MCC World Cricket Committee July 15, 2009

Test cricket could die out warns MCC

Cricinfo staff
114

The future of Test cricket dominated the two-day MCC World Cricket Committee meeting at Lord's, with the sombre conclusion being that it is in danger of dying out. The committee put forward recommendations including a World Test Championship, a trial of day/night Test cricket and pink balls in a bid to make the longer format more appealing.

"Except for certain icon series, such as the Ashes, Test cricket throughout the world, and in particular the lower-ranked nations, is in very real danger of dying," a statement by the committee said. "MCC's research proved that attendances at Test cricket have declined in recent years. In addition, there is a growing ambivalence towards the longer format of the game from cricketers in certain nations, with player surveys revealing that an IPL contract was the main career aspiration for many."

"The committee is deeply concerned that the proliferation of lucrative domestic Twenty20 leagues, such as the IPL, will lead to the premature retirement of quality international cricketers. Those from the lower-ranked Test nations could be particularly susceptible to such a career choice, based on earnings alone."

Referring to a World Test Championship, the committee said that the game "needs a World Test Championship and it needs one within the short-term. Work should commence immediately on devising the appropriate format."

Those views were endorsed by Steve Waugh, a member of the committee. "Test cricketers want to play for a world championship, like what happens in one-day and Twenty20," he said. "Something has to be done to lift the game's profile."

Martin Crowe, the former New Zealand batsman, suggested an eight-team format in which teams play three-match series and then move towards the semi-finals and final. The committee said the proposal, which must first reach an ICC agenda, would fit in with the current Future Tours Programme.

"If there's something to play for, it's definitely going to make a difference," Rahul Dravid, another member of the committee, said. "This sort of thing would help motivate players because when No. 7 plays No. 8 it's almost meaningless."

A ranking system is currently employed by the ICC and Australia sit on top of the table after beating South Africa in March. Cricket Australia hired consultants over the past couple of years to shape a Test championship model but went cold on the idea after not getting any support from the other ICC members.

Other aspects the committee hope will increase the attractiveness of Tests include playing day-night games using a pink ball. "We are hoping to stage one here next year against Bangladesh," the MCC's head of cricket John Stephenson said. "We would like to experiment with a pink ball. We've done the research and think it's worth trying. We want to safeguard the future of Test cricket."

After the meetings the committee also demanded stricter controls on the number of international players appearing in the IPL. "The committee is deeply concerned that the proliferation of lucrative domestic Twenty20 leagues, such as the Indian Premier League, will lead to the premature retirement of quality international cricketers," the committee said. "Those from the lower-ranked Test nations could be particularly susceptible to such a career choice, based on earnings alone."

The IPL chairman and commissioner Lalit Modi spoke to the group for more than an hour on Tuesday and emphasised that the league's success stemmed from it being market-driven.

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • waqtpk on July 19, 2009, 12:12 GMT

    The measures of making test last only four days, making them day night or using pink balls will all most probably fail.

    The only way the test cricket can survive is to establish meaningful series among the nations like Ashes which result in real street like contest with national spirit. Such series should only happen once in 2-3 years between selected nations like IN vs PK, SA vs SL, EN vs AU, etc. People will pay attention and will be seriously interested in the results. So make it special and make it meaningful.

    The main trouble at the moment is not necessarily the format of the test but the way series are organized with no real meaning. In fact for the moment the matches are organized just for the sake of matches to be organized.

    And for God sake do not organize a test cricket world cup. That can just the be the end of it.

  • AussieMatt1974 on July 19, 2009, 2:27 GMT

    Im a fan of different sports. It's important to not to look too hard at what the others are doing and dance to their tune. Whilst it is a good idea to keep up to date with what other sports are doing I believe every sport must play to it's strengths. Cricket is a love of mine and has been since I was a kid and Test Cricket is the ultimate form of this game. Australia, England and India are the main countries where the game is strongest. I hope cricket does not go down the T20 path all the way as it is not what cricket was invented for. If cricket has to sell out to this form of the game, then there may not as well be cricket in my mind. Test Matches are the ultimate for testing a cricketers ability. The one of the few reasons T20 is popular with players is money and thats sad. Fans remember great Test Matches, not T20's. Whether on TV, radio or at the game, Test Matches can be enjoyed by a huge audience numbered in the millions. No one sport can dominate the world so stop trying.

  • Shafaet on July 17, 2009, 16:52 GMT

    PITCH,PITCH,PITCH,PITCH,PITCH,PITCH,PITCH. Only sporting pitches can save test cricket.

  • ImranFarhat on July 17, 2009, 12:46 GMT

    WI should not be included in their current state as their current team got beat by Bangladesh

  • Kirk-at-Lords on July 17, 2009, 12:00 GMT

    The MCC + the commentary to this article make plain the many options available. Yet what they + we lack is political potency. Now is the time to commit to a new political process in the cricket, covering all aspects and forms of the game, including finance and representation. Shall MCC and ICC get behind a genaral Cricket Convention to work out all the details great and small? The Philadelphia Constitutional Convention of 1787 as the key to the recovery and later success of the nascent USA. Consider a Cricket Convention in the same general geographical location -- Haverford College in Philadelphia is as ancient a home of cricket as America can muster. The advantage is that USA is not a major cricketing nation, making it close to an ideal neutral venue for such a gathering of cricketing brains and power brokers. They should gather no later than the northern summer of 2010.

  • boris6491 on July 17, 2009, 6:39 GMT

    An incentive such as a world championship of tests may be substantial to ensure that the stake in Test cricket will not diminish to such an extent. We have to accept that the value of this form of the game will diminish slightly with the introduction of the more commercial friendly T20. But, as highlighted by the current Ashes series and the Pak-SL Test series, Test cricket can still be an extremely exciting and thrilling format. Small innovations such as pink balls for day night cricket may help to revive the game. But people have to stop living under the misconception that test cricket is 'boring' or 'monotonous'. Honestly, on the most part, it is anything but that.

  • gj2005ster on July 17, 2009, 6:38 GMT

    TEST cricket is Important But It is not Future.................................................

  • gj2005ster on July 17, 2009, 6:36 GMT

    Test cricket should only play with a World Test Championship Season such as

    World Test Championship Season 2010-12

    Group A- India,Aus,Newzeland,Westindies Gropu B- SAfrica,pak,england,srilanka

    Each country play 4 Test (2 Home and 2 Away) series with each other so each country would play 12 test in their group ,,, then top 4 team in semifinal

    A1 vs B1(2 Home and 2 Away) A1 vs B2((2 Home and 2 Away) A2vs B1(2 Home and 2 Away) A2 vs B2(2 Home and 2 Away)

    and then final series should be played....

    All these play should be in 2 years season then 6 month break and then nxt test champ season would be continue

    total

  • gj2005ster on July 17, 2009, 6:28 GMT

    For all of Test cricket lovers (not cricket lovers ),,,,,,,,

    Test cricket was once a national game of canada declared by its first prime ministor in 1850 , but in todays time period cricket is just a minor sport in canada,,,have all you noticed,,, and not only this,,, france was second nation to compete with england in only olmpic contest in cricket but then what happened........A game needs to be enough short and great excitement to survive in todays era..

  • gj2005ster on July 17, 2009, 6:00 GMT

    For All Test cricket lovers,

    Have you ever know that Test cricket was once a national game of canada and it was also popular summer game of france and netherland ,,,

    when you type cricket in canada on wikipedia,,, then it shows

    "When Canada became a nation in 1867 then cricket was so popular it was declared just the national sport by John A. Macdonald, the first Prime Minister of Canada. Unfortunately but the influence of baseball from the United States saw a decline in this popularity of cricket, despite tours from English and Australian teams"

    --------

    My dear ,,, Are you still argue over test cricket...i know test cricket is best form but its not future of game...

  • waqtpk on July 19, 2009, 12:12 GMT

    The measures of making test last only four days, making them day night or using pink balls will all most probably fail.

    The only way the test cricket can survive is to establish meaningful series among the nations like Ashes which result in real street like contest with national spirit. Such series should only happen once in 2-3 years between selected nations like IN vs PK, SA vs SL, EN vs AU, etc. People will pay attention and will be seriously interested in the results. So make it special and make it meaningful.

    The main trouble at the moment is not necessarily the format of the test but the way series are organized with no real meaning. In fact for the moment the matches are organized just for the sake of matches to be organized.

    And for God sake do not organize a test cricket world cup. That can just the be the end of it.

  • AussieMatt1974 on July 19, 2009, 2:27 GMT

    Im a fan of different sports. It's important to not to look too hard at what the others are doing and dance to their tune. Whilst it is a good idea to keep up to date with what other sports are doing I believe every sport must play to it's strengths. Cricket is a love of mine and has been since I was a kid and Test Cricket is the ultimate form of this game. Australia, England and India are the main countries where the game is strongest. I hope cricket does not go down the T20 path all the way as it is not what cricket was invented for. If cricket has to sell out to this form of the game, then there may not as well be cricket in my mind. Test Matches are the ultimate for testing a cricketers ability. The one of the few reasons T20 is popular with players is money and thats sad. Fans remember great Test Matches, not T20's. Whether on TV, radio or at the game, Test Matches can be enjoyed by a huge audience numbered in the millions. No one sport can dominate the world so stop trying.

  • Shafaet on July 17, 2009, 16:52 GMT

    PITCH,PITCH,PITCH,PITCH,PITCH,PITCH,PITCH. Only sporting pitches can save test cricket.

