Trinidad & Tobago Express

When India travel, money follows

For the impoverished WICB, substituting a bilateral with Sri Lanka with a tri-series is a financial coup. However, it isn't doing Test cricket any good in the region

Tony Cozier

June 30, 2013

Comments: 55 | Text size: A | A

Dwayne Bravo, MS Dhoni and Angelo Mathews with the tri-series trophy, Jamaica, June 28, 2013
'Thank you India' - A host of Indian companies are sponsoring the tri-series © AFP
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It only needed a quick glance around Sabina Park on Friday to understand why India are here for the ODI triangular with West Indies and Sri Lanka, rather than the two Tests, three ODIs and one T20 against Sri Lanka as stipulated on the ICC's Future Tours Programme (FTP).

The switch has little to do with cricket, all to do with the money that follows India wherever they go.

The teams are playing for the Celkon Mobile Cup, the name of a large Hyderabad-based manufacturer of mobile phones. It and a host of other Indian products and services, household names in the subcontinent, but unheard of in these parts, fill the ground perimeter advertising boards.

They are there because live coverage of the matches is transmitted back to India (as well as several other areas) by Ten Sports, the Dubai-based Indian production company that won the rights to international cricket in the Caribbean from the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) last year. Commentary is in English and, more pertinently for a viewership of several million, in Hindi.

The basis for the change from the ICC's bilateral with Sri Lanka was that it clashed with the closing stages of the IPL in which the leading Sri Lankan and West Indies players would be engaged. In their absence, the Tests would be seriously devalued.

For the impoverished WICB, the substitute is a financial coup. It was also, unavoidably it would argue, a further tightening of the rope around the neck of Test cricket.

There would be further complications. The tri-series was slotted in immediately after the Champions Trophy in England, precisely when the FTP had mandated a home series of two Tests, five ODIs and two T20s against Pakistan.

Nothing, however, properly explains how the WICB hasn't been able to attract sponsorship for its major tournaments since the days of Shell, Sandals, Geddes Grant/Harrison Line, Busta and Red Stripe

The WICB had already sold the rights for its annual T20 to the little known Verus International organisation under the banner of the Caribbean Premier League (CPL). Since then, Digicel, the former sponsor of West Indies cricket, has taken a lead role preparing for the July 30-August 24 tournament.

The three weeks between the end of the tri-series and the start of the CPL was the only window for Pakistan. That has finally, and inevitably, been condensed into five ODIs and two Twenty20s, further strangling Test cricket.

The stark truth, as the WICB repeatedly states, is that the only profitable home tours are those by India and England (with their host of travelling supporters and Sky TV coverage more so than the advertisers). All the others result in losses in a region of steep hotel and travel costs, small populations and increasingly struggling economies. When Zimbabwe toured last March, there was a sprinkling of advertising boards on the ground, all from WICB's few sponsors. By then, Digicel had dropped its title sponsorship, a hint of its later involvement with the CPL.

So it was last year when New Zealand and Australia came, their time zones inconvenient for TV viewers back home. The ICC hasn't listed India to return until February 2016 for three Tests, five ODIs and one T20. England have been split into separate tours (three ODIs and two T20s next February-March, three Tests in April 2015). The same number of spectators will hopefully follow them.

All of which might yet change. As long as India can be lured back, the ICC programme has no bearing.

Nothing, however, properly explains how the WICB hasn't been able to attract sponsorship for its major tournaments since the days of Shell, Sandals, Geddes Grant/Harrison Line, Busta and Red Stripe a decade and more ago, while CPL cooly signs on Limacol and Courts right away and entices Digicel over.

Tony Cozier has written about and commentated on cricket in the Caribbean for nearly 50 years

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Posted by Dhs2000 on (July 1, 2013, 16:17 GMT)

@harishk8006, in the USA, we have baseball, football, and hockey. There are about 30 US teams and 2 Canada teams for each. They call themselves "World Champions". Baseball and Hockey have even gotten themselves into the Olympics. Therefore, there is no reason the having only 10 countries actually playing Cricket is bad as baseball, football, and hockey are fine with 2.

