Future of Test cricket July 2, 2010

MCC calls for immediate day/night Tests

Cricinfo staff
81

The MCC World Cricket Committee fears for the future of Test cricket unless action is taken quickly to promote the traditional format and has called for the immediate introduction of day/night matches to boost the game in countries where attendances are low.

The committee, which concluded a two-day meeting at Lord's on Friday and consists of a host of former players, reiterated its call for a Test Championship to bring context to the five-day game, but believes recent testing with pink balls means that floodlit Tests can start as soon as possible.

"We should not delay in presenting day-night Test cricket as an option for those Test-playing countries that are struggling to attract an audience," John Stephenson, the MCC assistant secretary, said. "We say this form of the game is viable now. We proved it in Abu Dhabi with the four-day game under lights.

"It was the perfect experiment, and demonstrated this game should go ahead now. We don't need another 18 months of research. The world of cricket is ready. It should not wait; the time is now."

The former Australian captain, Steve Waugh, was one of the committee members advocating the pink-ball revolution. "I think it would be great," he said. "There's always resistance to change because it takes people out of their comfort zone, but I think back to World Series Cricket back when I was a kid. It ignited the spark among the spectators, and as players it's exciting. Like Twenty20 cricket, it would be something new and challenging, and as a player I'd really embrace that.

"A day-night Test would be a chance to be part of history, by taking the game in a different direction, and Test cricket needs a few little changes to get people back on board and watching it. There are always going to be negative people and you tend to hear them more, but you've just got to get on with the game. It's a cricket ball but it's a different colours. Try it out and see what happens."

ICC have taken a more cautious view of the potential for day/night Tests and want more research undertaken before they are introduced, while not all the feedback coming out of Abu Dhabi from players was positive. However, in May, David Morgan, who finished his term as ICC President yesterday, hinted that the change could soon happen.

"I talked to administrators in Australia whom I expected to be so conservative as to be against day-night Test cricket but they are very much for it," he said. "I believe it won't be too long before we see day-night Test cricket in Australia or India."

The world cricket committee also said that it was vital that Test match pitches offered a fair balance between bat and ball to maintain interest levels. They cited the surfaces in Bangladesh as a poor example for the game, while recently in St Kitts West Indies and South Africa played a Test that was an inevitable draw from very early.

"MCC's research from India, New Zealand and South Africa, published in November 2009, showed that the cricketing public in these countries wanted to watch day/night Test cricket and were strongly in favour of a World Test Championship," an MCC statement said. "Fairer pitches, such as the ones England recently encountered in South Africa - which offered bounce and some assistance to the bowlers - rather than in Bangladesh - which were low, slow and batsmen-friendly - would also help to improve the game as a spectacle."

The committee, which also published research which showed only 11% of cricket watched in India was Test matches compared to 33% six years ago, added that it understood that the commercial demands of the game meant that Twenty20 was a crucial format for the financial health of the sport. But it believes that Test cricket should be made more attractive with greater rewards on offer to ward off the threat of players becoming Twenty20 freelancers.

"With T20 riches on offer, the committee feel that national governing bodies should do all that they can to retain their best talent and ensure Test cricket is a financially rewarding career. There are freelance cricketers who see a profitable career in playing shorter forms of the game only; the committee wants to guard against an increase in their number.

"The committee understands that market forces will always dictate what type of cricket spectators want to watch and that you cannot force people to watch Test match cricket. At the moment, however, cricket authorities around the world need to make a more concerted effort to attract audiences to Test cricket: a World Test Championship, played by well-rewarded cricketers - on fair pitches - at a time of the day to suit the paying public, would provide the Test game with the boost it requires."

"It's important that senior players pass on to the junior players just how important it is to play Test cricket," said Waugh. "We've seen what's happened in West Indies cricket, with Chris Gayle stating he prefers Twenty20 cricket. That's had an impact on his side. The senior players have to pass it on, because as soon as you lose it from one generation to the next, then there's going to be trouble."

The cricket committee meeting also received a presentation from Andy Flower, the England coach, on the current situation in Zimbabwe and the MCC will be sending a fact-finding trip to the country to assess the feasibility of a club tour in 2011.

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • on July 7, 2010, 10:40 GMT

    Introducing day/night tests is rubbish. If people complain that test cricket is boring, then wud u expect people to pay to watch boring cricket in the night after a hectic day's work? What needs to be done is improve the quality of wkts world wide. The ones found in Aus, Eng, SA and NZ needs to be used as an archetype. Wkts found in the sub-continent powder up by day 2!!! If such things are avoided and the bowlers are given good assitance in terms of pace, swing, bounce, seam and turn then i dont see any problem. A sensible world championship and putting forth better price money is a good idea. 2 tier system wud be a bad idea & i think the current pool of teams, ireland included with quality players and pitches is the right way to go. I luv to c tea break and dinner break

  • on July 7, 2010, 7:53 GMT

    Introducing day/night tests is rubbish. If people complain that test cricket is boring, then wud u expect people to pay to watch boring cricket in the night after a hectic day's work? What needs to be done is improve the quality of wkts world wide. The ones found in Aus, Eng, SA and NZ needs to be used as an archetype. Wkts found in the sub-continent powder up by day 2!!! If such things are avoided and the bowlers are given good assitance in terms of pace, swing, bounce, seam and turn then i dont see any problem. A sensible world championship and putting forth better price money is a good idea. 2 tier system wud be a bad idea & i think the current pool of teams, ireland included with quality players and pitches is the right way to go. I luv to c tea break and dinner break

  • tomjs100 on July 6, 2010, 23:08 GMT

    I strongly dislike the suggestion of day-night test cricket. The whole point is that test cricket is traditional. The decrease of percentage viewers watching test cricket (AND IN INDIA ONLY) shows nothing. If 6 years ago 50 million people watched cricket in India and now 150 million people watch cricket, then the number watching tests is actually the same (just a different proportion). In addition I think if you asked the public, just because test cricket isn't that easy to watch (either on TV or at the ground) it isn't a reason to meddle with it. Rather the respect and admiration is still there 100%, just they may find other formats easier to watch.

  • nataraajds on July 6, 2010, 6:21 GMT

    test championship is a good idea to make test cricket more competitive and interesting.(day night match may not be a good idea). right now there are 9 test playing nations and each team to play one home and one away series of 3 test against other 8 nations to be completed in 3 years schedule. top 4 teams under points table play semi-final and final. this would be best option.