  • ImranFarhat on July 17, 2009, 12:46 GMT

    WI should not be included in their current state as their current team got beat by Bangladesh

  • Kirk-at-Lords on July 17, 2009, 12:00 GMT

    The MCC + the commentary to this article make plain the many options available. Yet what they + we lack is political potency. Now is the time to commit to a new political process in the cricket, covering all aspects and forms of the game, including finance and representation. Shall MCC and ICC get behind a genaral Cricket Convention to work out all the details great and small? The Philadelphia Constitutional Convention of 1787 as the key to the recovery and later success of the nascent USA. Consider a Cricket Convention in the same general geographical location -- Haverford College in Philadelphia is as ancient a home of cricket as America can muster. The advantage is that USA is not a major cricketing nation, making it close to an ideal neutral venue for such a gathering of cricketing brains and power brokers. They should gather no later than the northern summer of 2010.

  • boris6491 on July 17, 2009, 6:39 GMT

    An incentive such as a world championship of tests may be substantial to ensure that the stake in Test cricket will not diminish to such an extent. We have to accept that the value of this form of the game will diminish slightly with the introduction of the more commercial friendly T20. But, as highlighted by the current Ashes series and the Pak-SL Test series, Test cricket can still be an extremely exciting and thrilling format. Small innovations such as pink balls for day night cricket may help to revive the game. But people have to stop living under the misconception that test cricket is 'boring' or 'monotonous'. Honestly, on the most part, it is anything but that.

  • gj2005ster on July 17, 2009, 6:38 GMT

    TEST cricket is Important But It is not Future.................................................

  • gj2005ster on July 17, 2009, 6:36 GMT

    Test cricket should only play with a World Test Championship Season such as

    World Test Championship Season 2010-12

    Group A- India,Aus,Newzeland,Westindies Gropu B- SAfrica,pak,england,srilanka

    Each country play 4 Test (2 Home and 2 Away) series with each other so each country would play 12 test in their group ,,, then top 4 team in semifinal

    A1 vs B1(2 Home and 2 Away) A1 vs B2((2 Home and 2 Away) A2vs B1(2 Home and 2 Away) A2 vs B2(2 Home and 2 Away)

    and then final series should be played....

    All these play should be in 2 years season then 6 month break and then nxt test champ season would be continue

    total

  • gj2005ster on July 17, 2009, 6:28 GMT

    For all of Test cricket lovers (not cricket lovers ),,,,,,,,

    Test cricket was once a national game of canada declared by its first prime ministor in 1850 , but in todays time period cricket is just a minor sport in canada,,,have all you noticed,,, and not only this,,, france was second nation to compete with england in only olmpic contest in cricket but then what happened........A game needs to be enough short and great excitement to survive in todays era..

  • gj2005ster on July 17, 2009, 6:00 GMT

    For All Test cricket lovers,

    Have you ever know that Test cricket was once a national game of canada and it was also popular summer game of france and netherland ,,,

    when you type cricket in canada on wikipedia,,, then it shows

    "When Canada became a nation in 1867 then cricket was so popular it was declared just the national sport by John A. Macdonald, the first Prime Minister of Canada. Unfortunately but the influence of baseball from the United States saw a decline in this popularity of cricket, despite tours from English and Australian teams"

    --------

    My dear ,,, Are you still argue over test cricket...i know test cricket is best form but its not future of game...

  • gj2005ster on July 17, 2009, 5:58 GMT

    For All Test cricket lovers,

    Have you ever know that Test cricket was once a national game of canada and it was also popular summer game of france and netherland ,,,

    when you cricket in canada on wikipedia,,, then it shows

    "When Canada became a nation in 1867 then cricket was so popular it was declared just the national sport by John A. Macdonald, the first Prime Minister of Canada. Unfortunately but the influence of baseball from the United States saw a decline in this popularity of cricket, despite tours from English and Australian teams"

    --------

    My dear ,,, Are you still argue over test cricket...i know test cricket is best form but its not future of game...

  • tfjones1978 on July 17, 2009, 5:33 GMT

    The idea has some merit, as long as there is home&away, multi tiers and relegation system. One approach could be: * Tier1[1-8]: 8 teams (3 tests@, home&away) over 4 years (home/away in 2 years), plus Semis & final. 14-16 series (42-48 tests) per team. * Tier2[9-12]: 4 teams (3 tests@, home&away) over 2 years. 6 series (18 tests) per team. * Intercontential Cup[13-20]: 8 teams (1 Associate Test@) over 2 years, plus final. 7-8 series (7-8 Assoc Tests).

    At end of every 2 years: * 8th (lest points over 2 years) & 9th swop (9th takes 8th points). * 12th & IC winner swop.

    At end of every 4 years: * 7th vs 10th. Winner to Tier1, loser to Tier2.

    Advantages: * Teams of similar ability play each other regularly. * Test "Friendly" matches allow for extra matches outside of competition. * Every team (Full, Associate/Affiliate) have chance of promotion to test status, and chance of winning World Test Championship. * Border teams (like WI/NZ) pressured to do well to avoid demotion for 2 yrs.

  • ian_whitchurch on July 16, 2009, 23:39 GMT

    As to the issue of four-day and drawn tests decided on first innings points, just dont. It's a recepie for the team with it's nose in front playing negative cricket - just check the last n years worth of Sheffield Shield finals, and tell me how many of them were good games, with both sides attacking and defending session by session.

    If you really must decide a winner in a game where neither side was good enough, do it the way boxing does in the same circumstance - a panel of three judges scores each session, then you add up the points and everyone gets to whine about biased judging, home town decisions and so on.

    Ian Whitchurch

  • KTiwari on July 16, 2009, 21:52 GMT

    I like cricket but I am yet to find a good reason to watch test cricket.......5 days to watch a draw.....too painful. There is no rocket science in why stadium are empty.It is obvious. Watching test cricket is like watching plants grow.

  • Iftekharul_Hasan_Siam on July 16, 2009, 17:07 GMT

    actually in this corporate world peoples are not interested on test cricket,we should think positive about T20.....some changes should be made to make it exciting......and tournaments like Asia Cup & Afro-Asia cup should be played in T20 format......

  • Cricordia on July 16, 2009, 16:21 GMT

    I already see a few good ideas here in the comments. Does the ICC or someone with the powers have the time to go thru?

  • TwitterJitter on July 16, 2009, 13:18 GMT

    It would be interesting if someone had done a survey of people below 35 years whose primary preference is cricket and then those for soccer 5 years ago in England and South Africa. A similar survey would have been good for same age group but for cricket vs rugby in Australia and SA. Then repeating the same survey now would have given us an understanding of how many youngsters were preferring soccer or rugby to cricket and how that ratio would have changed now after 5 years. I bet the stats would be in favor to soccer to cricket in England and SA and rugby to cricket in Australia and SA overwhelmingly. Unless cricket finds a way to address this issue cricket will confined to a small niche market in future. Manchester U has just started investing in Indian market and if they manage to make inroads into Indian cricket market, cricket can kiss goodbye to being a major sport. Be it test cricket, IPL, or soccer at the end of the day the product that deliver the best entertainment wins!

  • drmony on July 16, 2009, 13:11 GMT

    Everything is not about keeping records or classic touch ,,,For a game It needs to get produce money and crowd intrest at average and T20 does it very well,,but in spite of that i enjoy all format of cricket

  • baldster on July 16, 2009, 13:04 GMT

    Although other sports are eating into the pie in places like India, it has a population of 1 000 000 000. thats a lot of people. Test cricket can survive, it will be ok.... I think we may be entering a time of minimalism with test cricket. I think there won't be as much, but it will survive. What does worry me is the fact that there isn't the same fuss as was the case with world series cricket. England kicked up a HUGE stink over WSC whereas with the IPL nobody has cared or shared the same concern. I do not think Test cricket is dead. Everywhere I go its did you see the T20, yeah its ok, Did you see the test though, yeah it was good, intriguing. It has more levels which interests people. T20 may die out. People will get over it. India will lose a T20 and win some tests, it will be all good.

    TEST CRICKET FOREVER!

  • gruebz on July 16, 2009, 12:48 GMT

    My suggestion is radical but an effort to increase run rates & end up with more results which I personally think will help test cricket. Firstly, increase overs to 8 balls overs (with less over breaks this will increase over rates). Bowl 75 overs in a day (25 overs in a session). Then make it so that teams will be forced to declare after 180 total overs (across their 2 innings). This will mean that a result will be guaranteed in the 5 days as the maximum amount the 2 teams can bat is 360 overs and 5 days x 75 overs is 375, assuming rain is not an issue (light won't be an issue because of the pink ball). To help get the game completed a 6th day should be available if needed.

    The only downside is that you wont have the occassional heroic draw as we saw in cardiff but the upside of eliminating drawn tests & making batsmen consider run rates (180 overs x 8 balls is still 1440 balls so batsmen will still have not getting out as first priority over scoring runs - as test cricket should be)

  • TwitterJitter on July 16, 2009, 11:00 GMT

    kingofspain: You have jumped to wild conclusions. The point is I am analyzing it as a person detached from cricket, not as someone emotionally attached to test cricket. The reality is other than in England and Australia, cricket matches are played to empty stadiums. If not T20, then cricket will loose out other sport. You need money in a sport to attract talent and have more talented youngsters take up cricket. If WI board was able to play its players a few million dollars per year, there would have been many more talented WIans taking up cricket and the team would have been better. As for India, it is the last fort cricket has to keep it self financed for now. If in India cricket loses out to soccer, you can be rest assured that cricket as a whole will be dead soon because Australia and England cannot afford play each other all the time if there are no other cricketing nations. In every other nation, other sports are making inroads into cricket and pie is shrinking

  • ian_whitchurch on July 16, 2009, 10:26 GMT

    The problems with Test cricket are

    (1) tour are too short, leading to players not having enough time to acclimitise. Pakistan in Sri Lanka is an obvious example, as was the recent tour of Bangladesh in South Africa.