Posted by Harmony111 on (July 1, 2013, 15:13 GMT)

Time for the Eng fans to come down to the ground now. Let's talk about their Test Grounds. Given the noise made about Test's popularity, readers will be surprised to know that NOT ONE TEST STADIUM IN ENGLAND is big enough to host even 30.000 spectators. The capacities are as follows: 1. The Oval - 24k. 2. Old Trafford - 22k. 3. Lord's - 28k. 4. Trent Bridge - 18k. lol. 5. Headingley - 20k. 6. Edgbaston - 25k. 7. Chester-le-Street - 19k. 8. Cardiff - 16k. 9. Rose Bowl, Southampton - 15k

With these puny sized stadia, these Eng fans call themselves as test lovers? First they need to build a large stadium. Some FC stadium in Eng are like 3,000 LOL.

Compare this to stadia in India where the capacities are almost invariably between 45k-55k. I would've mentioned them too but for want of space here.

A half filled Eden Gardens has more people than a houseful Lord's, which incidentally is their largest test stadium. What's so special if a 18k stadium is full? Is that proof of test love?

Posted by harishk8006 on (July 1, 2013, 14:57 GMT)

@Pramathanath Sastry: try to understand (if you can, don't try to give a different meaning to what i have written) i am not trying to condemn test cricket....point is test cricket cannot globalize the game(130+ years and only 10 TEST member nations).......what is the point of playing game in only 5-6 countries and saying we are world champions(its an absolute joke) you are not a champion, you are only good out of handful bunch of nations in the world which has 150+ countries....every one says Australia and west indies and nowadays England (which i don't agree) they are the best in the world.......are you kidding me!!!!!you are the best out of 5-6 nations (ok may be 10 nations)....we as cricket lovers need to stop claiming what we have is the best and expand our horizon a little for the better of great game of CRICKET...or else we would be considered as narrow minded and etc (you know what i mean)

Cricinfo: pls publish

Posted by harishk8006 on (July 1, 2013, 11:17 GMT)

@middlestump: i don't think i need to answer to your comments of beer and wine, as it has been already CLEARLY eexplained by HARMONY 111 and about marathon and 100 mts sprintin Olympics...even a small kid knows that the most awaited event in OLYMPICS is 100 mts sprint and as told by HARMONY 111 and others at least in the world i am living marathon running is not the crown jewel of OLYMPICS....well i am not trying to degrade any sport here....all are good but some priorities have to change if cricket need to be accepted as a globalized event....let me ask you as you seem to know much about OLYMPICS.....where is cricket in OLYMPICS???? do you s

Posted by TheOnlyEmperor on (July 1, 2013, 11:05 GMT)

@Chris-P: If there are 70000 people attending the Boxing Day opening day match at the MCG, it's because of 2 reasons : 1. Being present at the stadium on the opening day of a Boxing Day Test match at the MCG is a social tradition in Australia. What are the crowds, let's say on Day 3? 2. I believe that Australia has a tradition of not telecasting the matches in the city it's being played. So, the Aussie stadium numbers even on that single day don't count for much, especially if you were to compare them to India's TV viewing public added to the people in the stadium watching a match in EVERY single city where an international match is played!

Posted by Harmony111 on (July 1, 2013, 10:50 GMT)

@MiddleStump: And one more thing btw. You mentioned that marathon is the crown jewel of the Olympics. Rest assured that an overwhelming number of people in the world, even those who do not actively follow the Olympics would know who won the 100 metre Gold in 2012. I can rattle off the names of the last 7-8 Gold Medal winners and I can also mention the names of the past 5-6 100 metre World Record Holders while dropping my hat. Who knows who won the Marathon Gold this time? Who cares? Can you honestly tell us the actual distance of an Olympic Marathon without searching for it? The 100 mt sprint Final is perhaps the most eagerly awaited event in the Olympics. Its not cos of its short ~10 sec duration. Its cos it thrills us. Same for ODIs and T20s.

