or so) soon. I certainly got bored in many matches of the IPL. I didn't like how Chris Gayle wasted the first half of his innings taking singles. I want him on full flow from the very beginning. Why play those middle overs or 6-run overs? Let's start playing T10 instead, ten overs each. I am sure it will be more entertaining and will draw larger fan following. No?

  • Semer on June 11, 2012, 8:37 GMT

    Great article.I agree every point.IPL is ruining cricketers, and making them only T20 specialists.IPL is making cricketers who know when to attack and defend to attack all the time which makes Test Cricketers go back to backyard.IPL would make ICC choose Ireland become a test nation.If India has to survive they have to throw out IPL. @Syed No Jammu & Kashmir players but one is experinced.Teams only select the best ones.

  • ansram on June 11, 2012, 8:36 GMT

    Absolutely brilliant and spot on. T20 leagues and test cricket cannot coexist under the step motherly treatment given to test cricket by the cricketing fraternity. Why pay lip service - openly say that we want to do away with test cricket and we want to play the circus league all year round. T20 is good to be promoted in associate nations and non cricketing nations, it is an overkill in countries rich in cricketing skills.

  • Gizza on June 11, 2012, 8:28 GMT

    People seem to be forgetting that the IPL itself is dying. The ratings have been on the slide over the past two years. It is also clear that the BCCI won't allow a new franchise now because the value of the franchise will be a lot lower than what Pune or Kochi paid (maybe even what the first 8 franchises paid). The thing is, every year the cricketing superstars which IPL has relied on are going. Next year there won't be Gilchrist or Dravid (coincidentially greats who have made their name through Tests and to a lesser extent ODI's). The year after some more stars will start to leave. And nobody is replacing them. Maybe adding Pakistanis to the league will make it stronger for a few more years but eventually the public will want to see the greats of the game and not ordinary Anil Kumar's, John Smith's, Abdul Mohommed's and Surinder Singh's.

  • on June 11, 2012, 8:26 GMT

    Another one of those bash the IPL at the sake of test cricket. This was not the case when India became Test No.1 while playing in our own backyard after 4 IPLs. Rahul Dravid was in impeccable form in West Indies and in England. The answer lies in the way England and Australia are rotating their players. Mind you, the entire aussie test XI plays the IPL barring Ponting, Cowan and Lyon. Even James Pattinson was a part of KKR for two seasons. Where was this criticism when we played South Africa less than 6 months before the England tour. Ishant Sharma recently chose his surgery over the IPL. It is time, BCCI divides player load. Make someone like Gambhir, the test captain. Get dinesh Kartik or Parthiv Patel the keeper's job. Stop cursing the IPL.

  • on June 11, 2012, 8:17 GMT

    No one wants to be at odds with the mighty BCCI. Hence no one says IPL is hurting test cricket, or Indian test cricket in particular. Worse, the BCCI lords, likes of Srikanth, don't want to acknowledge that Indian test team is shambles because that could raise questions on legitimacy of IPL in aftermath of shambolic test series. Sidharth Monga is right on money.

  • jmcilhinney on June 11, 2012, 8:16 GMT

    This a fine article. There's no reason that T20 cricket couldn't coexist with Test cricket just as 50-over cricket has done. It could even make Test cricket more exciting by making Test players more attacking. The problem is the abundance of T20 cricket and the amount of money on offer in franchise-based tournaments. The IPL is not the root of all evil but, if Test cricket is suffering because of T20 and the IPL is the most popular and the richest T20 tournament going, it's going to get a lot of the criticism. T20 fans may say "what's the harm" or " if Tests aren't popular enough then let them die" but T20 is junk food cricket and one issue is that, if those people who are not real cricket fans lose interest in T20 and move on the the next big thing then where does that leave cricket in general? I have no clear plan to propose but something needs to be done, so the ICC and national boards need to first admit that there's a problem and then look for realistic solutions.

  • CricFin on June 11, 2012, 7:46 GMT

    Let the test cricket die ,number of people who saw WI-Eng matches is less than number of journalist who write about " Saving Test Cricket". Test cricket has no place in this modern world .Who has 5 days to watch a game apart from journalist? Even cricket commentators do not seem to watch uncapped players like Narien when it should be part and parcel of their job .