  • 2.14istherunrate on July 4, 2010, 14:36 GMT

    Give it a go in countries where it is warm enough after dark. Too many people have sold out to the idea that t20 is something more than a piece of frippery designed to test certain skills only- but it is a zircon rather than a diamond at the best of times. If it turns people on well and good, but it is seriously short of content and to make it the centrepiece is to serve up popcorn and icecream instead of nourishment. So this idea could could actually help restore the balance of formats in popular imagination. And the Test Championship is an idea which has been waiting in the wings long enough to soon walk on centrestage, provided it knows its lines. After all it is really the episodic nature and the rise and fall in dramatic tension that makes cricket interesting as a sport, and not just the whambang thank you ma'm of T20, the fifth day wicket compared to the first morning. Giood to see MCC at the cutting edge of ideas.

  • stmookeyj on July 4, 2010, 13:48 GMT

    Silly idea for Australia amongst other countries, where it doesn't get dark until about 8:30 in the majority of the country. And I doubt the ratings for TV (which this is being geared towards, nothing to do with the paying audience) will justify having test matches on at night. Even 20 over games were not rating as strong as it was.

  • Kirk-at-Lords on July 4, 2010, 11:33 GMT

    MCC once again proves how essential it is to the Spirit of Cricket and the welfare of the sport. It puts the ICC well into the shade. Now, if MCC would lead the way toward a World Cricket Convention to create a proper form of governance, the cricket's future would be assured.

  • SnowSnake on July 4, 2010, 11:28 GMT

    The problem with the stadium attendence with test cricket is that the audience have to go home without a decision (generally 4 days out of 5, sometimes all 5 days or have a heart break on 5 day if your team losses). In some cases, the match lasts only 4 days when you buy a ticket for 5 days. Also, you have to kill time during lunch and tea breaks. Day or night, today's audience have short attention span, who wants this? With Internet, it is easy to just go to a web site and watch the highlights. During pre-Intenet days, you can only watch highlights when TV showed it, so there was still an incentive to go and watch a match.

  • SuperTechnique on July 4, 2010, 7:16 GMT

    I think Day night is worth a try and definitely should be tried .You can after all always dump it if it doesnt work . And I am definitely up for test championship

  • everfaithful77 on July 4, 2010, 6:17 GMT

    A TEST CHAMPIONSHIP is a great idea. Day/Night matches maybe, but I don't think large crowds will turn up to watch boring cricket. Spectator interest in test cricket have been dwindling for some time now. Other changes can be made to make test cricket more interesting. One of the main reasons for tame draws is UNLIMITED overs in an innings. I believe that if a limit is placed on the number of overs a team could bat in an innings (eg100-120), it would force teams to play more exciting cricket. Some of the rules in the ODI format can also be adopted. Batting would certainly be more positive, bowlers and fielding teams generally would need to be more attacking or inventive. Long drawn out boring innings would be a thing of the past. DRAWS would decline. A test championship would be a good place to use such a format after being properly tested. I think spectator interest would definitely jump a notch. Remember 20/20 and ODI are more exciting because win/loss results are almost certain.

  • on July 7, 2010, 10:40 GMT

    Introducing day/night tests is rubbish. If people complain that test cricket is boring, then wud u expect people to pay to watch boring cricket in the night after a hectic day's work? What needs to be done is improve the quality of wkts world wide. The ones found in Aus, Eng, SA and NZ needs to be used as an archetype. Wkts found in the sub-continent powder up by day 2!!! If such things are avoided and the bowlers are given good assitance in terms of pace, swing, bounce, seam and turn then i dont see any problem. A sensible world championship and putting forth better price money is a good idea. 2 tier system wud be a bad idea & i think the current pool of teams, ireland included with quality players and pitches is the right way to go. I luv to c tea break and dinner break

  • on July 7, 2010, 7:53 GMT

    Introducing day/night tests is rubbish. If people complain that test cricket is boring, then wud u expect people to pay to watch boring cricket in the night after a hectic day's work? What needs to be done is improve the quality of wkts world wide. The ones found in Aus, Eng, SA and NZ needs to be used as an archetype. Wkts found in the sub-continent powder up by day 2!!! If such things are avoided and the bowlers are given good assitance in terms of pace, swing, bounce, seam and turn then i dont see any problem. A sensible world championship and putting forth better price money is a good idea. 2 tier system wud be a bad idea & i think the current pool of teams, ireland included with quality players and pitches is the right way to go. I luv to c tea break and dinner break

  • tomjs100 on July 6, 2010, 23:08 GMT

    I strongly dislike the suggestion of day-night test cricket. The whole point is that test cricket is traditional. The decrease of percentage viewers watching test cricket (AND IN INDIA ONLY) shows nothing. If 6 years ago 50 million people watched cricket in India and now 150 million people watch cricket, then the number watching tests is actually the same (just a different proportion). In addition I think if you asked the public, just because test cricket isn't that easy to watch (either on TV or at the ground) it isn't a reason to meddle with it. Rather the respect and admiration is still there 100%, just they may find other formats easier to watch.

  • nataraajds on July 6, 2010, 6:21 GMT

    test championship is a good idea to make test cricket more competitive and interesting.(day night match may not be a good idea). right now there are 9 test playing nations and each team to play one home and one away series of 3 test against other 8 nations to be completed in 3 years schedule. top 4 teams under points table play semi-final and final. this would be best option.

  • 2.14istherunrate on July 4, 2010, 14:36 GMT

    Give it a go in countries where it is warm enough after dark. Too many people have sold out to the idea that t20 is something more than a piece of frippery designed to test certain skills only- but it is a zircon rather than a diamond at the best of times. If it turns people on well and good, but it is seriously short of content and to make it the centrepiece is to serve up popcorn and icecream instead of nourishment. So this idea could could actually help restore the balance of formats in popular imagination. And the Test Championship is an idea which has been waiting in the wings long enough to soon walk on centrestage, provided it knows its lines. After all it is really the episodic nature and the rise and fall in dramatic tension that makes cricket interesting as a sport, and not just the whambang thank you ma'm of T20, the fifth day wicket compared to the first morning. Giood to see MCC at the cutting edge of ideas.

  • stmookeyj on July 4, 2010, 13:48 GMT

    Silly idea for Australia amongst other countries, where it doesn't get dark until about 8:30 in the majority of the country. And I doubt the ratings for TV (which this is being geared towards, nothing to do with the paying audience) will justify having test matches on at night. Even 20 over games were not rating as strong as it was.