Paraphrasing CLR James, "What do they know of cricket who only test cricket know ?"

Cricinfo: Pls publish.

Posted by   on (July 1, 2013, 10:42 GMT)

@PrasPunter England and Australia certainly have the finances to support themselves, but to support all other nations develop & sustain their cricket, we need India's money. What fun is it when only 2 or 3 nations play the game in the whole world ?

Posted by Harmony111 on (July 1, 2013, 10:25 GMT)

@Chris_P: Someday I would love to have an exhaustive dialogue with ppl of your ilk about all that is wrong with you. 2000 onwards, India/Eng/Aus/SA have played an almost equal no of tests - 142/171/152/139. And 2005 onwards the figure is 90/106/93/83 for them. So on what basis do you say that it is Eng & Aus who have sustained Tests? Who told you that crowds don't come for Tests in India? The recent Ind-Eng tests were attended quite well. Moreover, what size are the stadia in Eng? 15k? 25k? You comparing them with 50k stadia of India on house-full criteria? LOL. Moreover, a great many ppl watch Tests on TV in India. That doesn't count right?

@PrasPunter: Some Eng-Aus fans need to know that Tests do not mean Ashes alone. You can play 50 Ashes tests a year, that is Cohorting, not Sustaining Test Cricket. And Cricket is not owned by Eng-Aus fans either. Reg Tests being the best and purest form, some ppl confuse "SIMPLE & LIMITED" as "BEST & PUREST" cos they are themselves SIMPLETONS.

Posted by PrasPunter on (July 1, 2013, 10:07 GMT)

@MiddleStump, i am with you - perfect words those. Even lesser teams can become champions with T20 or at times the ODIs, but to win test-matches consistently both at home and away requires top-skills. The WI of the 80s and 90s, the Aussies not so long ago, the SA team and even the Eng for a short-period till recently were doing really well. Now, they are the real ones.

Posted by Harmony111 on (July 1, 2013, 9:57 GMT)

@MiddleStump: Wow the arrogance of some test-lovers is a bit too much. Do you think that people travel only for watching tests? What right do you have to insult the other forms of the game? How can you call them a circus? I love tests too but the achievement of tests has been that in 120+ years they have got us total 10 test playing nations. Wow. And then we have some people who suffer from illusions of grandeur and think that what they like is the best and what others like is poor. They also extend this to the IQ levels, to the tastes of others and make fun of them by saying they don't know what good beer or wine is. It is precisely this contemptuous attitude of some test-lovers that has made it very difficult for the game to widen its base as the uninitiated feels insulted at this behaviour and so never fully joins. Just imagine a test lover like YOU explaining the game to someone in Russia or in Brazil.

Cricinfo: Pls publish.

Posted by harishk8006 on (July 1, 2013, 8:59 GMT)

@middlestump: Well i have one question for you..... how many new countries would you foresee playing test cricket in the next 20 years????(1 or 2, MAY BE)....looks like you want to keep cricket only in England and Australia and on the other hand India is looking to spread the sport around the globe(ex: Bangladesh, South Africa, after apartheid and now Afghanistan and the list will keep continuing) yeah i know far back England have been responsible for India playing cricket like a century back, but lets concentrate on present situation........on the other hand if ICC can promote t20 cricket like it should be promoted the next 20 years i can fore see another 20 new nations playing cricket.....well that is the point i am trying to stress on @parthasarathy: Well i don't consider golf as a sport (its an old and rich man's pleasure, who don't want to stress themselves at all) the game is so boring and i don't think you can compare golf to youngsters and cricket.

Posted by PrasPunter on (July 1, 2013, 6:46 GMT)

@venkatesh18, US is a real super power and a strong nation that can dictate terms all over the world. But india has hardly won a test series against stronger teams outside india. So think twice before making such sort of "funny" statements.