    (2) pitches are flat, leading to bowlers giving up on taking wickets, and

    (3) gate charges are too high. A test series that is going to lose money should pretty much throw the gates open and try and make it look like a crowd

    A two-tier system wont work for one fundamental reason ; sooner or later, India will go through a sustained bad patch and fall out of the top tier. Indian TV and gambling interests, who fund cricket, will not accept this, and then the system will be scrapped. So, if you want to throw Bangladesh out of Test Cricket so you dont have to play games like Australia vs Bangladesh at Fatullah, then just do it, but have the courage to say thats what you are doing.

    Ian Whitchurch

    PS Carna Tigers

  • Bharat1981 on July 16, 2009, 9:48 GMT

    I am from India and like many others take a lot of interest in cricket. For me the best form of cricket is 5 day format of test cricket as it exists today. 50 over one day match and T-20 all comes only next. Other small changes like introducing day-night format and changing the colour of the ball are okay, but as the ICC chief had pointed out to changing it to 4-day is a useless suggestion. The rest of the changes proposed are fine. One day cricket and T-20 does not come anywhere near to test which we have witnessed in so many test matches like the recent Pak-Sl series and the first ashes test and other all-time remembering test matches like the India-Aus test matches of Kolkatta in 2001 and Adelaide in 2004 etc.

  • vulpecula on July 16, 2009, 9:36 GMT

    Test cricket will die out......pub league rubbish (aimed at those who can't understand proper cricket) will take over.....England test team will become the same as the British Lions rugby team, playing for the ashes every 4 years......development of cricket in smaller countries will stop due to pub league rubbish.....money being spent in the wrong places or ending up in the wrong pockets..... These are all comments posted by me on this site, and others sites, 3 years ago

  • drmony on July 16, 2009, 9:12 GMT

    One more thing personally i feel that 40 overs ODI could be best option for healthy and excitement cricket but dont try to change T20 format please

  • drmony on July 16, 2009, 9:07 GMT

    Firstly in 2004-05 i also felt that T20 would spoil the game of cricket but now i seem that many those my frend those have no interest in cricket earlier or those who left watching it again getting discussion to me about T20 matches specially world T20 2007 and 2009. it clearly indicates that T20 pulling new spectators to this game

  • drmony on July 16, 2009, 9:01 GMT

    In my view,,,,Cricket should be in moderate way something like,,,for every nation

    6 test match (1 Home and 1 Away seies in a year) 15 ODis Maximum inculding series and Cup matches 10 T20s ,,, and T20 only should play in tri nation type of concept eery year for example ...India,Australia,Safrica in Trination T20 series in every year one time in india then in aus and after then it should be organise in safrica.....like trinatin rugby which would make it more appealing and more intresting

  • drmony on July 16, 2009, 8:57 GMT

    i dont know why people want to fight over issue of format variety

    whether test cricket or T20 ....i always love the cricket and enjoy it

    But lets face it..........

    after above 100 years of cricket ...this game only plays between 8-10 countries .Have you ever noticed this aspect my dear Test cricket lovers.i dont want to argue over this.because i love test cricket..But Dear to Survive the Game ...It needs to produce money and in this way T20 is well driving.......

  • D.V.C. on July 16, 2009, 8:25 GMT

    I'm with Tree-Leaper. Since when does interest = crowd numbers? There are many ways to take interest in a match, be it listening on the radio, watching it on TV, reading the text commentary, reading the scores in the newspaper. Test Cricket engages people during the every day like no other sport. In no other game is their so much potential for discussing a live game. Test Cricket is followed by people who aren't even watching the match, in many work places you will find people who sing out the score to their co-workers almost constantly; and that goes on for 5 days! What other game is pervasive into peoples everyday lives? There is enough interest in Test cricket for the ICC to make good profit from it, the thing is they don't want good profit they want increasing returns just like the corporations that drove the world into recession. So Test Cricket is not dead, but I think the MCC's suggestions are sensible and could be worth trying.

  • Liberal on July 16, 2009, 8:16 GMT

    if india looses a couple of more t20 world cups t20 will fail. Pray for it :)

  • Wisdom_of_Cricket on July 16, 2009, 5:45 GMT

    I think the biggest drawback of Test Cricket is 1) Number of hours played during each day-Six...I think that is too many..Instead, I propose an alternate format : A 5-day match with 2 innings, just like the way it is right now, but, played for the same number of hours in a day as Twenty 20 ---Three hours.. However, the number of wickets per innings would have to be reduced to something like 3 or 4. The Six Hour version of the game can be used during Test World Championship during the critical stages such as semifinals, super fours, final etc.. By having a game for only 3 hours a day, and that too during the evening (after people get back from work), could sound appealing and may attract newer fans to the legendary 5-day game.

  • Moinudheen on July 16, 2009, 5:38 GMT

    I strongly believe that the longer format is not over. Its neither dishonored nor overtaken by the shorter formats. Even though one fact is there, the financial eagerness of the players. We can see lot of international players are more concentrated in the new format mainly attracted by the high remuneration paid. At the same time all these players are agreeing that the actual essence of cricket is in Tests only. And this is the truth. The essence of cricket is in Tests !!! and the people all over the world realize it. Only thing we can do to save the players from quitting this format is to increase the remuneration in the other formats too.

  • TamilIndian on July 16, 2009, 5:27 GMT

    @bohurupi they are not talking about 8 players in a team they are talking about the top 8 teams in the world. I think you misunderstood. As for the test championship I think it is a good idea but this will happen only if cash hungry boards (ie BCCI) really wish to give something back to the game.

  • Treeleaper on July 16, 2009, 4:34 GMT

    There is only one kind of cricket and that is the long form of the game, anything else is bubblegum and those promoting 20/20 as cricket are guilty of fraud under the Trade Descriptions Act. Those making money out of that bubblegum game will drop it like a hot spud when the public appetite falls off and those harlots that erroneously call themselves cricketers, but are quick to desert the long form, will scurry back in a trice.

    I urge cricket lovers to give support to the long form by attending as many matches as you can. Talk about the excitement and drama of the game to your friends and workmates, proselytise at every opportunity. Boycott bubblegum cricket and never fail to denigrate it when you can.

    Sure, there's work to be done to make test cricket more responsive to spectators needs. Decent over rates are required to speed the game up, captains need to be disuaded from interminable consultations over field settings, more use of lights in gloomy conditions.

  • Cricordia on July 16, 2009, 4:02 GMT

    the stadiums might not be filling up but has ICC checked the tv viewership for test matches..isnt TV revenue all that is driving cricket? current generation has become more professional and have a day job, but may be the tv viewership is still there..also may be a 70 over 5 day evening/night game...TV revenue and crowds might still be ok!

  • mjtaba80 on July 16, 2009, 3:58 GMT

    Test cricket will die for sure if it continue in the state it is now,drastic change are required wether we like it or not to save the format of the game.Pink ball idea is redicilous , how is it going to be a savior of the game i fail to understand.The best solution what i think is 1. MAKE IT FOUR DAYS TEST ( with points system like in the english county to support the rankings ) 2.100 overs a day with only two breaks(like in the 50/50 format) 3. Make the test Overs consist of 4 balls (test cricket went under the knife and shed 2 balls before why cant we do that again ,the game can take up pace for sure). . the above suggestions do change the game bit i think within the boudries of what have happened before and was successfull,Pink ball LMAO

  • KeithHall on July 16, 2009, 3:56 GMT

    I'm very surprised that a person like Steve Waugh who had such great success as a Test player, would even suggest that the most prestigeous aspect of cricket (Test Cricket) be done away with. The MCC, in it's position to make policy relating to this wonderful game should recognise that it's not only about the IPL and it's wealthy conglomerates who matter, they are still lots of us, cricketing fans who can appreciate the quality of test cricket and what character it brings out in a player. I believe that if we continue to allow the United States to influence the way our sport is played, sooner or later we'll have nothing to call our own. Baseball has it's place in the US, we must continue with test cricket even if we shorten it to four days thereby generating a little more excitement, but if we ever allow T20 to be our major format, we will eventually see a home plate, mound, three bases, left field and right field and will be calling our bowlers "pitchers"." Batter" is already used.

  • Chup on July 16, 2009, 3:47 GMT

    As an American who loves the game, I want test cricket, and test cricket only. 20twenty is a farce on the level of baseball batting practice. The short-attention-span Neanderthals should not control what happens to the finest strategic and athletic game ever devised.

  • Vkarthik on July 16, 2009, 3:42 GMT

    It is getting old to listen to this "dooms day prediction". Cricket has survived more than 100 years. It has withstood the surge of one dayers. It has withstood world war. It has withstood apartheid. Why do they think Test cricket will die. What do they mean by "die". When everything is in the hands of ICC why do they think Test cricket will die.

  • JetsonJetson on July 16, 2009, 3:38 GMT

    There is far too much international cricket. Far too much. If all the Mickey Mouse one-day or half-day games were removed (if people want to watch baseball, they can go to a baseball game), it would make Test matches more special and more appealing. Some modern day stats amaze me - Glenn McGrath played only 189 first class matches in his career and 124 were tests - so he only played 65 first class games that were not tests. And that was in a career of around 15 years. So almost two-thirds of his first-class games were internationals. How can that happen? Am I alone in finding that ridiculous? And he played 250 ODIs in that time. Jack Hobbs played 834 first class games. Anyway, the only way to make the game better is to stop the confounded marketing department from running it.

  • R.Alam on July 16, 2009, 3:32 GMT

    Test Cricket make a cricketer Legend. If we are look back of the history all of legend are mainly come from test cricket. So A player could prove the Ability to play then i said Need to Perform in Test Match. Long Live Test Cricket......