  • Kirk-at-Lords on July 4, 2010, 11:33 GMT

    MCC once again proves how essential it is to the Spirit of Cricket and the welfare of the sport. It puts the ICC well into the shade. Now, if MCC would lead the way toward a World Cricket Convention to create a proper form of governance, the cricket's future would be assured.

  • SnowSnake on July 4, 2010, 11:28 GMT

    The problem with the stadium attendence with test cricket is that the audience have to go home without a decision (generally 4 days out of 5, sometimes all 5 days or have a heart break on 5 day if your team losses). In some cases, the match lasts only 4 days when you buy a ticket for 5 days. Also, you have to kill time during lunch and tea breaks. Day or night, today's audience have short attention span, who wants this? With Internet, it is easy to just go to a web site and watch the highlights. During pre-Intenet days, you can only watch highlights when TV showed it, so there was still an incentive to go and watch a match.

  • SuperTechnique on July 4, 2010, 7:16 GMT

    I think Day night is worth a try and definitely should be tried .You can after all always dump it if it doesnt work . And I am definitely up for test championship

  • everfaithful77 on July 4, 2010, 6:17 GMT

    A TEST CHAMPIONSHIP is a great idea. Day/Night matches maybe, but I don't think large crowds will turn up to watch boring cricket. Spectator interest in test cricket have been dwindling for some time now. Other changes can be made to make test cricket more interesting. One of the main reasons for tame draws is UNLIMITED overs in an innings. I believe that if a limit is placed on the number of overs a team could bat in an innings (eg100-120), it would force teams to play more exciting cricket. Some of the rules in the ODI format can also be adopted. Batting would certainly be more positive, bowlers and fielding teams generally would need to be more attacking or inventive. Long drawn out boring innings would be a thing of the past. DRAWS would decline. A test championship would be a good place to use such a format after being properly tested. I think spectator interest would definitely jump a notch. Remember 20/20 and ODI are more exciting because win/loss results are almost certain.

  • BARCOOL on July 4, 2010, 5:04 GMT

    Why cant we have a world cup for test cricket with the finals ( 3 match series) taking place once in 4 years? We can have teams playing one home and one away series against each other in the 4 year duration and the top 2 teams can play the finals once in 4 years. This I believe will instigate interest in test cricket.

  • on July 4, 2010, 3:07 GMT

    I wish I had a dislike button here! Anything can be tweaked with, but not the tradition. I understand that change is inevitable in life, but the average number of meals a man has is still three!. The number of days in a week are still seven only and the earth still takes 35. days for a revolution! Test Cricket is something like that. You offer good pitches, like the ones in Eden, Brabourne, Leeds, Durban, Gabba and MCG and see the crowd grow. The money minded administrators should reduce he ticket price, 10000 people paying 5000 INR each for is as good as 50000 ppl paying 1000 each. The excitement however, comes when there are 50000 than 10000!

  • Benkl on July 4, 2010, 2:48 GMT

    Test cricket was awesome when you had picnicks on the hill or in the members stand .. Seats are for short term entertainment..

  • Sol09 on July 4, 2010, 2:05 GMT

    There is nothing sacred about test cricket. Many of the people who love it were brought up with it. It is part of their youth. That is all. The younger generation of today are being brought up with T20. Many people (including Mums and kids) love T20 because it is short and entertaining. Also, cricketers are being paid what they are worth for the first time. Several top cricketers have said that this is the way of the future because this is what an increasing number of people want. In this fast-paced day and age, only a declining minority want to sit and watch a game for five full days that perhaps ends in a draw. Despite what these 'afficionados' say, T20 has it's own subtleties and fine points, despite all the razzmatazz. Indeed, we are seeing the emergence of T20 specialists today.

  • Sportsscientist on July 4, 2010, 0:30 GMT

    if D/N tests are going to be another gimmick to try and increase crowds and revenue then forget it! Like T20 before it the ICC are looking for a quick solution to a problem they had the chance to fix nearly 20 yrs ago. There is a logical argument that suggests the working day have affected test match attendances, but what is the real reason behind test crickets decline? If we don't have a test championship, and if we don't create good test match wickets..... Then what is the point?? Why are we even discussing the issue???? Cricket must be the only professional team sport in the world that does not have an authentic world championship, that determines the best team in the world.. Does the ICC really believe they can administer a game without addressing these 2 problems.??? In addition do they think they can use hybrid formatts (T20 & ODI's) the generate income and hope the 2 main issues go away???

  • Harry0009 on July 3, 2010, 23:41 GMT

    I think it will add more flavor to Test Cricket with day/night Tests. We have already seen how interesting a day/night ODI is when the conditions become bowler friendly under lights. Day night Tests is definitely the future. May be the number of day/night Tests per team in a year can be restricted for start.

  • jackiethepen on July 3, 2010, 23:39 GMT

    Improve the stadiums so they are attractive places to watch cricket. Make the tickets cheaper and easy to buy on a daily basis. No pitches prepared for batting paradise or a draw. In England we have no problem with Test cricket because the pitches are lively and the grounds are good places to be for a day out. This is the most popular form of cricket in England. So maybe the other countries should study what England are doing right?

  • VicMackey on July 3, 2010, 22:04 GMT

    playing test cricket day/night will not save test cricket...nothing is permanent. Keep it where it is !!!

  • on July 3, 2010, 21:36 GMT

    @ NandakumarM: you might perhaps be right if India was a communist country where everyone actually had to work for their money but unfortunately it isn't, the poor men you refer to would be laboring about to make money for the very very rich. The poor man remains poor while the rich man gets richer so let them have their 5 days of fun.

  • on July 3, 2010, 21:30 GMT

    All this sudden drama about the existence of Test Cricket is out of proportion. T20 is not Test crickets biggest ever threat, those would be the two World Wars and the World Series where many of the greats were banned from playing Test matches. There are many new T20 fans like the idiots below me like NandakumarM and Najeeb who don't care about cricket as a whole. If the ICC wants Test Cricket to regain a wider audience I would suggest establishing a committee to prepare Test pitches and take the power away from local boards.. no more 1300 run dust bowls in India

  • on July 3, 2010, 19:13 GMT

    I agree completely with Test Matches being played in the day/night format under fair conditions for both the batting and fielding teams.For me Test Cricket is the ultimate in cricket and should always be our top-most priorty.50 over cricket is definitely on its way out while 20/20 is pure entertainment.