Posted by Andre2 on (July 1, 2013, 6:36 GMT)

Great article by Tony Cozier, once more ! I do not follow T20 AT ALL. I do not like it because it is not cricket but entertainment. I regret that the number of test matches is going to be very low in 2013. I do not spend much time reading on Cric Info these days : no 1st class matches at the moment in England because of a stupid T20 tournament. Bring on the Ashes from July 10th. Until then .. bye bye.

Posted by PrasPunter on (July 1, 2013, 6:29 GMT)

@Chris_P, absolutely, indian fans must realize that they don't own the game. Test cricket is the best and purest form. Even though an opponent, England along with Aus has done well to keep test-cricket alive !! And I would add SA as well to that group. The game won't cease to exist if india doesn't play.

Posted by PakRage on (July 1, 2013, 6:15 GMT)

Tony Cozier discussing money. Death of cricket is round the corner. Get well soon Tony.

Posted by venkatesh018 on (July 1, 2013, 6:00 GMT)

Like it or not, India is to Cricket what the USA is to the World. Whether such a uni-polar situation is desirable is a debate the ICC should have had a long time ago.

Posted by IndiaNeedsBowlers on (July 1, 2013, 5:33 GMT)

I know this may sound very awkward but WI should consider Night games, espically for the ones against Australia/ NZ and even sub continent teams. An ODI that starts at around 7:00 PM in WI should be a comfortable watch for the TV audiences in Austalia/NZ. Also I understand that some of the locals may not like it, but then the stadiums are empty anyways. Also people could come in for the matches late in the night - after their regular works. And maybe the cool conditions in the night may assist fast bowlers a little more and WI has a history of excellent Fast Bowlers, even the current lot is not bad. So maybe some home advantage to the bowlers.

Posted by JohnnyRook on (July 1, 2013, 4:41 GMT)

@MiddleStump. I don't think anybody is stopping you or me for that matter from watching test cricket. No-one is deriding test cricket or its followers either. You on the other hand seem to do so for limited overs cricket and its followers. Fact of life and business is that if anything has not enough followers, it will die out eventually. Other than series between top 4 (Ind, Aus, Eng, SA), test cicket is subsidized by limited over cricket. So test followers should either have some gratitute for ODIS/T20 or be ready to buy 5 tickets instead of 1. Don't bite the hand that feeds you.

Posted by   on (July 1, 2013, 4:29 GMT)

Mr Cozier, your analysis on India's marketing prowess only underscores West Indies management ineptness at capturing the market opprtunities. As I have outlined in the past, if Gayle plays India watches. Pollard plays they watch, and now Narine is captivating the Indian audience, so why are we not captalising on the oportunities abound? I have also stated Cozier is only a commentator not an economist. We need to move past Cozier pseudo-analyses and bring the business back home.

Posted by S.h.a.d.a.b on (July 1, 2013, 4:20 GMT)

Tony Cozier, I am reading cricket since 1984, you are one of my favorite voice in cricket. Pls dont discuss money, as a fan we hate this topic. Please talk about cricket and cricketers and improvement for the game which is unfortunately declining due to focus on money and entertainment.

Posted by DeepakSarathy on (July 1, 2013, 3:05 GMT)

@harishk clearly u don't know of a sport called golf which people throng to see for days on end, which on its best days is much more boring than test cricket on it's worst.. Its all about packaging it into a watchable spectacle which golf has been able to do but ICC have failed in that regard..

Posted by Chris_P on (July 1, 2013, 0:22 GMT)

@ SanjivAwesome. Take off your blinkers & have a look at test cricket in England & Australia. All the Ashes tests in England are sold out, I.E. no tickets left. Next boxing day test at the MCG, switch on & see the opening day crowd of 70,000+. The Gabba is a ground I attend tests & it is mostly packed out. Last season I was visiting Adelaide & had to buy a ticket through a scalper to get into the ground due to the sell out. This may surprise you but there are cricket fans, & plenty of them, outside of India you know.