  • srriaj317 on June 11, 2012, 7:25 GMT

    To all those people saying T20 is the future and to the one particular poster who said he would watch 10 T20s over 5 days instead of watching a test, will you even be able to remember all the outcomes and details of those T20s? How many people in India let alone the world can confidently summarise the results of half the IPL games this season? I am confident I can recall details about test series involving all the 10 countries for atleast the past 3 years and certainly remember countless matches from previous decades. How many meaningful T20s can you guys remember? It just proves that the India is full of consumers who want to buy some masala action and lesser art connoisseurs especially as a result of the huge growth of the middle-class population.

  • smudgeon on June 11, 2012, 7:14 GMT

    an excellent, confronting article. cricket will never be the same again, and it's a fact that lucrative domestic T20 tournaments (not just IPL) are going to take precedence for many players over national representation. test cricket is, and probably always will be, the ultimate test of a cricketer. whether they choose that over a paycheck is going to be hard for cricketers to reconcile - to a degree. many will choose the dollars, and i don't begrudge them that. it's just a shame that test cricket will be diminished because of that.

  • TriniTraveller on June 11, 2012, 7:11 GMT

    Good article but some flawed reasoning. I agree that T20 play has changed the mindset and approach of players to test cricket. I am not always sure that is a bad thing, though you do offer many Indian examples of why that is.

    Where I disagree is that you didn't mention ODIs (other than to use them as an example of the workload, which if anything reinforces my argument below). I assume your argument is based on the assumption that ODIs are played with the same frequency they are now. That is an assumption that I do not think we can make.

    If we remove ODIs from international cricket that will give us the room to play tests and T20 (domestic or international). Get the ICC to provide a sheltered window for the IPL. That would help with the decimation of international teams due to IPL e.g. WI and player burnout e.g. KP. It is not test cricket that players don't like (except Gayle :o). It is the 50 over game that is now pointless with the revenue stream from T20

  • kirby51137 on June 11, 2012, 7:04 GMT

    (Cont) forgetting that for hundreds of years, the multi-day cricket format was the ONLY form of cricket. Why then should it be pushed aside for T20 cricket, which is essentially a 'spectacle' rather than a 'sport'.

    I don't believe that there's no place for the IPL or T20, but if we're genuinely looking to lessen the players' load, we need to do away with 50-over cricket. From my standpoint, I'm seeing an overload of one-day cricket, where international sides are playing meaningless matches all year-round, and tournaments, like the Tri-series in Australia and the 2011 World Cup, seem to drag on endlessly. One-day cricket is no longer the combined cash cow-entertainer that is now T20, and I know that where I'm from that not enough people have an interest in 50 over cricket to make it financially viable to the extent that it's played. Essentially, 50 over cricket has no place on the international stage anymore. So why destroy Test cricket and leave us something that no one cares about?

  • getsetgopk on June 11, 2012, 7:00 GMT

    Those here saying they dont have time to watch test cricket or tests are boring and they want more entertainment etc are hiding behind something now what is that they are hiding from? The first one is that India have one of the worst record in test cricket, they enjoyed success for an year or so but was snatched quite brutally recently, 2nd, BCCI is a private organization that is only concerned with making money, they dont care what the Indian public thinks or wants, their main concern is money not the sport itself. 3rd when all these countries decided to play test cricket way back some 100 years ago, they all knew its a five day game why did they even started playing it in the first place? And when you accepted the challenge of playing it backing away now is cowardice. Test cricket is real mens game the rest is just a transient 'cool' thing which comes and goes like the four seasons.

  • kirby51137 on June 11, 2012, 6:58 GMT

    To be honest, I found this article fascinating. As an Australian, I've never understood or even been bothered by the IPL. But to hear an Indian complain about the IPL, believing it to demote the classic cricket skills to the extent that young Indians are essentially untrainable was something I never expected. You even went further, saying that "T20 is hurting Tests", and "The IPL is taking from Indian domestic cricket and is giving back nothing". And then at the end you've stated that Test cricket should be the one to step aside, which really confused me. For mine, that's like saying that the cultivated, sophisticated, seemingly eternal genius of Sachin Tendulkar should be cast aside for a 17-year old who can plonk the ball over the pickets a couple of times a year. In saying that Test cricket should essentially die, you're forgetting that the majority of the players themselves (ie those outside India, the West Indies) would rather play Test cricket than in the IPL. Similarly, you're

  • S.h.a.d.a.b on June 11, 2012, 6:51 GMT

    After few (may be a decade) years, international teams will start to borrow players from other nations. and every team will become a world eleven. This could be the impact which IPL has brought in cricket. The entire game will be grounded. There will be no "ashes" or "indo-pak" series etc.