  • MichaelHall on July 3, 2010, 19:01 GMT

    I think it is worth a try to see if it helps. However ODI's in the day time in India attract crowds. Is it more a problem with the longer form of the game. I like the suggestion of a Test Championship and maybe shorten to 4 days. Also in countries where attendance is low reduce prices and maximise matches between the top nations. The Indian team are fantastic to watch and a Test Championship in which they competed would I believe lift interest in that market.

  • NandakumarM on July 3, 2010, 18:12 GMT

    Mr Chaitan's comment below shows that perhaps you have some vested interests in keeping Test matches every day of the month or what? Test cricket is not a god-sent game and it has to change with the time.Do you know how many million hours are wasted by millions of lazy spectators in third world countries like india for such monotonous never-ending 3 day matches and 5 day Tests. A developing country cannot afford to waste so many millions of waste hours where spectators or the country should not have the luxury of wasting their man hour and take such countries backward by retarding development of country or countries.I repeat developing nations cannot afford such 3 day and 5 day monotonous matches and the time wasted watching those matches can be better spent for nation-building.Hope third world nations realise the folly of sustaining time-wasting 5 day Tests&3 Day matches&save their economies from disater sooner or later.5 Day&3 Day Cricket must be banned in India& third world too

  • natmastak_so-called on July 3, 2010, 17:05 GMT

    all tests should be scheduled such as last two days of a match on saturday and sunday.and for first three days ,allow school children in stands for free . Day night matches will increase importance of the toss.

  • on July 3, 2010, 14:00 GMT

    test cricket is boring ...

  • Jdevanesan on July 3, 2010, 13:35 GMT

    Concern around the world dosent seem to be about the game but mostly around the commercials.... They are more concerned about the lack of money flowing into the coffers through the Test and ODIs and are advocating that the game is dead.

    If the Boards, Authorities and ICC are more concerned about the game we would see them controlling the number of Meaningless names, Enough time for preparation of players so that the series is more equal and also be strict on the quality of pitches with dead pitches taken totally out of the game. When we have Sporting wickets, Strong and well prepared teams, a Fit team naturally people would be attracted

  • SnowSnake on July 3, 2010, 12:50 GMT

    @Redneck: My point exactly. Since most people work, play or get education they need a good night sleep.

  • bcl4ever on July 3, 2010, 12:34 GMT

    Any professional sports in the 21st century cannot survive with the participation of only 2 teams, the old enemies England and Australia in the case of Test Cricket. Sadly to say India and the rest are give it a short-shrift in their busy schedules, squeezing it in-between endless this and that one-day tournament with no anticipated build up bar a tour 'down-under' perhaps. You can understand why players of the "Post-Test"era don't care to build their skills in this traditional format - better of spend the extra hour or two of training on modern day sliding-fielding and throwing down wickets than horning their skills of learning the art of flighting a ball or combating a swinging ball - the latter requires much more practice but with much less ROI thus the maths simply does not add up!. All in all even if Test cricket is persevered the net quality is going to decline as it will be played by lesser skilled practitioners whose primary focus of concentration will in other formats.

  • chaithan on July 3, 2010, 12:22 GMT

    All these gimmicks as well as the suggestions of the users could be avoided if only the pitches were bowler friendly or at least balanced. @NandakumarM: your comment shows how little you know about cricket.

  • on July 3, 2010, 11:52 GMT

    CONTINUED (PART 2): other than T20 WC & its qualifiers, there should be no international T20. ODI games should be limited like currently 3 T20 games in 1 country. Champions Trophy should be retained. ICC World T20 should be expanded. Exibitional T20 matches should be held in associate countries.I have heard that India & England are AGAINST World Test Championship, because of financial interests. To give them a solution, there is not be centralised broadcaster for whole championship. Instead, every host nation/cluster of nations should have diff. broadcaster, like current form.

  • on July 3, 2010, 11:45 GMT

    TEST CHAMPIONSHIP is what it needs. Removal of all meaningless fixtures. It is countless how many times India-SL have faced off in last couple of years. Test championship should consist of 8 teams with each team playing home-n-away games totalling 14 games each. Then, its upto ICC whether there should be any final or not. I personally feel 'no'. Instead of straight away relegation & promotion. bottom 4/2 teams of tier 1 and top teams of tier 2 should face-off in QUALIFIERS. Considering 1 year for qualifiers, championship should last 3 years. Going by a Dean Jones suggestion, 50 over games should accumulate WORLD CUP points. Top 8/10 teams participate in WC making it shorter and interesting, unlike cuurent filled with useless games like India-scotland, aus-ireland etc. To give associate nations more participation, increase no. of teams in WC T20, like ICC suggested. Every team, other than hosts, should go through T20 QUALIFIERS....CONTINUED....

  • NandakumarM on July 3, 2010, 11:12 GMT

    Let 5 day and 3 day cricket matches be dead for countries like india and other poor nations since the wastage of man hours is criminal for such never-ending monotonous test matches.Indian authorities and BCCI must insist that tests must be just 2 day affairs only with either 50 over 2 innings a side or 20 over 2 innings a side.If developed countries like england,australia,new zealand, south africa,etc want to have 5 day test cricket day matches or day-night matches, let them do so if they want to , but ICC must spare the developing coutries from such silly man-hour wasting and anti-development 5 Day Test matches

  • on July 3, 2010, 10:54 GMT

    test cricket should continue whether day or day & night but the format must be changed to suit the cricket viewers and attract the audiences . my suggestion for the test cricket format given below which is aim at providing 100 percent result in all the test matches

    First Innings : Maximum of 120 overs each for both the parties. second innings : Maximum of 90 Overs each for both the parties.

    Since on a single day we can have mandatory 90 Overs. this means that 450 Overs for a period of five days and my format have the maximum of 420 hours over a five days., even if u have some problem of bad light ect at the fag end of each days even then this format guaranteed result , ICC must take this format to fine tume the test cricket

  • YorkshirePudding on July 3, 2010, 9:42 GMT

    To me Day/night test cricket would be a gimick. As for the stated aim of getting more people into the grouds, well theres a simple solution, drop the ticket prices, and make the matches mean something. In enlgand the only time ive seen half empty test matches is when he minows play, like Bangladesh. When England play the bigger teams like Aus, SA, India, Pakistan, WI and SL the grounds are always at 70-80%, and with the Aussies its more like 95-98%...One poster hit the nail on the head, a rebalance is required between bat and ball, and pitches need to be prepared that actually force a result not the the stale 2000 run aggregate draws we commonly see in the sub-continent.