  • Number_5 on July 16, 2009, 2:16 GMT

    How hard can it be to find the right mix. Most of the replies posted on this page have at least some merit. It really makes you think if the ICC understands what its core business is or if its just concerned about the $ being generated by the game when the cricket fans around the world come up with better ideas than they can to sort things out. Waugh and Dravid are just there for window dressing, at the end of the day it appears some boards are more concerend about lining their own pockets than the welfare of the game.

  • MinusZero on July 16, 2009, 1:47 GMT

    I think its a good idea. This years IPL was better than last year because at least the bowlers had a bit of a say in results. I hope tests continue.

  • styrisfan on July 16, 2009, 1:42 GMT

    If test cricket dies then cricket dies. T20 is not cricket, it is an obscene Frankenstein experiment. A test championship with a semi final and final won't really work, it just does not suit test cricket. But having two tiers of test cricket might be a good idea, especially if there would be promotion/relegation between the two tiers.

  • ARad on July 15, 2009, 23:39 GMT

    ICC should consider: A. Day/Night Tests after trialling balls to confirm they won't affect the quality of cricket; B. Using sprays (used in IPL 2009 in SA??) so that the grass won't become dewy during evenings; C. Mandatory flood-lit play if weather affects day games - TV broadcasters with scheduling conflicts can switch to online streaming. D. A centralized brain trust to assist curators prepare competitive pitches; E. A rating system for pitches by match officials - any Test venue that scores below an accepted level for two consequent matches or scores below average during a time period (such as five years) losing ALL international status for a few years as punishment; F. An 8-team 3 Test/series championship with the venue and the opponents (of at least the Quarter Finals) based on rankings so that non-championship series would still remain meaningful and of interest to all fans; G. Timeless final tests in tied series during the championship with streaming to deal with TV scheduling.

  • baldster on July 15, 2009, 23:28 GMT

    If test cricket died, I don't know what I would do. I think the test championship may have some merrit. I think 2 divisions of 5 teams each play a home and away 3 match series followed by a final series. The top team from division 2 is promoted with the last place division 1 team relegated. Then the last place team of division 2 is relegated into the non test intercontinental cup. and so on... I think in division 1 you could play a few night test matches, although mainly day time tests. Then in division 2 to draw more crowds play more day night test matches. I think this could draw more crowds and would also get rid of any pointless games, nobody really wants to get relegated. I also think that prize money needs to be awarded. Of course this would be a tournament played over 4 or even 5 years meaning you could create a window for tests and play T20 leagues. or create a window for T20 of say maybe 3 mnths. THIS COULD WORK. I LOVE TEST CRICKET IN ITS PUREST FORM. and im 15...

  • Peligrosisimo3 on July 15, 2009, 22:50 GMT

    Those talking about it would be too long.Haven't we heard about the UEFA champion's league. It last a couple of months o even a season I think.

  • 2.14istherunrate on July 15, 2009, 22:42 GMT

    i really do not know about other fans, but for myself I watched an India v West Indies 50 over game shortly after 20/20 World Cup and around 17 over mark I noticed I was panicking,anxiety ridden, because a part of me thought the innings was about end . After a couple of 50 over innings I normed out again. I had not watched many 20 over games but somehow my psyche had been altered by what I had seen,for the worse. Personally I could not watch a plethora of 20 over games for the life of me-it's total rubbish, a cheap thrill. On the other hand Cardiff the other day showed what Tests can give us. I do not think seriously that most pros would be interested in playing only 20/20- all that training to bat just a few overs,bowl a few. The skills are different. But the money men love it. Perhaps two codes would be the way to go without people doing both. As for a Test championship it is an interesting idea, but in a format that reflects the nature of Tests,and only every 4 years.

  • Peligrosisimo3 on July 15, 2009, 22:32 GMT

    Yes I think that a test championship would be great.I think of the West Indies team playing all these test matches over the years and to the average fans its all meaningless especially now that the WI loses so many more matches than the win.OK, granted one or two moments like Brian Lara and Walsh sealing a win against Australia but its all just too monotonous. Think of the ODI's. Every cricket fan values the triumphs of Australia, Pakistan even my own WI team in the World Cups. But in terms of test cricket its all meaningless. Ok so Australia beats England so what! India beats New Zealand so what! I think its an interesting idea which could be pursued. Just like the World Baseball Classic in baseball. This would give players breaks in between as there is constant talk of too much cricket. Also to one of the comments above. It's an 8 team proposal, not an eight member cricket team side. I know that it's new though and test cricket has a reputation to defend.

  • anotherjb on July 15, 2009, 21:53 GMT

    Like it or not the main consideration for anyone in a position of authority over cricket (or anything else) is money. That is to the detriment of the whole world. As a showcase then, T20 has its place - probably more so than the 50-over game - as a short spectacle, an evening's or afternoon's entertainment which which caters to our desire for visual excitment and swiftly-resolved anticipation. Test cricket is a totally different game. Increased numbers of Test series have been a contributory factor to the game's degeneration as a spectator sport; so perhaps less is more. If there were only one home and one away Test series a year the series itself would become a special, watchable spectacle. How much more would the Ashes mean if it only occured every 4 years instead of every 2(ish)? Please don't touch Test cricket; don't change the pitches, the ball colour or make the bowlers be more "positive". It is cerebral, patient, strategic and beautiful; and tacky make-up would not suit it.

  • kingofspain on July 15, 2009, 21:30 GMT

    Banglaorekid, your hatred of test cricket is tiresome. Real cricket supporters prefer, that's not a niche audience, that's the base of support that any sport needs. 20/20 is for casual fans of the game and people with no attention span.

    Admit it, you only back 20/20 because you see it as a vehicle for India taking over the running of the game. Even this is only important to you because of your post-colonial angst. Time to get over it!

  • cobra007 on July 15, 2009, 20:27 GMT

    Until we have old stubborn guys leading ICC and Boards we will have Test Cricket who till their last breathe will defend Tests and doesn't accept it just doesn't make sense. A great player will try to hit a good ball to boundary, whats so great in just leaving the ball alone or playing defense, just nonsense. This is the only game which had 8-10 teams playing in 1975 and about the same even after 35 years. They just don't have business sense nor for improving game nor expanding it. I hope they play T20 leagues everywhere and make cricket a career not just 11-14 players and few heads eating all the money. This is the game we love and we want to take it professionally and the only way is with T20 which is bringing ladies to the game, who I think will play a major role in taking it as a career. Don't discuss about Tests and waste time, I think T20 is the only cricket version which can bring more people, revenue and can be bigger than world cup soccer and super bowl and hope they do it.

  • GOSMGR2 on July 15, 2009, 20:20 GMT

    People are still wedded to the series idea.Why not split the test playing countries into a top division of six teams and a lower division of six teams.Every team plays each other home and away once.Have a grand final each year for the top two teams,played at the MCG say on Boxing Day.For each test there would be 4 pts for a win,1 pt each for a draw,1 pt for first innings lead and 1 pt for an innings win.The bottom two sides in the top league would play off against the top two sides in the lower division to establish relegation and promotion.Test cricket needs a narrative and a recognised world champion team.Grasp the nettle ICC, otherwise test cricket will become an anachronism

  • Pratik_vodka on July 15, 2009, 19:59 GMT

    getting tiered of this argument now. Frst lets not ask MCC BCCI or any such boards to come with a solution as if they are the problem. These guys are clearly profit motivated and will do what is profitable. Test cricket will survive if it has any significance with the current viewer.IF not it can happily leave.BCCI MCC will be more than happy to have 5 10 day tests but with 0 viewers makes no sense. But seriously PINK balls that will just make me never play cricket ever. I think rather than going for pink balls championship forma we should just reduce the number of ODI -50 over games we play and replace them with T20. Test can continue the way they are and so will limited over games. Reduce burden on viewer from over dosage and cricket from too much cricket. Simple keep test and T20 and phase out 50 over games

  • Paul_JT on July 15, 2009, 19:22 GMT

    Yes to a Test match Championship - some kind of regular tournament, at least for a semi-final and final stage. However there should not be change for the sake of doing something. Test cricket is what it is. If is seen as too adaptable it could become indistinguishable from limited-overs cricket and therefore disposable. An unpleasant solution for the moneymen would be to schedule fewer tours (with more time for preparation) and insist on more competitive pitches (even if that leads to more 4-day matches) - Quality over quantity to be cliche.

  • randikaayya on July 15, 2009, 19:07 GMT

    bohurupi you were not serious when you made that comment right? The article discussed a 8 team championship not an 8 member team composition. Test Cricket is definitely the purest form of the game and I strongly believe that money driven ventures such as the Indian tournament should be restricted to once every 2 years instead of annually. It feele like you are at a circus or a carnival during that season and its has no semblance to Cricket that we associate ourselves with. Perhaps ICC can start a four day tournament amongst the associate nations to get more countries and population bases used to the longer version of the game and more mixes between higher and lower ranked teams in the top group.

  • ablue1972 on July 15, 2009, 19:05 GMT

    Test cricket has been dead since the 80s early 90s at best. apart from in england. where it was considered the new football and a good day out on the drink. Only reason why people still go. 20/20 is the way forward. Day/night test cricket whats the point??? you still need a day off work to go at 230 pm start anyway. Lets just have 20/20 comps maybe 3 games a day at out test venues on weekends!!! make more money and revenue and tv money, and that is all what matters today.