  • Sumeet.Gupta on June 11, 2012, 6:38 GMT

    @StopSmoking...the reason that no one cries about the club-country clash when it comes to football is that it's the clubs which invest so much in a player's well-being. A Lionel Messi was baptized by Barcelona and not Argentina. A Scholes was picked up by ManU and not FA. But yes, if test cricket has to survive....the present format should be done away with. Make tests more interesting, with more interesting pitches. Use flood lights wherever possible (unlike the farcical scenes at Edgbaston y'day) and probably limit the first innings to 120 overs. Bring something radical if you're really serious about saving test cricket

  • Sumeet.Gupta on June 11, 2012, 6:31 GMT

    Excellently put Mr. Monga. Can't agree more. If you're serious about Test cricket, do something about the T20 leagues that are cropping up like anything everywhere. And a 2-test series between Aus and SA? Probably the cruelest joke ever played on Test cricket!

  • on June 11, 2012, 6:30 GMT

    Sad but true, I was begining to wonder if i was the only person who didn't care if one team in retina burning colours beat another team in slightly more retina burning colours. and that goes for all t20's not just the IPL. THere is much more to enjoy from watching a struggle between to teams or something unsuspected like bests efforts lastnight occuring rather than everyone just going out and swinging till the cows come home

  • on June 11, 2012, 6:26 GMT

    Siddarth Monga. You have just wrote one gem of an article again. Although, I am not in agreement with all your points, but the intent is clear and straight. Kudos for the pure thought process. I doubt, if anybody from any Cricket administration team thinks, the way you are thinking right now.

  • on June 11, 2012, 6:07 GMT

    What's the problem if Test cricket is dying?? Let it die... If the audience does not like it but loves the IPL which is evident from the large crowds that attended the IPL matches then let the IPL prosper. I personally had not even heard the names of Ajinkya Rahane before their performances in the IPL - it made them stars! Plus, the IPL also manages to provide employment to hundreds of local Indian players who are talented but poor. Cricket is evolving - let it evolve!!

  • on June 11, 2012, 5:56 GMT

    Excellent Excellent Article!!

  • on June 11, 2012, 5:52 GMT

    terrific article sid, you have deftly deconstructed the situation in the cricket world. you really have spoken the truth that hurts.

  • alfredmynn on June 11, 2012, 5:49 GMT

    India has never been particularly good at test cricket. Indians are not producers of sport (or of science, or technology) but are middlemen and consumers. Clearly, many Indian authors and fans do not understand the point of sports - that they aren't office jobs filled by those not particularly good at anything. International sport is sustained by exceptional talent, passion and the pursuit of excellence. That's what motivates fast bowlers to "pound away for hours on a concrete turf under a blazing sun" (words of Don Bradman). Financial security is important, but there's enough reward these days for passionate individuals to pursue real cricket. Test cricket won't die because of something the Indians did or did not do. It will continue in a few countries where the culture of sport is strong. Test players may continue playing IPL mickey-mouse cricket to to supplement their incomes but it's not hard to ensure that youngsters continue to regard test cricket as the pinnacle of the sport.

  • 9ST9 on June 11, 2012, 5:47 GMT

    Everyone is trying to be diplomatic - Mahela jayawardana said that 'T20 helps him play like he used to ' or something, many players officials ex-players claim the same. Hats off to Gayle then for being honest and openly expressing his dislike for Tests. It makes sense so why pretend? No doubt Tests are prime - but that to us, those who take time to read this article and comment here because they care about the game. The majority of the world are not like us.

  • on June 11, 2012, 5:40 GMT

    Awesome article! Somebody at cricinfo had the guts to call spade a spade. Also it is good to see someone criticizing the "holy cows" of Indian cricket. The writer is bang-on on his assessment of Viru, SRT, MS and GG. Funny that people and GG himself is talking about test captaincy and they conveniently choose to forget GG's test form. MS's struggle in tests are well known. What is refreshing to know is that someone is willing to speak the attitude of the "stars" of Indian cricket towards test cricket, SRT and Viru included. The truth is "IPL is hurting test cricket" especially Indian test cricket and yes it is not fault of IPL that it is hurting test cricket. It is a great business model which is weeding out competition across similar leagues and formats.