  • Saim93 on July 3, 2010, 9:33 GMT

    How is this going to help? If some one doesnt come in the day why would they come in the night when its all dark?

  • nataraajds on July 3, 2010, 9:28 GMT

    to make test cricket more interesting, here is few options a) make 4 days test. maximum 90 overs one day for each side. b) if any team bowled out before 90 overs,, the left out overs will be a bonus for fielding side when they bat next. (then can plan 90+ left out overs) c) 5 or 10 over power play in each 3 session applicable on all 4 days d)" run"penalties for slow over rate means. that much runs will be reduced from their batting score. e) no bowling ristrictions on no.of overs for each players same like in tests. f) new ball option after 50 overs in each each innings. g) any other interesting changes welcome

    please try this and let us see how it goes

  • SOLUTE on July 3, 2010, 9:27 GMT

    day/nights test is required.it's now or never for test cricket.

  • Gizza on July 3, 2010, 8:28 GMT

    @dar268 who said "And now day-night tests - great, no-one's watching in the sunshine but they're sure to flood in to watch the cold of night. Count me out."

    You are obviously an Englishman. Summers in the rest of the cricketing world are hot. In the subcontinent where cricket is played in spring/autumn it is still especially hot. I suppose New Zealand is kind of an exception. But as an Australian I would prefer watching a Test match from a *practical* point of view during the night if it is held in December or January.

    Perhaps this wouldn't be an issue if the Poms had spread the game in North America and Europe this idea of night Tests wouldn't come up. But the Brits enjoyed colonising warmer places and cricket never took off in Canada so this is what we are left with.

  • StJohn on July 3, 2010, 8:12 GMT

    Just to add, that perhaps administrators must try to find a way to get around the TV scheduling difficulty of Tests, which is that you never know if a game is going to last maybe just 3 days or the full 5 or if large chunks might get disrupted due to weather (e.g. rain in England, bad light and sometimes fog in India). Not sure what the answer is, but it is certainly not the response to date which has been increasingly to produce boring, batsman-friendly surfaces that keep Tests going for 5 days but perhaps with only a very boring, high-scoring draws: better to have an exciting 3 day win than 5 days of tedium. But addressing this might help to increase the commercial viability of Tests. Maybe off-the-wall, but how about transforming Tests to long form limited overs games: 110 overs per innings, each team bats twice, wickets taken count towards runs scored (say 30 runs per wicket taken), and the team with the highest score wins? Also introduce coloured clothing for Tests.

  • Shahzad_Tirmizi on July 3, 2010, 8:09 GMT

    Day & Night tests are not the solution. I think for making the Tests attractive ICC should make sure that the laws, pitches & conditions suit both batsmen & bowlers.

  • StJohn on July 3, 2010, 7:58 GMT

    Articles about change to maintain Test cricket have appeared on Cricinfo for a couple of years now, so this is a positive article and it's good to see the authorities taking action. If the coloured ball can work, then D/N Tests should be tried and England, which is often the innovator in cricket, should try first. I recall a previous Cricinfo article advocating D/N Tests, especially in Asia, as what spectators in, say, Pakistan, would really want to sit in the baking midday sun watching a game? Only mad dogs and Englishmen probably... Having balanced pitches is also essential, eg. Antigua, eg. the 2009 Pak-SL series was utterly boring watching each team rack up huge scores. BillyCC is also right that there are too many ODIs, to such an extent they become boring and pointless themselves. As a purist I prefer Tests, but if there's a structural shift in popularity away from Tests then no amount of innovation might turn the flow of history, but it's still very much worth trying.

  • BillyCC on July 3, 2010, 7:26 GMT

    skilly21, that is a good solution to the problem, but again, it doesn't make money for the people who currently pour money into the game. Cricket schedules are filled with meaningless ODIs and T20s and so there is no time for a reasonable schedule of a Test Championship involving 9 or 10 Test playing nations. Some nations like West Indies and Australia can go more than 7 or 8 years without playing an away series against another country. Australia haven't played in Sri Lanka for many years, and Bangladesh have never even travelled to some cricketing venues around the world.

  • Marto_TheLegend on July 3, 2010, 6:54 GMT

    CONTINUED

    And once every 3-4 years have a 5 match championship series between the Number 1 and 2 and the top tier and award them a championship. This will go a long way in promoting the interest for test cricket.

    Lastly, we have to improve some of the wickets we play on. A simple message to curators from many like minded people - I don't care if the bowlers dominate and a match is over in 3 days, but I wont watch if 8 batsmen score 100's and it ends in a tame draw. Hope everyone gets the point.

    Personally the only problem I have with D/N Tests are the pink balls. Just a personal issue as pink isn't really my favourite colour :-) But if we cant find any other colour and D/N tests are a success, I don't really mind.

    Long live Test Cricket!

  • Marto_TheLegend on July 3, 2010, 6:49 GMT

    I think the best suggestion to improve test cricket is to have a calendar that makes sense.

    Nobody gives a fig about 2 Test match series, make them atleast 3-5 and most importantly make them uniform, i.e. If SA plays India at home 5 test matches in 2010, play a return 5 matches in 2012. Stop the inane 2 tests and 3 ODI series that we see mostly in India, the competition between teams loses fizz if this happens.

    I say this because India-Australia is one of the best rivalries in cricket today and we are going to see an utterly useless and out of context 2 test, 3 ODI series later this year. The senseless calendar is what causes many (including me at times) to lose interest in certain Test matches (and ODI's)

    Have a 2 tier system with relegation and promotion of 2 teams and fit it into a meaningful schedule, as I mentioned earlier based on which teams are in which tier and which season we are playing in.

    CONTINUED..

  • skilly21 on July 3, 2010, 5:06 GMT

    Cricket is the only sport with such a large following where the most supreme form of the game involves teams playing each other for the mere fun of it. The points system is too ambiguous for the common spectator and i daresay even the players to understand much less appreciate.Moreover, only the die hard cricket purists watch cricket between teams that do not involve their favourite team, possibly with the exception of the ashes.