  • TwitterJitter on July 15, 2009, 18:41 GMT

    Here are the fundamental questions that needs to be asked before we say a test championship will work. 1. If someone was not interested in watching test cricket before, will they now watch it because some test series (which is part of some long-drawn out championship) is going on? I would say "no'. 2. Is it going enhance the motivation level for players than what is already existed? May be for a few players like Dravid, but players like Rahul did not need extra motivation for playing tests in the first place. If I am for example say Gayle, and I was not interested in some test series before, and suddenly the series is part of some championship, why would that motivate me more? So what if his team wins a championship after an years worth of games? He might still prefer to skip a few tests and make money through T20 leagues. The point is will this be a game changer and the answer will be a resounding no.

  • GoodCricketWicket on July 15, 2009, 18:40 GMT

    There is a complete lack of rational thought going on here around the world. We need to accept that there will ALWAYS be boring test matches, just as there are boring matches in every sport.

    In the NFL, almost every match reaches a positive conclusion. This does not mean that excitement is guaranteed. Conversely, you do not hear much talk of eliminating the draw in the Premier League - football understands that the main factor is the quality of the play rather than the end result.

    This is what cricket needs to tackle. Test pitches are designed to be slow and boring, because administrators feel that this will ensure 5 days worth of revenue. This makes batting so easy that batting averages have increased by AT LEAST 10 runs per innings, and there are no more than 3 truly world class bowlers at present - Murali, Steyn & Johnson. Paul Harris is ranked 8 in the world for example.

    Sort out the pitches, improve the schedules and quality of play & you go a long way to solving the problem.

  • shamz_can on July 15, 2009, 18:36 GMT

    Test cricket is here to stay. It does not matter who wins a 20-20 tournament. This is coming from a Pakistani cricket fan. The team that is on the top in Tests is the team that will be most respected and the team that everyone would want to play against. One-day cricket was the rage from 80s to most of the 90s while test cricket silently went on. Now one-day cricket is suffering. 20-20 will see the same fate in the future. Test cricket has a specific audience and that audience is there to stay. What other sport cherishes the elements of a drawn test match where a team narrowly escapes defeat? If test cricket needs a shot in the arm for financial reasons which is what all this hue and cry is about, than the administrators of the game need to address it. I am all for a Test championship. The major leagues in the US have seasons spanning 8 months. We can have something similar for tests with the top 8 teams participating. The quality would be superb and that would boost earnings.

  • kalyanbk on July 15, 2009, 18:36 GMT

    The problem is too much cricket and flat pitches. Having well-spaced events means that cricketers remain fit, hungry and there is a buildup to a tour among fans and cricketers. There used to be a romance when India toured West Indies. But the last tour of just 4 ODIs with many injured players did not have the same appeal. In the same way we need a contest between bat and ball to save tests. Its ok if a test finishes early. Today we have pitches loaded in the batsman's favor. We want to see the likes of Ambrose bowl to Steve Waugh shane warne to Tendulkar where there is pace, bounce and turn. I am already being overdosed by T20 as well.

  • bradshad on July 15, 2009, 18:12 GMT

    Creating pitches that are good for both bowling and batting and provide the best bet of a result is the best way of saving test cricket

  • silverpie on July 15, 2009, 17:58 GMT

    I do like the challenge-trophy concept. For what it's worth, if one had existed all the way back to the original Ashes, it would be in the hands of India at the moment.

    The 8-team tournament has its merits, with a catch--the bottom two, or even four, teams should then have to face challenges from Zimbabwe, Bangladesh, or the top Associates (who would have their own events to pick the challengers) to retain their top-tier slot (but would still get to keep the right to play matches of Test status, just not the championship).

  • GandalfCanada on July 15, 2009, 17:56 GMT

    The ICC's complaint about the number of international players in the IPL is revealing. What does it say about the test format when the only solution to the issue of player defections that the ICC can envision is obstructionism?

  • AARON.IFTEKHAR on July 15, 2009, 17:37 GMT

    Yes, test cricket is in some danger of dying out, which should be protected because it gives out the correct technical players. 20/20 cricket is fun, dynamic, and good for investment (profitable) and globalised the game, specially for olympics, but it's lacking many components of Test cricket, which make cricket great.The suggestion of the MCC CC is quite good as a world test championship sounds like an excellent idea, but financially tough to realize. 21st century's life style is not on the side of test cricket in its current form. For this reason ICC should be too wise to change some rules and regulations of the basic cricket to compete the new realism and to save the classical test cricket. 1) like limitation of days, impose limitation of overs per innings (or per total innings of the team), per day and per hour; 2) to comply metric system in cricket, reduce an over to 5 balls, etc. Have you some new ideas? Hurry, add ideas! 50 overs OD coulld die out, but test cricket will never!!!

  • michaelgale on July 15, 2009, 16:55 GMT

    There are some simple facts here. [1] games have to evolve in order to appeal to the media and cultural landscapes. Cricket has a history of this with Packer. Gridiron football had to handle this in the 1960's. Football has had to evolve globally as have sports like tennis with the open era. [2] The new formats are in effect questioning the base loyalties and economics of the current system. Test cricket needs to adapt. It does not need to be five days but maybe could be handled in five evenings. People can watch this on TV (helps economics and audience range) just as 20/20 has. [3] If we are to encourage a wider spread of the game and more importantly motivate the next generation then the game needs to evolve. Colored balls, evening formats will help, but this format has to respect the need for change. It is questionnable if nations like Kenya, the US, China or others will ever want a day time, mid week five day game format of any kind.

  • MrsBoycottsStickOfRhubarb on July 15, 2009, 16:52 GMT

    I don't really care if certain countries don't want to play test cricket. So long as England and Australia continue to contest the Ashes every two years I could do without series against countries who are only interested in T20. I suspect that the current craze for T20 will die out in a few years anyway once people realise that the contests don't have the substance of Test cricket. T20 is a chocolate bar and Test cricket is a three course meal.

  • cpbrand on July 15, 2009, 16:30 GMT

    Test cricket will always be the ultimate, if one takes the 1st Ahses 09 test, the way a nation cheered every dot ball - or the first hour of any test series - that kind of complexities will never be in the shorter forms of the game.

  • Cricketfan73 on July 15, 2009, 16:27 GMT

    bohurupi ....your comments are very relevant save for one...there is no plan for an 8 member team..are we reading the same article? The proposal is for 8 TEAMS to take part in the test championship.

    Anyway..Mr Modi should be help accountable for the possible demise of test cricket, since he sanctioned it from day one.

    Look at the recently concluded first ashes test...which game of Twenty 20 could even come close to displaying the class shown by the 4 Australian century makers or the fight put up by the English tail? Even though the match ended in a draw..it was by far better than any Twenty 20 baseball game ever.

  • Big_Chikka on July 15, 2009, 16:16 GMT

    I suppose in the cold light of day one should ask "what purpose test cricket serves and exist for?"

    1. Keeping us occupied - okay to test cricket, lets keep it.

    2. Determimng which is the better team - can do that with two innings 100 / 80 over matches, spread over two days instead of five - down with test cricket. Not sure players with bad knees would appreciate this though.

    3. Making money for the the boards - one day matches can do that - down with test cricket.

    4. Testing players in different weather conditions - hmm! water cannons, roofs & suana's to create humidity - maybe not, lets keep test cricket.

    Truth is I have no idea why we have Test cricket anymore. It certainly has its detractors, but unless the rules of the one day format are significantly changed I would probably miss the five slips, bouncers and endless natural interferences that make the 5 day game so unique.

    The idea of a draw after five days is difficult to justify, but then that is cricket isn't it?

  • jsg10 on July 15, 2009, 16:03 GMT

    Let's not get to conclusions that fast. Changing the format of tests will render the history , legends, and records of test matches valueless. Like someone already mentioned, if we have to pick the best moments of cricket from the past, most of us remember test matches. I think the level of test cricket has increased - we are seeing better run-rates and in turn results of each test match that is being played around the globe in the present. Just one thing - the ICC should strictly force the test pitches to be fair to both bowlers and batsmen. No more flat tracks of scoring 700 and then 600 and then match drawn. Lets zoom out of the picture and think before touching and re-shaping the beautiful format of test cricket.

  • IKickYourAss on July 15, 2009, 15:56 GMT

    If Test Cricket dies its all because of ICC and BCCI. When you have 3 products to market (Test, ODI and T20) and you end up on focusing just one product (T20) the other two products are going to suffer. IPL and T20 world cup is like a party event, just come and see guys hit the ball out of grounds and watch cheerleaders. Test cricket has always been a chess game, the new generation of cricketers will never understand that. Majority of the nations are struggling to field competitive teams because cricket is dying at grass root levels, having World Championship is not going to help unless we realize the issue at its core.

  • NicoliD on July 15, 2009, 15:21 GMT

    Nonononono more IPL events. First the West Indies goes through the motions of demolishing itself as a viable cricket side, now this. Yes, we need a test championship. Not having one makes no point whatsoever, especally because nobody cares about the 50 over game. Such a tournament could even be used to try and introduce some of the up and coming nations to test-level cricket- they can't keep playing each other and be expected to improve, it doesn't work that way. No other sport could be this determined to tear itself apart and still somehow make money. Stop the Twenty20 circus train- I want to get off and never, ever come back.

  • DeepPoint on July 15, 2009, 15:11 GMT

    All that needs to be done is to go back to uncovered wickets or ensure sporting wickets. With this, the ebb and flow of the matches will keep cricket lovers interested plenty

  • fununlimited on July 15, 2009, 14:47 GMT

    Regardless of whether the Test Championship idea would work or not, it should be given a shot. You really can't go wrong considering the current state of test cricket. The India-Australia test series in India a few months back had woefully low crowds and it wasn't much better elsewhere. Continuing this way is hopeless. The ICC and other boards also needs to be more flexible with its FTP and give all players a chance to play in the IPL and other leagues. Cut the number of international matches so that good players are fresh and fully committed to playing test cricket. This would also make international fixtures more meaningful and people might actually care about them. With meaningful matches, boards around the world may be able to make their money with fewer matches.