  • venkatesh018 on June 11, 2012, 5:36 GMT

    Outstanding article, Siddarth. A slap in the face of all the hypocrites and mercenaries masquerading as experts and commentators in this country. There was a glorious game called Test cricket, which prospered and flourished for nearly 150 years. And then came a dictator called India and slaved all the traditions and intricacies of the great game at the feet of Big Money and killed it just in a matter of a decade. Has there ever been a greater sporting tragedy than this in our lifetime?

  • Agnihothra on June 11, 2012, 5:31 GMT

    WOW!!! Monga!!!.. Rants and raves.. but seems to have stricken a chord in the cricket fan's heart.... now expect a raging follow up debate all over the social networks........

  • Nadeem1976 on June 11, 2012, 5:31 GMT

    I don't care about test cricket any more. It's waste of 5 days. In 5 days i can watch 10 thrilling T2020 matches and i will be more satisfied and entertained. T2020 is future of cricket and no body can stop it even ICC. ICC can pretend that test cricket is not dead but i think it's dead. Even looking at stadium half empty in ODI's i think ODI is also dead. England can claim that test cricket is still alive, australia too, SA too but no other country is willing to give away charms of T2020 and IPL. It's time to accept the truth and move on by promoting more T2020 cricket because that's the format which is going to stay for long long time and going to entertain.

    I think test cricket can survive in the mix because of ashes but ODI is going to go away after 2015 WC. Face it and live with it.

  • Joji_ on June 11, 2012, 4:56 GMT

    The article gave me goose bumps. Its everything I have felt about cricket of-late and even more. I feel so sad when I watch my beloved game die a slow death. Even though I am a Pakistani my self, I recently watched Eng-WI test matches instead of the T20 and ODI games between the lankans and the Pakistanis. Watching Samuels dig in against superb seam and swing bowling of benched English bowlers was miles better than watching sloggers hitting it all around the park. (not that any team managed to hit many) :)

  • Udendra on June 11, 2012, 4:52 GMT

    Very very true. Indians are committing cricketing suicide.

  • CricFan78 on June 11, 2012, 4:42 GMT

    The author seems to be confused as to whether he is deriding IPL or T20 cricket for sidelining Tests. The author also seems to be unaware that over course of next 6 yrs we will be playing more test cricket than we did in 70s and 80s combine. Some homework before accusing others is highly desirable or maybe author is just craving for attention.

  • vatsap on June 11, 2012, 4:42 GMT

    Superb article. Very thorough analysis and putting all the points in one concise article. But will the BCCI listen. Will anyone dare the BCCI. The big voices of Indian cricket Gavaskar, Harsha Bhogle, Ravi Shastri, MSD, Sachin are happy to play ball, none of these super stars were able to raise a single voice when Kapil was not included as part of the purse distro. Test cricket in India is dead.

  • SamRoy on June 11, 2012, 4:41 GMT

    Sid, I haven't lost as much hope as you have. I still believe there is hope. As long as kids believe representing India is their biggest dream everything can fall in place. But firstly, India should stop playing meaningless ODIs. 15 matches in a year is enough. Nobody cares for any other ODI tournament apart from World Cup (and may be an India-Pakistan bilateral ODI series). Secondly IPL needs to be reduced to a month (and not two months). All IPL teams need to play all their matches within a month. 16 matches in 31 days is more than fair on every team. Who cares if IPL quality is not great? Thirdly, all young promising players need to play county cricket (and BCCI must take proactive steps in this). Only then, they can learn their trade (how to stay fit, how to approach a game). Finally, injury management of fast bowlers. What has BCCI done till date? If we compare ECB to BCCI we can see the gap. Premier England fast bowlers hardly ever get injured. Our bowlers break down regularly.

  • usernames on June 11, 2012, 4:35 GMT

    What. an. article! Extremely, extremely good.

  • parth888 on June 11, 2012, 4:35 GMT

    Amazing and insightful article. I only wonder if there is a way that fans such as myself can help save test cricket There is only so much that not watching or attending any T20 games can do...