    I think there needs to be some sort of test championship played over the course of 3years with maybe the final series on the 4th year worked into the calendar. I suggest two groups of 5test playing teams play each other in a round robin format spaced out over 2 1/2 yrs and on the last 1 1/2 yrs semi-final and final series are played where the winner remains the World Test Cricket Champion for the next 4 years. The point system could be maintained so that if a top 5team is playing a bottom 5 team, the series need not be 5test matches long;maybe 3.

  • redneck on July 3, 2010, 3:47 GMT

    @snowsnake are you really stumped by that question? most people work or go to some form of education or play sport themselves during the day! therefore are more free to attend matches if held later or watch them on tv. a good example of this is the waca test in aus, its pretty much the same time slot as a day night match for the eastern states and rates well on tv because more people are home to watch it. only issues are not all venues have conditions that are right for tests at night and the whole ball to last 80 overs and behave the same as the red ones.

  • SnowSnake on July 3, 2010, 1:29 GMT

    If people don't watch test cricket in day, why would they watch it in night?

  • Rakesh_Sharma on July 3, 2010, 1:09 GMT

    Lot of things are said about Test ricket. I enjoy Test matches played in England Australia,South Africa. he pitches are better although they have become slower since lat one decade and made batsman friendly making many batsman look much better than they are. In India the pitches are totally for batsman and makes every batsman in India look like Bradman. With regards to support for Cricket,there was never a problem in India. Test matches used to be full . However administrators forced One dayers on indian public and from that point the public preferred only ODI. Now the same administrators forced T20 on public when there was no problem of crowds for ODI. This way Cricket authorities have driven public out from longer version. Its ironical that where as ODI and T20 vare devised by England it is Indian authorities which diverts public from longer version to shorter version before time to make money.

  • tdobbo on July 3, 2010, 0:53 GMT

    I think D/N test cricket is a great idea and should be implemented immediately, those who think otherwise must have their head buried in the sand. If you stand still, the world will pass you by.

  • lucyferr on July 3, 2010, 0:41 GMT

    It's good to see people interested in keeping Test cricket alive. Test cricket plays an important role in the development of young cricketers. Its slow pace allows youngsters to get their skills sorted out in a leisurely environment before they enter the big leagues of T20 cricket. It is also attractive to youngsters from a financial point of view - make your name in Test cricket and T20 franchises will have a look at you and may even invite you for tryouts!

  • on July 3, 2010, 0:13 GMT

    Too many changes will eventually ruin cricket as we know it. Just leave Tests alone. Players can make money on twenty twenty but without Tests that form of the game will also die. I can always watch baseball. Cricket was meant to be played slowly over five days. If the modern generation does not like that, all I can say is I am glad I have lived and enjoyed it for more than seventy years.

  • BillyCC on July 3, 2010, 0:07 GMT

    This is not a victory for cricket but a victory for people who want to make money and increase ratings out of cricket. If everyone is as concerned as they say they are about the welfare of Test cricket, then the solution is simple. Reduce the number of ODI series and T20 series to a minimum (eg. each country can play only a couple a year). The rest of the time will be devoted to long Test match series (minimum 3 tests). But unfortunately, my solutions will make no money because people don't watch Test cricket and the quality is not great at the moment unless only the top Test teams play each other regularly. We can only hope for another golden era of players which made Test cricket very interesting. Imagine the 1970s and 1980s teams of Pakistan, West Indies, India, New Zealand, England and Australia playing in the world today. That would inspire audiences.

  • dar268 on July 2, 2010, 22:31 GMT

    What on earth has happened to our game? Over-run by money, greedy businessmen and egotistical politicians, devalued by tedious 20-over slogathons with 50-yard boundaries, new rules every two weeks. And now day-night tests - great, no-one's watching in the sunshine but they're sure to flood in to watch the cold of night. Count me out.

  • SagirParkar on July 2, 2010, 22:24 GMT

    i dont think the solution is to hold day/night matches.. what the ICC needs to do to promote test cricket is to ensure that the competing teams are equally matched in terms of skills.. the loyal followers of the game still watch test matches... unless ofcourse you have a gross mismatch.. and the biggest problem the sport faces is that the shorter forms of the game generate too much money, which is putting more pressure on longer form.. shame on the ICC and other Boards for being too greedy !

    besides D/N cricket also raises the issues of what colour the ball should be, pitch preparation etc etc.. it interferes too much with the essence of the sport..

  • crazysaffa on July 2, 2010, 21:56 GMT

    let those coutries such as Windies, India , Pak, Sri Lanka, Bangla play nothing but T20 and ODI. Let their cricketing population who hardly show up for tests choke themselves on T20 and ODI's and lets see how long they can take it

    Keep the tests between nations where the audience enjoy the pleasures of watching tests and where livelier pitches provide a true test between bat and ball . I am thinking of Australia , England, SA and NZ.

  • lostxboy on July 2, 2010, 21:20 GMT

    of course there is less cricket being watched, with the amount of cricket being played its hard to keep up with it all....but the big wigs of the cricket only care about how heavy they're pockets are, they would never see that.....if cricket dies they have no one else but themselves to blame

  • on July 2, 2010, 21:11 GMT

    before cricket changes anything it should consider 1stly, would soccer in europe be so popular if there were no leagues and no points. it follows no league winner. so with speed create a viable test cricket league with equal points,each team plays home & away.then hopefully spectastors will be able to watch team 1 v team 3 on the log to see who wins the WORLD CRICKET CUP.

    so 1st things 1st. "A" group winner wins WCC. consists of Aus.India RSA Eng SL. 'B" league Pak WI NZ Ban Zim. relegation applies no matter which team is last or first.

    After this has started the games can stretch to Day Day Night 1st 2nd 3rd session respectively.

  • on July 2, 2010, 20:19 GMT

    I have a question for all cricket lovers:- name any other game that has undergone so many changes as cricket? Every third week ICC changes the rules and every second week some "experts" come up with their "ideas" to save the game from dying. What is this fuss all about? I used to love cricket and I still love it, and I bet there are millions of other fans who think the same way. Why doesn't ICC worry about the feelings of true cricket fans who love continuity or tradition? Why doesn't it understand that "a bird in hand is better than 2 in the bush". What is the guarantee that by undergoing all these stupid changes we certainly will win new fans. It seems like no one cares what the current cricket lovers think.....this all about greed and winning new markets so that more money could be earned (and where is the guarantee that this wil happen). There is vast majority who hates 20-20, who will hate split innings ODIs....but no one cares about them because "experts" cant let cricket "die"

  • Tlotoxl on July 2, 2010, 19:33 GMT

    I see there seems to be no comment on the biggest problem with Test Cricket, the slowness of the game, 90 overs a day should be the absulute minimum with 100 or 110 being normal, only dropping to near 90 if there is huge numbers of wickets in a day, likewise the supidity of drinks breaks when it is so cold that it is was almost snowing as was the case in Durham earlier this year!!