  • pradeep_dealwis on July 15, 2009, 14:46 GMT

    i agree with BangaloreKid..what is there for Teats is a niche market and so it will be...so reduce the number of test ( not TOO much) and ensure Quality cricket is being played. and a Test championship will not really change things. Just ensure that Test Cricketers are paid well ( subsidize it with ODI and T20 cricket!!!) like the ECB does, and there's motivation for the players! as for the IPL.. they ( the BCCI) should come up with an agreement that says it will not employ retired cricketers below the age of ..say...35. and work out a proper policy with other boards

  • RealNegro on July 15, 2009, 14:09 GMT

    Sometimes when the going is tough it is very important to listen to your base; that is the real cricket fan, the diehard fan, the fan that knows the history of the game . This is a really visionary idea by the MCC and i wish to laud Mr Steve Waugh and co. for the suggestions and hope to see them come to fruition.

  • SagirParkar on July 15, 2009, 14:06 GMT

    I agree with Shehzad khan.. A World Test Championship (havent we heard that before and do the ICC rankings not reflect that intention ?) will not be the solution.a tournament inviting the 8 top ranked teams to participate although the exact format has not been decided yet. well, 8 out of 10 test nations.. hmm.. you are still not getting enough quality teams. that particular championship might feel a bit bloated to be honest, like with WC in the windies in 2007.. why not choose 6 ? or why not get in a few associate members and have a two tier system as they do in the county championships ? that might help matters.. after all promotion and relegation can serve as very powerful incentives/deterrrants.

    as for the paragraph about the Ashes above, i have only one thing to say - that the author has very myopic views! does he/she not realise that an Ind-Aus, Ind-Pak and SA-Aus series attract equal (and sometimes more) following from the fans, not just in the region but around the world.

  • D.V.C. on July 15, 2009, 14:03 GMT

    @John-Price: Don't worry there are many ways of dealing with these things without resorting to tie breakers and bowl outs and such nonsense. Seeding for a tournament based on the previous tournament being the simplest way to decide in the event of a drawn series where a result is a necessity. You could do like they do in the Sheffield Shield and give the drawn game to the team higher in the table at the end of the regular season. If all else fails you could make the final timeless. That is if you even need a final; I think a league system would work fine. Play Home and Away series: 3 points for winning a series, 2 for an away draw, 1 for an away draw - that should incentevise home boards to produce results pitches.

  • SagirParkar on July 15, 2009, 14:02 GMT

    Test cricket around the world, as we all are aware, is in ill health. and the ICC's cricket committee had a meeting to see if they could resuscitate it. needless to say they have identified the shorter forms of the game, particularly the T20 variant, as the cause of its morbid state. various treatement options are being considered - such as reducing the duration to 4 days in order to make them more exciting.. what they do not realise is that it is the quality of teams/conditions and batsmen friendly rules/pitches that need to be addressed rather than the duration of the match. for all we know, the 4-day game will yield more draws than victories and this may give rise to further complications. i believe that the ailment is not with the game but that the malaise is with the management and their need to globalise the game.. leave test cricket as it is.. there are plenty of followers for the format and as long as a gripping and exciting contest is in the offing, people will turn up.

  • TwitterJitter on July 15, 2009, 13:40 GMT

    Not going to help! No matter how much lipstick (test championship) you put on a pig (test), it is still a pig. People are not going to turn up to and watch a 2nd or 3rd day of a test match because there is a test championship (fought over a long period) going on. There is always going to be a niche crowd for test cricket, but that is what it is - a niche crowd. It might provide some motivation for a few players in a few countries but it is not going anywhere to resuscitate test cricket over T20. The train has left the station and if any board tries to forcefully restrict T20 games from being played, you will have private operators like ICL coming and cleaning the clock and eating the boards would-have-been profits. What administrators need to do is accept reality and cater to T20 market while at the same time satisfying the niche market of tests. It cant be one over the other because test cricket cannot win over T20 with mass audience. It is written in stone.

  • Funplexhead on July 15, 2009, 13:38 GMT

    If test cricket is eradicated I don't know what the hell I'd do with myself. I live and breathe the purest form of the game, the original and the best. Without tests, how are we supposed to compare players and determine who are the true greats, the talented and the merely skilled. I can't stand the poncy, baseball style twenty twenty version due to it being based on minimal ability and crowd pleasing. Records for this frivolous format would prove to be inconsequential as all the statistics would read more or less the same, a great big stack of monotonous data.

    It's such a shame that test cricket is held in such low esteem at the beginning of the 21st century. I'm only twenty years old and I crave many, many more years beholding the complexities and nuances of a wonderful game.

    Finally, I'd just like to add that if test cricket is altered in any drastic way or scrapped altogether, I will no longer follow the game; there would be no point.

  • bohurupi on July 15, 2009, 13:30 GMT

    Truncating a team to eight members would simply strike in the last nail on the coffin of test cricket. ICC should not even harbor any such idea. Playing with 8 man team would completely change the game scenario, strategic planning, statistics etc and what would come out of it is not "test cricket" per se rather another weird form of cricket. But why MCC would think test cricket is dying? Those who are are skeptical of test cricket would never find any flavor in it irrespective of what is done to promote it. On the other end test cricket lovers know the charm and delicacy of this form of cricket and will continue to enjoy them in its present form. Thinking in terms of revenue earnings, the best way sponsors can help it promote would be to allow viewers to watch live game on computer screens at a very very affordable rate (let's say within 5 USD/game). World championship is not a bad idea but the matches should be simultaneously played on different venues to speed up the process.

  • shameenster on July 15, 2009, 13:24 GMT

    Test as everyone has noted is that form of the game which represents what a cricketer is all about. I totally agree with some of the views such as forcing bowlers to be more positive in order to be entertaining and playing on an even surface where bat and ball have a fair chance . After all as spectators you pay to for good entertainment. There is no need to play with pink balls and day night etc.

    Test cricket is not dying! The administrators who run cricket need to get some common sense. Traditional test cricket viewers will continue to watch the game. Playing 5 day matches in grounds like st lucia and hobart is not going to generate a new audience. Its hardly rocket science. Yes make it more interesting/ positive but also keep it where people who have traditionally watched the game not in this obscure grounds and where no one could be bothered to go. Stupidity is killing the game !!!!

  • Cricordia on July 15, 2009, 13:23 GMT

    rather than having a 3 match series(yawn in some cases), it would be best to have 2 groups of 4 teams each. everyone plays each other within a group..so that is 3 matches per side. (6 matches a group). Top 2 teams from each group clash in the semis and so on. When played in parallel, and hosted by 2 countries for example(in the same hemisphere during summer time with a day/night format), this could result in a 45 day tournament if planned correctly. If one could be more ambitious, this could be played 2 times a year(30 days for the first one, 45 for the next may be), with the knockout stage happening only once..so you have test cricket being played in 4 nations in a year, everyone playing each other, and a tournament with a gap!

  • saminaik on July 15, 2009, 13:18 GMT

    I think its an idea which will still make spectators exhaust.....ppl r getting bore of 5-day games....if u begin a Test Tournament n dat too on large scale.....it will die soon....if such tournament somehow begins....spectators will opt to watch the game from Day 4 coz they know dat results begin to come from Day 3 or 4.

    Wat I believe is to make an interesting change and bring revolution in nature of test cricket by adopting the following: 1) Reduce number of Days to 3 2) Reduce 90-over Day to 75-over Day 3) Make the game Day-Night 4) Adopt Powerplays and Free-hit 5) Make the game result-oriented to produce the result in any case and avoid "Draw"

  • Frocktail on July 15, 2009, 13:15 GMT

    Test cricket is here to stay. Cricket is what it is. Baseball is what it is . Soccer is what it is.Basket ball is what it is. Tennis is what it is. Let's not try to make cricket any of the above. There is nothing wrong with an exciting draw match but I think the result should include a point system so that the better team in the draw gets rewarded. Just like the Kerry Packer series, the IPL and T20 cricket will fade out. Any that is new will only last for a while. Nothing is wrong with a shorter version of the game but it must not be used as a replacement for test cricket. ICC must do something fast in order not to allow a domestic competition, IPL, to supersede cricket at the highest level.

  • Formidable_Cricket_Team on July 15, 2009, 13:06 GMT

    I am all up for Test Cricket. IPL and T20 has just been a headache and an over dosage for three months in a row. I would like to see the nations competing more in Test Cricket and ODI. I don't know why doesn't BCCI realize this issue. It is in favor of adding more glamor and inventing its new cricketing methods. First, it was in the oppose of ICL. So it came out with the IPL. And now there will be the Champions League and then an IPL "season 2". I think the glamorization of cricket should stop.

    It is just a sport and let us enjoy it as a sport. There are a number of ways Test Cricket can be revived. Perhaps the ICC should concentrate on more Test Cricket matches between the teams. How many Test series we have seen so far this year? Namely 4: The Australia South Africa Test Series, India New Zealand, the Ashes, and Sri Lanka Pakistan to name a few important ones. I don't want Test Cricket to die. I love it and hope it remains forever.

  • gking92 on July 15, 2009, 12:53 GMT

    Yes we need a championship, but it could just be that a trophy is presented to the top team in the current table after each team has played each other twice. However the points system needs simplifying.

    A better points system would be 200 points for each test win and 100 for each draw. You then get a bonus 200 points for winning a series and 100 for drawing a series. Then, like on the current table, you have a match/series total (total tests played+total series played). You divide the total points by the match/series total and you get a rating between 0 and 200, like you do now, but with a much simpler system.

