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Test cricket

July 23, 2014

Eleven suggestions to enhance Test cricket

Rustom Deboo

Comments: 20 |
Bring on day-night Test cricket already © Getty Images

1. First and foremost, some kind of parity in the number of Tests each team plays, and each team should play every other with reasonable frequency (like in the 90s). Easier said than done though - yet another Ashes looms upon us in a year.

2. Try all that can be done to introduce day-night Test cricket. I believe one of the Southern hemisphere nations could take the initiative. This is one experiment which will not fail if all goes well; there will be more crowds after all.

3. If any two nations want to play a five-day match between themselves, such a game should be given proper Test status. Scrap the Full Members and Associate bifurcation. A country v country fixture should be an international and nothing else.

4. If the above point seems too far-fetched, at least bring Ireland into Test cricket. As soon as possible. The game will only benefit from their presence. A vibrant, genuinely interested new Test nation is the need of the hour.

5. While the teams' Test kits should obviously remain white, the country name should be written clearly in front of the shirt in the colour of the respective cap. Also, the player's name and number on the back. New audiences need to identify the players.

6. Market Test cricket well. This is something that is rarely done except for the Ashes. While we see full-page ads and hoardings promoting meaningless games like 'Sunrisers v Sixers' et al, promotion for Test cricket is hardly seen. Build the hype before a big series.

7. Get some sort of uniformity in the Test calendar. Countries should allot a separate period as their Test season, with fixed dates scheduling Test matches at grounds with historical significance. Case in point - the Boxing Day Test. Also, include the Friday to Sunday period in all matches.

8. Do away with the two-Test series - which is the norm nowadays - once and for all. Any Test series should have at least three matches. Ashes to have five, and certain other match-ups like England v South Africa, India v Australia, England v West Indies to have at least four.

9. Develop regional rivalries between countries. Australia-New Zealand and India-Pakistan play each other so less, and that's a big opportunity missed. Also, England-Ireland looks a tempting prospect.

10. Let regular grounds host Test matches, and make the event as fan-friendly as possible. In this way, people would look forward to say, the annual Mumbai Test or the Wellington Test. Again, a lesson to be learnt from Melbourne.

11. An equal number of matches to be considered for every team during every four-year cycle, to determine a Test champion. Incentives for the leading team every year, and more points for away Test wins.

Seems Utopian, but one can always harbour hope.

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Posted by pritamdas_circ on (August 5, 2014, 11:24 GMT)

India vs Pakistan 4 Test series bi-yearly please! Kapil Dev-Imran Khan trophy!

Posted by HarshViews on (July 30, 2014, 4:29 GMT)

1) Let the BIG 3 play 5-match test series among themselves. (ind v aus, ind v eng, ashes). the gap between these test series should be at least 27 months 2) let the regional rivalries be to 4 match test series (Aus v NZ, Ind v Pak, SL v Ban) 3) let the coveted wisden trophy, frank warrell trophy be played for 4 tests 4) SL, NZ and WI should play home and away test among themselves every 21 months. 5) Bring in Ireland and let Bangladesh, Ireland Zimbabwe play 2 match test series biennially home and away... 6) Let the no.1 test side face ROW XI at every Annual ICC Awards Function Match Starting on Friday and ending on Tuesday......

Posted by   on (July 29, 2014, 2:58 GMT)

Test cricket is a war fought between 22 warriors to reach an ultimate glory. The 5 days long battle pushes the players to go for the win more than the 50 overs or 20 overs struggle. The mental adamant,construction significantly can be viewed here. Hence the best for me is the test cricket. Why aren't associates nations like Afgan/Ireland/Nepal are deprived of tasting the flares of test cricket. At least ICC can organize similar tournaments for them. if you want them to come up and make them ready for the 5 days battle help them to learn the prospects of it. Changing the ball dimension(weight) seems to be ridiculous for me. Any change would change the game prospects. The swing, reverse swing, spins are major aspects which could be tempered along with the ball. Football is a different ball game and let's not compare it. We must preserve the current fan base we have, let along asking people to like cricket or test cricket it's not a competition of fans count. let's save test cricket

Posted by HarshViews on (July 26, 2014, 13:52 GMT)

1) make it mandatory that every test series is named after a cricket legend of opposite teams e.g. Border-Gavaskar, Chappell-Hadlee, Warne- Muralidaran, Pataudi Trophy etc. that will add spice to the series as it becomes an issue of pride an honor. And will help in marketing.... 2) As like franchise let the cricket board decide their official names e.g. Black caps for NZ, kangaroos for Aus, Windies for WI, Proteas for RSA, Bangla tigers for Bangladesh, Team India for India, Lankan Lions for SL, etc and should be marketed as Kangaroos v BlackCaps for Trans Tasmanian Trophy... OR Windies v Kangaroos for the Frank Warrell trophy..........

Posted by   on (July 26, 2014, 4:20 GMT)

The following stipulation will make it very Interesting....Each team plays 115 Overs per innings which comes to 460 Overs over the 5 days a little over 90 overs per day.If one Team gets out in 60 overs the other Team can bat 115 + 55 overs ( Balance from the Opposition Team) .The same thing goes for the 2nd Innings and so at the end of 5 days there is Definite result . There cannot be any Draws only 'Tie" ...

Posted by android_user on (July 25, 2014, 21:02 GMT)

Day-Night Test Match Cricket will get more people into the grounds. I dont know why it doesnt find support amongst the players.

Posted by android_user on (July 25, 2014, 21:01 GMT)

India Vs Pakistan. 5 Test Match Series. The Clashes.

Posted by Harlequin. on (July 25, 2014, 11:14 GMT)

Some interesting thoughts, and I am glad you didn't fall into the absurdities of changing the playing rules - although a couple of posts below have decided to!

I particularly like #3 - What frustrates me the most is when people say Ireland/Afghan can't get test status because they don't have a first class structure. If they are good enough to play test matches, then they should be allowed to play test matches, as simple as that. And at the moment, they are good enough to be able to beat Zim/Bang/Eng. Keeping 'test status' as elite as it is at the moment is doing the game no favours.

Posted by   on (July 25, 2014, 7:04 GMT)

I have a suggestion to improve cricket overall.

Reduce the weight of the ball and make it less lethal. A normal red cherry cricket ball weighs around 5 and 1/2 Oz i.e. approx. 156 grams which is quite a lot considering its size. Also, to play with such a ball one needs proper pitch and cricket gear to count the least. This adds up a lot of cost restrictions which makes this game less popular as compared to soccer. One of the reasons soccer is popular because it can be played anywhere and with any number of players. Though same is true for cricket as well to some extent but there the kids use rubber/tennis balls which are completely different from the leather ball used at international level. If a ball can be developed that is inexpensive and can be used to play both at gully cricket level and international level then the game will get hugely popular.

Posted by yujilop on (July 25, 2014, 5:45 GMT)

4-day Test Matches: This is an idea that will upset the purists, but it is really worth considering, especially if Tests are to remain attractive as a format. It spares an extra day, which can add up to 10-15 extra cricketing days, that can be utilized to add 2-3 extra Tests or up to 10 extra limited over fixtures for each side.To compensate, either the number of overs/day can be raised to 100 or the playing conditions can be altered to favor the bowling side and promote more attacking cricket.

Another very interesting strategy could be to penalize the batting team by 1 run for every maiden over faced in a Test match. It's not much, but might be enough to make the game more attacking. (Can be paired with a more strict definition for wide balls after the 50th over in an innings, to be more balanced between bat and ball.)

Finally, changing the follow on score to (200 runs deficit OR half the first team's score, whichever is lower) might be a more flexible approach.

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