  • TikoloFan on July 2, 2010, 19:28 GMT

    I'm against D/N tests. I'm NOT saying this out of my comfort zone. I'm saying this because I feel the game becomes unfair. It's already unfair to some extent as we see incourse of 5 days, pitches behave differently.

    In my opinion 3day (one innings each) Tests can be more interesting.

  • bolthaa on July 2, 2010, 19:22 GMT

    TEST CRICKET should be only played for demonstrating skills. ICC should not expect revenue from test cricket. With T20 and ODIs in place, nobody is at fault for decline in audience. Everybody has to understand the dynamics here. People DONT have time even they are interested in test cricket. Anybody who loves cricket will understand the current form of TEST CRICKET is beautiful. SO PLEASE DONT CHANGE THE BEAUTY OF CRICKET. ICC should be dumb if they still want to earn revenue out of it.

  • on July 2, 2010, 19:02 GMT

    Awesome idea! Although I now live in France, I'd love the prospect of finishing work in the afternoon, and travelling to Lords/Eden Gardens/MCG/Newlands to watch the final session of a match and perhaps relive a Tendulkar century in the last over/No. 10 for Pakistan stave off Morkel and Harris, or similar. Currently, there is no option of such a thing unless you take a day off work, or happen to be lucky enough to have such an event befall a weekend. Day/Night tests offer the chance for someone to finalise household/family commitments in the morning, take lunch, and then go to the cricket (if you have the day off), or listen to the drama of the first session, then watch the outcome after work. Couldn't be happier with such a idea! Oh, and the dew in Asian countries... How good would it be to see a fast bowler with a wearing ball discover swing in the evening, when s/he would otherwise be toiling with a 'tennis-ball on concrete'. Day/night tests? Bring them on!

  • on July 2, 2010, 17:47 GMT

    The worst thing to do is to try these in India. I feel the visibility levels in the sky are bad / worse (I don't know) in India in the night. The side batting second in that time of the yr will have an added advantage of the dew factor. I would rather reduce the number of T20s being played. T20 is killing cricket. I would also like to comment on IPL here. In 2007, India sent an under strength team to the T20 world cup as it had no relevance to the BCCI. After that team won, BCCI found there is a lot of money here and started IPL. I m not sure how many local players from these IPL teams made to the Indian Cricket Team?

    Any answers please from BCCI!!!

  • Gupta.Ankur on July 2, 2010, 17:18 GMT

    This is total nonsense from MCC.....If people don't watch or play cricket in england or if england lose every time............its not the game's fault.

  • on July 2, 2010, 17:11 GMT

    "Please don't tinker with the format"? What should we do, go back to Timeless tests with 4 ball overs? That was the original format, was it not, that has since been "tinkered" with?

  • howizzat on July 2, 2010, 17:07 GMT

    ment. Instead reduce the number of seats and provide better feel to sit through. Respect the spectators and do not treat them as cow herd as it is as of now is a buyers market. Marketing and media support is abysimally poor regarding tests and odis as compared to IPL. Many a times the Test coverage appears in the corner of the newspapers and does not make headlines. A few internal changes can definitely improve quality of the game. Allow a playing 14(I mean 3 substitutes) rather than playing 11 such that the fielding team can change one player every session and hence become more attacking than defensive. Provide level playing field by eleminating 'toss' and asking the teams to decide alternately. And TEST CHAMPIONSHIP should be in place on urgency basis. And should start with the top 5 teams as AUS, IND, SA, ENG and Pak.

  • on July 2, 2010, 16:50 GMT

    I think it gona be difficult to decide what should be the color of the ball and in most of the south asian countries the have due in night time .

  • howizzat on July 2, 2010, 16:50 GMT

    Day and night tests is not the solution that needs an urgency. Dont expect people will throng for the match, once changed to day and night format. People dont have 6x5 = 30 hours time over 5 days to spare unless the match is very very absorbing. So improve the Quality of the game on all counts, that includes, iternary, participating teams, pitches, ground facilities, marketing of the game, media publicity and whole hearted involvement of the administrators. Mere cosmetic changes wont work. Ridiculous FTP has given maximum number of tests for Bangladesh, WI and Srilanka. Stronger test teams like, AUS, SA, IND and England should play more frequently between them. Dead and yawning pitches should be done away with and the series should include at least one spin oriented pitch and one seam oriented pitch.Ground facilities at most of the grounds particularly in the sub-contenent do not enthuse people to sit for long. They are horribly painful and sitting through 6 hours is real huge punish

  • on July 2, 2010, 16:31 GMT

    Wont be long before the match is played over 4 days with flat tracks and short boundaries. massive declarations and the new greats of test cricket - bowlers who only go for 5 an over at an avg of 50. If this happens (referring to the proposed change not my over the top assesment) i will stop watching test cricket. Because it will be dead.

  • Narkovian on July 2, 2010, 16:28 GMT

    Oh Dear.. No Test cricket ..then count me out please. Why not best of 3 for snooker world champs. One round, 9 hole pitch and putt for British Golf Open.( all over in one day - very fast). 7 a side 15mins each way for Rugby World Cup. (lots of tries and instant thrills !). T20 is an ugly game, and is only barely related to cricket. Pink balls in the middle of the night. Its just "balls". Especially in UK where its light at 9.30 pm, if only we played Tests in the summer instead of Autumn ! Seems modern generation have the attention span of gnats, and those who like crciket will lose what we once held so dear. No more will crciketers be able to be judged against the greats of the past in the " hit and giggle" world of the 21st century Just a refection of life today.. as always... but it doesn't mean its always better

  • NandakumarM on July 2, 2010, 16:26 GMT

    With changing times it is time to reform test cricket format. 5 Day Test Cricket is a criminal waste of time and manpower hours. Test Cricket can be made 2 Day Affair with 50 over or 20 over 2 innings format to be played on week-ends alone.The rules of 50 over or 20 over one day format can be used in this reformed format too with 10 overs or 4 overs maximum for one bowler. After completion of the first innings, the second innings can start as another 50 over or 20 over game and on the calculation of aggregate of runs scored after the 4th innings or as per current test format the winner can be decided after completion of second innings of the side batting second. Such reformer Test format will help to minimize criminal wastage of precious man hours in developing countries too.Hope the ICC authorities and Boards of poor nations will readily agree for the reformed Test Format

  • mittheimp on July 2, 2010, 16:23 GMT

    why might day/night tests get a bigger audience?