    I think there should be a set structure for a tour: 3/4 tests, 3 ODIs and 3 T20s. Then there is an even spread of formats; something for everyone. That would eliminate pointless 7 match ODI series. The only exception would be the Ashes that'd still 5 tests.

    Having an uncovered pitch would be better than draw pitches; at least it can be even. Good batsmen will still score runs.

  • ShehzadKhan on July 15, 2009, 12:40 GMT

    MCC needs to ask ICC to rectify the FTP. FTP is mainly responsible for the decline in test standards and the so called gap between stronger nations and weaker nations. The so called stronger nations are not playing with the weaker nations as much as they used to be before the FTP was introduced.

    Its the FTP and not IPL etc who are responsible for marginalising smaller nations, depriving their cricketers from a fair bit of exposure to the stringer nations. Hence their boards and they are NOT earning enough and fund preferring IPL contracts to test careers.

  • JSpokes on July 15, 2009, 12:32 GMT

    Yes, this is enevitable. However there is a lot that can be done to make test cricket more appealing. Perhaps test cricket should be for the top nations only, with certain conditions; the test nations get certain benefits in a 20/20 or one-day games versus none test nations. I can see: Australia, W.I, India, England, South Africa, Pakistan Sri lanks and New Zealand being test nations. And so be it. Create a test time table that can address the ebst times to plan in each country, rain hurts the game. Create rules to make the outcome of test, like one-day and 20/20 Create a sub-continete or mixed-regional competition ; Australia & New Zeland form a team; W.I & South Africa and England; India and Sri Lanka or some combination of sorts New broadcasting approach: TV balcout in country where the game is played, or TV pays for the empty seats, and then they are allowed to broadcast etc... But hurry time is not our the side of test cricket in its current form... Yes, hurry, add ideas!

  • Sportsscientist on July 15, 2009, 12:31 GMT

    It's about time this offically got put onto the agenda, and devised properly. Don't for get we don't have to have a "championship" test cricket played for the duration of 4 years. If it was run for and 18 month to 2 yr period, you would have enough room for IPL and other 20twenty leagues to make revenue, as well as the "icon" series (the ashes & india vs pakistan). however you structure or organise it, the issue poor pitches must be tackled, to stop nations deliberately producing a dead wicket, to force a draw, and aviod a test defeat. How about giving the match referees powers ajudicate poor wickets and give out punishment? you will still get draws, but at least you can assert some pressure. Also, in the event of a draw, how about awarding points for superior bowling & batting strike rates?, or bonus points for enforcing the follow-on?

  • howizzat on July 15, 2009, 12:06 GMT

    I would propose a format like this. 1. In inaugural edition TOP 8 NATIONS shall participate. 2. Divide the teams into 2 groups on the basis of their rankings, say, GROUP ONE: AUS, IND, SL,WI and GROUP TWO: SA,ENG,PAK and NZ. 3. Each nation will play the other once. So there shall be 6 TESTS in each group which can be played over 30 Days. Tests shall be held in single country, say, GROUP ONE in AUSTRALIYA and GROUP TWO in ENGLAND. 4. TOP 2 from each group will play ROUND 2 in similar fashion, one of the 4 participating countries other than those who hosted in ROUND ONE. 5. Top 2 from this round will fight it out in a TWO TEST SERIES, HOME AND AWAY. Thus the championship will be spread at least 4 different nations and the interest will remain in the tournament over a longer period of time.

  • bd_zindabad on July 15, 2009, 12:02 GMT

    this test tournament could take forever to finish..how is it even feasible...by the time a team gets to the cemis...a several months would have gone by...?

  • davidmoz on July 15, 2009, 11:57 GMT

    Finally about time someone realised we need a Test Championship. The next few years in cricket will be truly interesting, but for those of us who love Test cricket, possibly saddening to watch as the IPL et al. destroy the greatest format of the game.

  • StingRay on July 15, 2009, 11:46 GMT

    I am all for a Test championship! People are just failing to realize that the death of Test cricket will make it like a day at the circus! If some people want more short versions of the game, then fine! Eliminate both 50 overs and T20 games. Come out with ha 35 over game and let that be the standard of the shorter version of the game. And force it on ever ICC member to play ATLEAST 4 Test matches on every international tour! Plus, include a test championship where 8 top teams come to play and its a knock out tournament. The games should be back to back! One and half month of continuous Test cricket boys :)

  • John-Price on July 15, 2009, 11:28 GMT

    The question that always occurs to me whenever I hear suggestions of a Test Championship is this: how do we deal with drawn matches and drawn series? The most distinctive feature of test cricket is the necessity of bowling a side out in order to win the match. If tie-breakers are brought in when outright winners are needed (run-rates, wickets lost or whatever) the draw will cease to be a meaningful possibility and it won't be test cricket any more.

  • MartinAmber on July 15, 2009, 11:28 GMT

    At last. A serious cricketing body talks sense, and has the support of esteemed former Test cricketers.

    Never mind the day/night pink ball stuff for now.

    The World Test Championship absolutely has to happen. Eight teams (sorry, Bangladesh, you are clearly not good enough yet) and three-match series will fit into a four-year cycle. I know, I've tried it on a spreadsheet, and I bet I'm not alone in that.

    Combine this with a points system and pitches which are both geared towards results, and you can forget all that ill-conceived drivel about four-day Tests (Four days would have made Cardiff one of the most forgettable Ashes Tests ever, by the way...).

    The only thing that has confused me about my favourite sport all these years is that Test matches have no wider context. Once all matches mean something in league terms, with the aim being qualification for semi-finals and a final, most of the doom-laden arguments against Test cricket just disappear.

  • 200ondebut on July 15, 2009, 11:25 GMT

    I think it is primarily up to the players to solve this problem. I don't think they should be allowed to pick and chose which formats of the game they play in. Captains also need to take more responsibility - how dull is it now when Australia field, a few 4's and everyone is on the boundary.

  • cricbytes on July 15, 2009, 11:13 GMT

    The Idea of Test Championship is great. We should have a balance of cricket of all forms. Plan should be devised to have a T20 world cup, the 50 over World cup and test championship in regular time slots like after 2 years, 4 years and 5 years respectively. And about the test rules, they must be made to have win/lose like outcome like we have in one day internationals. May be restricting the maximum no of overs a team can bat could be added for getting an outcome.

  • abdullahtayyab on July 15, 2009, 10:50 GMT

    I have no idea what they're trying to hit at! Apart from the Ashes, the Pak-SL series wasn't so bad, with all those twists and turns. Make livelier and competitive pitches and Test WILL stay; they're not going anywhere.

    However if all that interests you is 'money', then of course it could also be 'market-driven' like the IPL. The quality is still there, and going nowhere.

  • sam_c on July 15, 2009, 10:47 GMT

    I don't think a lot of people realise how much of a loss Test cricket would be. Without it, cricket is just the English version of baseball, and with US money, could easily be replaced in certain countries by baseball.

    A world championship sounds like an excellent idea. The teams that lose in the first round could play against the lower ranked teams to keep their places in the next round of 8, to allow Test cricket to grow. It's worked for sports like Tennis with the Davis cup, and it makes a lot of sense for cricket.

    Day/Night tests need to be trialed. It may affect how the game is played, but it might be necessary.

    Thought needs to be given to how test cricket can be promoted at the grass roots level, i.e. get kids into it, and make sure they understand how special Test cricket really is. Twenty20 is fun, and good for the game, but it's lacking many components of Test cricket, and the things that make cricket great. It's sad that so many cricket fans don't understand that.

  • jackiethepen on July 15, 2009, 10:42 GMT

    I think this is entirely premature. The future of Twenty-20 is unknown. There are many many cricket fans that do not like this version of the game. If it is a good introductory game to cricket, what are people then being introduced to if Test matches aren't played? IPL is only 2 years old. It is insane to predict what is going to happen to a domestic tournament in India if the money runs out. Think about Stanford! The MCC also are tarnished with trying to promote a Twenty-20 tournament in England. Its knee-jerk responses are hysterical and short-term. Test Matches are the serious end of cricket and need to be protected. This Twenty-20 fad may pass. What then?? Get the Test pitches sorted out. Stop bland dead pitches meant only for batting and Test matches abroad will come alive again. Think of the recent great series between India and Australia. Let alone the Ashes. No better cricket exists. They live in the mind for years and create real legends.

  • cricsure on July 15, 2009, 10:42 GMT

    I feel that they have to make test cricket more interesting to attract more viewers or even for those who are interested to continue watching it. Most people simply don't watch it because it's too slow most games end in a draw, for those who like cricket it's just about watching the game but for those who don't buy into the whole concept of a draw they would say "5 days and no result". I feel one way of creating more interest is to make batsman play more, since bowlers are allowed to bowl at the 7th stump on the offside or on the 5th or 6th stump on the leg side , they do that more often and hence the batsman is not bothered, the more this happens the more the game becomes boring. Reducing the margin of error for bowlers will in-turn make the batsman play at more deliveries and hence make the game more interesting as there is more action, there will more wickets and runs being scored everyday than there are now and there will be less draws for sure.

  • hes_a_victorian on July 15, 2009, 10:34 GMT

    Test cricket has been neglected for far too long. It no doubt is the most important form of the game for showcasing the skills that make cricket the great game it is. It must be protected, marketted correctly and showcased properly. Noone wants to see a dull boring 5 day drawn test played on a flat, unresponsive pitch. Some of the changes coming in are good, such as the referral system, but more is needed. Below are just some of the problems or issues with test cricket that need to be addressed:

    1. More centralised control of the quality of test match pitches that are conduciive to getting results in 5 days. 2. More flexible playing conditions to combat wet weather and overcast skies, such as earlier starting times, later finishing times, use of floodlights and spare days etc. 3. Mandatory use of floodlights where available. 4. Subsititutions (for incapacitated players) 5. Trialling of Day/Night Tests 6. Flexible and affordable ticketing.