  • on June 11, 2012, 4:34 GMT

    Brilliant article on how Cricket as a game has been degraded

  • on June 11, 2012, 4:22 GMT

    No matter who says what, I love Test cricket! I love the intense battle! I love how you have to work 5 days of brilliance to be the worthy winners. Its a war of intelligence, talent, endurance and effort! Its not the will to throw the bat! Its the will to test your guts to stay tuned for a number of days! 20 20 is a relaxing format! I strongly believe that these two can co exist! But i think the major reason ipl destroying test is the long time shcedule of 2 months! If it is reduced to like 2weeks only, then it will be fine!

  • on June 11, 2012, 4:21 GMT

    Excellent article! This is the most impressive article I've read on this matter. Mr. Monga, you clearly deserve a big "thank you" from everyone who genuinely loves the game of cricket for, putting all these facts together and trying to open the eyes of all those involved. But, money has this blinding effect on people.......!

  • taytwin2 on June 11, 2012, 4:17 GMT

    Disappointed with this article. The author has compiled many examples of the damage that IPL and T20 cricket is doing i.e. the decline in spin bowling, pace bowling, defensive captaincy, overcrowded schedule etc, yet expects that Test cricket should be sacrificed. T20 and IPL is great entertainment but it should not be treated as the pinnacle of the sport because the skill level demanded at this level is not even close to the skill level of Test cricket. Has it even been considered that some of the best and most consistent players in IPL and T20 have strong records in Test and First-class cricket whereas IPL and T20 specialists (esp. younger players) are often one-season wonders? Personally, I believe the two formats can co-exist together. It will need brave and smart decisions from administrators that can bring out the best in both formats. What cricket doesn't need is this belief that T20 can survive on its own. T20 could die if the quality of cricket and entertainment value decline.

  • sweetspot on June 11, 2012, 4:14 GMT

    Why should we let Tests die with dignity? It is after all the centre-piece of a snobbish attitude carried over from the colonial era. It was never intended to be inclusive, and it would never serve the purpose of globalizing the sport. Throw out Test cricket with its pompous attitude - lock, stock and barrel. Sport is for fun, and while Test cricket does provide for some fun and is great for the purists, it simply is not as fun as ODIs or T-2os. The pretense is out of a misplaced sense of respect, or even worse, nostalgia. Time to grow up and embrace the immense success and popularity of T20s. It takes an enormous amount of skill to take a herd of yaks up the mountain slopes, so are we sad that skill is no longer put to test by helicopter pilots? The skills we have seen required for Test cricket are great, thank you, but we don't care, thank you very much. Bring on the fun, please. We want to be entertained, in colour, not in white and white.

  • cricket__fan on June 11, 2012, 4:11 GMT

    At last a cricket journalist has the guts to say what we the cricket fans have been moaning about for a long time. Sidharth has provided an excellent analysis of the impact of IPL - which is more of Bollywood entertainment than cricket. Personally, I do not see, India doing well in "test"cricket ever quite simply because of the reasons pointed out in this article - Indian youngsters know cricket only by way of IPL and all they want is an IPL contract, period.

  • maddinson on June 11, 2012, 4:10 GMT

    Superb article by Monga, very honest and superb assessment by him. Shitwag thought better playing in IPL rather than making golden pair outside subcontinent.

  • StopSmoking on June 11, 2012, 4:04 GMT

    Another thing I want to mention is that stop talking about test cricket is dying ... blah blah blah Fake sentiments! Go and do something about it! Tell people to watch that! OHH wait they have work to during 9 to 5 so they don't become jobless! Just because crying about test cricket will not save your test cricket! You have to understand that to afford test cricket, all boards and players have to play matches during primetime aka 8 PM to 10 PM! Only then broadcaster will be interested in investing more to the game. Understand this concept. And IPL happens ONLY 1.5 months, Your 'test' cricket has 10.5 months! WHat on earth are you watching this then? Right now EuroCup is happening, few star players are missing out, because they had injury during their League Football games, I didn't see SINGLE whining from any football media that they had to sacrifice their country! I don't understand why ONLY in cricket we have this weird mentality! Why so much obsession over just one torny?

  • prksandeep on June 11, 2012, 4:03 GMT

    Excellent article. Tendulkar and Sehwag have set wrong example for youngsters when they did what they did.