    1) In some countries, for example India, day time temperatures make spectating difficult and unpleasant. 2) people have more time in the evening on week days - which test cricket is scheduled for.

    a no-brainer!

  • ianChappellFan on July 2, 2010, 15:52 GMT

    cricket administrators are lame....whats this pink ball stuff. Why cant cricketers wear colored clothing in day night tests. no need for any special balls. Its as if its sacrilegious to ware colored clothing in tests....on the same topic tests should be made 4 days, if day night, with more overs per day to make up lost day....And please, please have a month or to per year of off-season, no cricket at all (this includes india-sri lanka cricket too). Players and watchers both require a rest to rejuventate their mind and bodies. Even God rested for one day.

  • on July 2, 2010, 15:29 GMT

    Well i think its a good idea to change test cricket format also i support test cricket day night because most peoples like night cricket ,but when and where first test well be played with new format?soon or later icc will decide soon

  • wanderer1 on July 2, 2010, 15:22 GMT

    More T20 and IPL fallout. Players now feel so financially fulfilled after a few T20 seasons that Test Match cricket is almost beneath them. The same thing has happened with a few of the European Football Nations, notably England. Players so amply fed from club money no longer take pride in playing for their country.

  • Shafaet on July 2, 2010, 15:10 GMT

    Talk about pitches, not about time. Day/night in dull pitch, anyone?

  • Sportsscientist on July 2, 2010, 15:08 GMT

    How many commitee's and discussions and working parties & research proposals do we need??? Did we have as many of these discussion and focus groups when T20 first came on the scene?? within 5 years we had IPL, champions league, world T20 and so on. Because the cricket boards saw T20 as a "cash crop" to reap, so they pushed as hard as they can to develop these formatts into competitions and tournaments. A test chamionship can be developed if the boards worked together to come up with a workable format they all agreed on and not act so selfishly....before we loose ALL our players to freelance IPL teams.

  • on July 2, 2010, 15:04 GMT

    Follow the example of County Cricket and eliminate the use of the heavy roller over the course of play. More results and more interest will certainly be generated.

  • on July 2, 2010, 14:55 GMT

    I just don't know everyone are suggesting Day / Night test matches when people are not watching it in day time , Why would people watch the slow game in the night? Please don't tinker with the format please.

  • on July 2, 2010, 14:51 GMT

    test cricket is the true color of cricket . But now life is so fast that people needs results so fast & mean that they don't even borrow to watch highlights of the day because of no result in the end of the day , must wait for 5 days & people cant wait for 3 hours for a T20 match .

  • on July 2, 2010, 14:46 GMT

    It will be better to try it out in India!! and more over the CWG dates clashes with IND-AUS test series in oct nd CWG has askd to postpond the tests since itz diff for that to be done and the urge for quick decision on Day/n8 tests ICC could try it!! anyways Test cricket is still the biggest test for a Cricket player it takes real talent and stamina to succeed !!!

  • No featured comments at the moment.

  • on July 2, 2010, 14:46 GMT

    It will be better to try it out in India!! and more over the CWG dates clashes with IND-AUS test series in oct nd CWG has askd to postpond the tests since itz diff for that to be done and the urge for quick decision on Day/n8 tests ICC could try it!! anyways Test cricket is still the biggest test for a Cricket player it takes real talent and stamina to succeed !!!

  • on July 2, 2010, 14:51 GMT

    test cricket is the true color of cricket . But now life is so fast that people needs results so fast & mean that they don't even borrow to watch highlights of the day because of no result in the end of the day , must wait for 5 days & people cant wait for 3 hours for a T20 match .

  • on July 2, 2010, 14:55 GMT

    I just don't know everyone are suggesting Day / Night test matches when people are not watching it in day time , Why would people watch the slow game in the night? Please don't tinker with the format please.

  • on July 2, 2010, 15:04 GMT

    Follow the example of County Cricket and eliminate the use of the heavy roller over the course of play. More results and more interest will certainly be generated.

  • Sportsscientist on July 2, 2010, 15:08 GMT

    How many commitee's and discussions and working parties & research proposals do we need??? Did we have as many of these discussion and focus groups when T20 first came on the scene?? within 5 years we had IPL, champions league, world T20 and so on. Because the cricket boards saw T20 as a "cash crop" to reap, so they pushed as hard as they can to develop these formatts into competitions and tournaments. A test chamionship can be developed if the boards worked together to come up with a workable format they all agreed on and not act so selfishly....before we loose ALL our players to freelance IPL teams.

  • Shafaet on July 2, 2010, 15:10 GMT

    Talk about pitches, not about time. Day/night in dull pitch, anyone?

  • wanderer1 on July 2, 2010, 15:22 GMT

    More T20 and IPL fallout. Players now feel so financially fulfilled after a few T20 seasons that Test Match cricket is almost beneath them. The same thing has happened with a few of the European Football Nations, notably England. Players so amply fed from club money no longer take pride in playing for their country.

  • on July 2, 2010, 15:29 GMT

    Well i think its a good idea to change test cricket format also i support test cricket day night because most peoples like night cricket ,but when and where first test well be played with new format?soon or later icc will decide soon

  • ianChappellFan on July 2, 2010, 15:52 GMT

    cricket administrators are lame....whats this pink ball stuff. Why cant cricketers wear colored clothing in day night tests. no need for any special balls. Its as if its sacrilegious to ware colored clothing in tests....on the same topic tests should be made 4 days, if day night, with more overs per day to make up lost day....And please, please have a month or to per year of off-season, no cricket at all (this includes india-sri lanka cricket too). Players and watchers both require a rest to rejuventate their mind and bodies. Even God rested for one day.

  • mittheimp on July 2, 2010, 16:23 GMT

    why might day/night tests get a bigger audience?

    1) In some countries, for example India, day time temperatures make spectating difficult and unpleasant. 2) people have more time in the evening on week days - which test cricket is scheduled for.

    a no-brainer!