  • 456454 on July 15, 2009, 10:28 GMT

    Its all very well and good if a World test championship takes off for the big 8 nations and breathes a new life into test cricket, but what about the next 5 or six cricketing nations? the Zimbabwe's, Bangladeshes, Irelands and Kenyas of this world.The ones that are good enough to consistently qualify and even compete at the ICC's most important Limited overs tournament but have yet to fully bridge the gap in the longer format of the game. What's is there to prevent keep an interest in developing strength in the longer formats of the game?

    Will this test championship be a walled garden where any additional members have to get in through cloak and dagger back room politics or will it be open and transparent where teams justify their inclusion through on field performances

  • DSUS on July 15, 2009, 10:24 GMT

    May be something like the "Davis Cup" in tennis. All 8/9 teams over the course of 4 years plays every other team 3 matches at home and 3 away (Total of 48 tests per team about 12 tests/year) and at the end 4 top teams plays 5 test semi finals and 5 test finals series for the cup (team with best record has home advantage). 3 matches at home 2 matches away. Some points system needs to be created similar to what was there for the Asian test championship years ago.

  • FortuneStealer on July 15, 2009, 10:12 GMT

    Why not have a system similar to the ranfurly shield in NZ domestic Rugby. The winner of a series keeps the shield until they are defeated in a series. And it will pass round the world making series more interesting to watch when it is up for grabs. Would also give weaker sides more incentive to play the larger team and would help lessen the gap between such countries.

    Start the system off by giving the shield to the country currently ranked highest in tests.

  • MVGLW on July 15, 2009, 10:07 GMT

    yes. MCC cricket commitee is right.ICC must take this as a serious warning and should take action sooner than later.With implementation of TV REVIEW system the test maches are more likely not to carry for more than 4 days.So. they should go for 4day test maches and also day night tests. You need to somehow match the way the T20 abd 50over games are booming with success.test cricket has to be protected because it gives out the correct technical players.The game should keep the real cricket technique and for which more incentives and encouragements are to be implemented for players to play test cricket than any other format.Otherwise no one can stop test cricket dying in time to come. We will then have to say not CRICKET but BASE BALL CRICKET!

  • IndianinLondon on July 15, 2009, 9:53 GMT

    "The committee is deeply concerned that the proliferation of lucrative domestic Twenty20 leagues, such as the Indian Premier League, will lead to the premature retirement of quality international cricketers," the committee said.

    The Committee comprising the players mentioned above? Or the Committee that has people who know nothing of the game? Amazing to hear that the County, t20 and other one day cricket played in england does not mean Test Cricket will die out, but the same will happen if another nation replicates it. Not being Nationalistic like the Brits are, but this is absurd. The fact that more quality International Players go for the IPL means county cricket loses out. So why hide behind this facade of Test Cricket dying out? Come out and say we are scred the best players wont play county cricket but a more lucrative form of the game that will give them money as well. Test matches are the pinnacle, they WILL NEVER die out. Atleast not in my book!

  • Saim93 on July 15, 2009, 9:20 GMT

    I agree that Test Cricket is in some danger, before i used to watch ant test match i got but now I only watch the Pakistan involved test matches or the Ashes as they are the only ones that interest me.A Test Championship would be classic and I think it would be of more importance than the World Cup itself.

  • redneck on July 15, 2009, 9:17 GMT

    a step in the right direction, but the meeting is meaningless until the same thoughts are echoed by national boards! as mentioned above australia tried to put something like this forward but was left standing alone after the bcci & ecb in particular knocked it back, as they didnt see the commercial gain from such a system. not surprising when you see that india have never hosted a test series against bangledesh & england have stated recently after next year their not keen on hosting bangledesh tests either.

  • ArmBallMaster on July 15, 2009, 9:11 GMT

    It really is quite simple lads...

    SORT THE PITCHES OUT!! Less draws & more results will bring the punters in. Nobody want to see 700-3 dec plays 650-4 dec match drawn.

    Umpires compile a pitch report, if it is too slow and flat, fine the cricket boards!

  • akshay4india on July 15, 2009, 8:46 GMT

    I totally agree to this suggestion. A world championship of tests would be wonderful, though hard to manage. This tournament would go on for two or so months. Having a tournament of this magnitute every few years, is a little hard to imagine.

  • No featured comments at the moment.

  • akshay4india on July 15, 2009, 8:46 GMT

    I totally agree to this suggestion. A world championship of tests would be wonderful, though hard to manage. This tournament would go on for two or so months. Having a tournament of this magnitute every few years, is a little hard to imagine.

  • ArmBallMaster on July 15, 2009, 9:11 GMT

    It really is quite simple lads...

    SORT THE PITCHES OUT!! Less draws & more results will bring the punters in. Nobody want to see 700-3 dec plays 650-4 dec match drawn.

    Umpires compile a pitch report, if it is too slow and flat, fine the cricket boards!

  • redneck on July 15, 2009, 9:17 GMT

    a step in the right direction, but the meeting is meaningless until the same thoughts are echoed by national boards! as mentioned above australia tried to put something like this forward but was left standing alone after the bcci & ecb in particular knocked it back, as they didnt see the commercial gain from such a system. not surprising when you see that india have never hosted a test series against bangledesh & england have stated recently after next year their not keen on hosting bangledesh tests either.

  • Saim93 on July 15, 2009, 9:20 GMT

    I agree that Test Cricket is in some danger, before i used to watch ant test match i got but now I only watch the Pakistan involved test matches or the Ashes as they are the only ones that interest me.A Test Championship would be classic and I think it would be of more importance than the World Cup itself.

  • IndianinLondon on July 15, 2009, 9:53 GMT

    "The committee is deeply concerned that the proliferation of lucrative domestic Twenty20 leagues, such as the Indian Premier League, will lead to the premature retirement of quality international cricketers," the committee said.

    The Committee comprising the players mentioned above? Or the Committee that has people who know nothing of the game? Amazing to hear that the County, t20 and other one day cricket played in england does not mean Test Cricket will die out, but the same will happen if another nation replicates it. Not being Nationalistic like the Brits are, but this is absurd. The fact that more quality International Players go for the IPL means county cricket loses out. So why hide behind this facade of Test Cricket dying out? Come out and say we are scred the best players wont play county cricket but a more lucrative form of the game that will give them money as well. Test matches are the pinnacle, they WILL NEVER die out. Atleast not in my book!

  • MVGLW on July 15, 2009, 10:07 GMT

    yes. MCC cricket commitee is right.ICC must take this as a serious warning and should take action sooner than later.With implementation of TV REVIEW system the test maches are more likely not to carry for more than 4 days.So. they should go for 4day test maches and also day night tests. You need to somehow match the way the T20 abd 50over games are booming with success.test cricket has to be protected because it gives out the correct technical players.The game should keep the real cricket technique and for which more incentives and encouragements are to be implemented for players to play test cricket than any other format.Otherwise no one can stop test cricket dying in time to come. We will then have to say not CRICKET but BASE BALL CRICKET!

  • FortuneStealer on July 15, 2009, 10:12 GMT

    Why not have a system similar to the ranfurly shield in NZ domestic Rugby. The winner of a series keeps the shield until they are defeated in a series. And it will pass round the world making series more interesting to watch when it is up for grabs. Would also give weaker sides more incentive to play the larger team and would help lessen the gap between such countries.

    Start the system off by giving the shield to the country currently ranked highest in tests.

  • DSUS on July 15, 2009, 10:24 GMT

    May be something like the "Davis Cup" in tennis. All 8/9 teams over the course of 4 years plays every other team 3 matches at home and 3 away (Total of 48 tests per team about 12 tests/year) and at the end 4 top teams plays 5 test semi finals and 5 test finals series for the cup (team with best record has home advantage). 3 matches at home 2 matches away. Some points system needs to be created similar to what was there for the Asian test championship years ago.

  • 456454 on July 15, 2009, 10:28 GMT

    Its all very well and good if a World test championship takes off for the big 8 nations and breathes a new life into test cricket, but what about the next 5 or six cricketing nations? the Zimbabwe's, Bangladeshes, Irelands and Kenyas of this world.The ones that are good enough to consistently qualify and even compete at the ICC's most important Limited overs tournament but have yet to fully bridge the gap in the longer format of the game. What's is there to prevent keep an interest in developing strength in the longer formats of the game?

    Will this test championship be a walled garden where any additional members have to get in through cloak and dagger back room politics or will it be open and transparent where teams justify their inclusion through on field performances

  • hes_a_victorian on July 15, 2009, 10:34 GMT

    Test cricket has been neglected for far too long. It no doubt is the most important form of the game for showcasing the skills that make cricket the great game it is. It must be protected, marketted correctly and showcased properly. Noone wants to see a dull boring 5 day drawn test played on a flat, unresponsive pitch. Some of the changes coming in are good, such as the referral system, but more is needed. Below are just some of the problems or issues with test cricket that need to be addressed:

    1. More centralised control of the quality of test match pitches that are conduciive to getting results in 5 days. 2. More flexible playing conditions to combat wet weather and overcast skies, such as earlier starting times, later finishing times, use of floodlights and spare days etc. 3. Mandatory use of floodlights where available. 4. Subsititutions (for incapacitated players) 5. Trialling of Day/Night Tests 6. Flexible and affordable ticketing.