  • IPLFan on June 11, 2012, 3:54 GMT

    Not sure what is that "something" that the author wants the boards to do. Why should anything be done to protect Test cricket? If anything, IPL should be expanded to have a second season somewhere outside India and also a 50-over league. Then, let the club leagues and international cricket compete for players and viewers. Whichever is stronger will survive.

  • StopSmoking on June 11, 2012, 3:54 GMT

    Can someone answer me why is IPL watched the most in India compare to any other thing? Just because one likes certain format doesn't mean that it's the best format out there. Where was the money in cricket if T20 didn't come along? This is not only for India. Why did English county have to start this format? Why do they still play FLT20, even if they have 'quality' 4 day tourny? Because they are covering their expenses! They all want to make money! The same money they are using to pay their maintenance bill for Players, Ground staff etc. etc. Your test cricket is not providing that much of money since they are not generating that much money since not lot of people watch TV during day time. IPL is not just making cricketers wealthier it's also making BCCI to afford A tours like this so future Indian test team can be better. Your test cricket is not generating that much of money. It's also allowing BCCI to gift hefty pension and recent payload to former cricketers. Think with open mind.

  • Kemcho on June 11, 2012, 3:52 GMT

    An absolutely superb article by all means, which addresses the real issues facing "cricket". T20 in general and the thrid rate TV programme called "IPL" has virtually destroyed Indian 'cricket". Indian fans who really care about cricket do not watch IPL and those who watch/follow IPL have no idea about "cricket". 2011 is just the beginning and India is finished as a test playing nation.

  • on June 11, 2012, 3:50 GMT

    First of all, congratulations on a commendable article. Thanks for the fearless job of calling a spade a spade. You have resonated the feelings of every true fan of the game. Unfortunately, I am not sure what positive effect this article would have. But, "dukh batne se halka hota hai" type of feeling. Thanks again!

  • on June 11, 2012, 3:49 GMT

    Brilliant Article,One suggestion I would give the boards is either keep the T20 leagues or cull extra one day and t20 matches which have ZERO value.I can't understand why CA is scheduling meaningless odis against England and Pakistan,ECB has cut a test match against South Africa,BCCI has a meaningless odi series in Sri Lanka but just 2 tests vs New Zealand,New Zealand are reluctant to play more than 2 tests in a series and further CSA culled their Xmas Test for a T20 match.Players too sadly want the extra buck from IPL,BBL,BPL etc.I fully agree with Gary Kirsten that T20 is a domestic game and must be kept that way.

  • anurag6892 on June 11, 2012, 3:42 GMT

    Great article on the effects of IPL on test cricket....which are quite true and visible. Most columnists say if IPL is drawing crowds...then why blame it for everything including the decline of test cricket. Yeah dats right but we can never deny the fact that Test cricket is slowly but surely dying....i donnoe how bad it is for cricket...of course if no one wants to see test cricket..ders no point arguing about how to save it.....the audience decide which format will survive and let it be....but yeah we should atleast let test cricket die gracefully instead of pretending that all is well with Test cricket....we can all do that I guess....once again hats off to a great article with a fresh perspective.

  • getsetgopk on June 11, 2012, 3:38 GMT

    WOW, what an article!!! Finally someone from India is talking about the elephant in the room, people around the world have been saying that for years but most in india seemed aloof somehow, nice to know that someone put it straight.

  • on June 11, 2012, 3:37 GMT

    Absolutely brilliant article. Loved the last paragraph and agree with every point you raised in this. I love the IPL but trying to suggest that IPL has nothing to do with any other results is just being blind. The world just lost Kevin Peiterson, one of the best one day players at the age of 31 to retirement due to excessive cricket. Still no one cares?

  • sundarb on June 11, 2012, 3:15 GMT

    Brilliant article. The author clearly has thoroughly vented his feelings and done a pretty frank and an outstanding job at it. Loved it.

    Agree, let's be honest. Test cricket as we knew it will die.

    "It might be that in a 150 years time, you look back on the situation and you say - there was a game of cricket that prospered for 200 years. They were the gladiators in Roman times. Yeah, obviously being so keen on cricket, I think that would be a pity. But that's a real possibility." - John Inverarity

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  • sundarb on June 11, 2012, 3:15 GMT

    Brilliant article. The author clearly has thoroughly vented his feelings and done a pretty frank and an outstanding job at it. Loved it.

    Agree, let's be honest. Test cricket as we knew it will die.

    "It might be that in a 150 years time, you look back on the situation and you say - there was a game of cricket that prospered for 200 years. They were the gladiators in Roman times. Yeah, obviously being so keen on cricket, I think that would be a pity. But that's a real possibility." - John Inverarity

  • on June 11, 2012, 3:37 GMT

    Absolutely brilliant article. Loved the last paragraph and agree with every point you raised in this. I love the IPL but trying to suggest that IPL has nothing to do with any other results is just being blind. The world just lost Kevin Peiterson, one of the best one day players at the age of 31 to retirement due to excessive cricket. Still no one cares?

  • getsetgopk on June 11, 2012, 3:38 GMT

    WOW, what an article!!! Finally someone from India is talking about the elephant in the room, people around the world have been saying that for years but most in india seemed aloof somehow, nice to know that someone put it straight.

  • anurag6892 on June 11, 2012, 3:42 GMT

    Great article on the effects of IPL on test cricket....which are quite true and visible. Most columnists say if IPL is drawing crowds...then why blame it for everything including the decline of test cricket. Yeah dats right but we can never deny the fact that Test cricket is slowly but surely dying....i donnoe how bad it is for cricket...of course if no one wants to see test cricket..ders no point arguing about how to save it.....the audience decide which format will survive and let it be....but yeah we should atleast let test cricket die gracefully instead of pretending that all is well with Test cricket....we can all do that I guess....once again hats off to a great article with a fresh perspective.

  • on June 11, 2012, 3:49 GMT

    Brilliant Article,One suggestion I would give the boards is either keep the T20 leagues or cull extra one day and t20 matches which have ZERO value.I can't understand why CA is scheduling meaningless odis against England and Pakistan,ECB has cut a test match against South Africa,BCCI has a meaningless odi series in Sri Lanka but just 2 tests vs New Zealand,New Zealand are reluctant to play more than 2 tests in a series and further CSA culled their Xmas Test for a T20 match.Players too sadly want the extra buck from IPL,BBL,BPL etc.I fully agree with Gary Kirsten that T20 is a domestic game and must be kept that way.

  • on June 11, 2012, 3:50 GMT

    First of all, congratulations on a commendable article. Thanks for the fearless job of calling a spade a spade. You have resonated the feelings of every true fan of the game. Unfortunately, I am not sure what positive effect this article would have. But, "dukh batne se halka hota hai" type of feeling. Thanks again!

  • Kemcho on June 11, 2012, 3:52 GMT

    An absolutely superb article by all means, which addresses the real issues facing "cricket". T20 in general and the thrid rate TV programme called "IPL" has virtually destroyed Indian 'cricket". Indian fans who really care about cricket do not watch IPL and those who watch/follow IPL have no idea about "cricket". 2011 is just the beginning and India is finished as a test playing nation.

  • StopSmoking on June 11, 2012, 3:54 GMT

    Can someone answer me why is IPL watched the most in India compare to any other thing? Just because one likes certain format doesn't mean that it's the best format out there. Where was the money in cricket if T20 didn't come along? This is not only for India. Why did English county have to start this format? Why do they still play FLT20, even if they have 'quality' 4 day tourny? Because they are covering their expenses! They all want to make money! The same money they are using to pay their maintenance bill for Players, Ground staff etc. etc. Your test cricket is not providing that much of money since they are not generating that much money since not lot of people watch TV during day time. IPL is not just making cricketers wealthier it's also making BCCI to afford A tours like this so future Indian test team can be better. Your test cricket is not generating that much of money. It's also allowing BCCI to gift hefty pension and recent payload to former cricketers. Think with open mind.

  • IPLFan on June 11, 2012, 3:54 GMT

    Not sure what is that "something" that the author wants the boards to do. Why should anything be done to protect Test cricket? If anything, IPL should be expanded to have a second season somewhere outside India and also a 50-over league. Then, let the club leagues and international cricket compete for players and viewers. Whichever is stronger will survive.

  • prksandeep on June 11, 2012, 4:03 GMT

    Excellent article. Tendulkar and Sehwag have set wrong example for youngsters when they did what they did.