Posted by Chris_P on (July 1, 2013, 0:17 GMT)

@Imsrk. "With all due respect"? You show none of that stating the reason. If & when Indian "fans" support cricket in all formats, you may have a point, but I see very small crowds for tests. The English & Australian crowds support all formats & in great numbers, & have survived for well over 130 years & quite successfully I would suggest. It may, repeat, may be the reason why their boards don't roll over when a certain board tries to flex their financial arrogance? Good article by Cozier, the Windies in the 80 & 90's provided many other countries a financial lifeline by touring with their super team, so hopefully, this may be able to get them on their feet.

Posted by   on (July 1, 2013, 0:14 GMT)

Tony Cozier says it exactly as he sees it. I am not an old cricketer. Just a middle aged man. And I love Test cricket. As well as First Class cricket. And one day cricket. And T20. Not sure what @harshk8006 means when he says only some old cricketers with "meaningless records" in "meaningless matches" like Test cricket. I like Test cricket. Almost everyone in my age group likes Test cricket. Its death will be mourned. By many more than harshk8006 suggests. A wonderful draw where a team saves itself from defeat with its back to the wall is one the great spectacles of sport -- and if sport is meant to be a ritualisation of real life and provide drama which mimics life, then you cannot expect better.

Posted by drice on (June 30, 2013, 23:12 GMT)

@middlestump. Not sure which planet the marathon is the crown jewel of the Olympics. If you picked 100 people at random almost al (e.g. 99)l, if not all know the 100m champions of the past 3 Olympics and almost no one will know the marathon champion. Extremely bad analogy my friend.

Posted by   on (June 30, 2013, 22:40 GMT)

Note Cricket World, Sri Lanka, West Indies, Bangladesh,Pakistan,Zimbabwe,New Zealand depend on India for their welfare. Survival is difficult without India. Sooner you note that the better.Your own countries do not condone your views. Moderate your views and be civil!

Posted by   on (June 30, 2013, 18:50 GMT)

@Sir_Ivor, I completely agree with how you called a spade a spade. "If Indian money helps them all coexist, so be it". Truer words were never said. The article seems to suggest that India must sponsor and help Cricket survive and thrive, yet sit quiet, ashamed for it ability to do so.

@Middlestump, no one takes the limelight away from the Marathon, but it is the 100m sprint that attracts the largest attention. It is Usain Bolt, the sprinter, and not the (I don't even know the champion's name) Marathon champion that garners all the attention. I don't intend to demean or belittle any discipline of any sport, for they are all equal in my eyes, but the world certainly has its favourites and if you don't go with the world within reason, you can't survive.

Let's stop besmirching India's name after every single thing and start appreciating what it's doing for cricket- Star payments for players via IPL, helping other Boards survice (SL, WICB, Zim) while keeping money flowing into cricket.

Posted by   on (June 30, 2013, 18:36 GMT)

I respect Tony Cozier very much. But when I read this article, I can't help but read between the lines. While seemingly stating facts and the changing landscape in cricket and its finances, he seems to imply somehow, not inadvertantly I am sure, that India is responsible for slow death of Test Cricket. It seems to suggest, indirectly, that India disrupted not one, but two test series involving 4 countries.

It also comes out in the article, through WICB's own words, that it is only an Indian or English Home Tour that is anywhere near profitable for the WICB and is essential in sustaining the 'impoverished WICB'. In light of this, is it Mr. Cozier's suggestion that India not tour WI and let their board run to ruin and thereby let cricket die in that country? Or is it his suggestion that India sponsor the Tour of Pakistan to WI? Why is it that anything India ever does is always wrong, just because it is a financial powerhouse now? A Case of sour grapes, maybe?

Posted by MiddleStump on (June 30, 2013, 16:42 GMT)

@harishk800: You might be interested to know there are quite a few of us who travel far and wide to watch Test cricket and don't give a hoot about the one day or T20 circus. There is a reason why the Marathon is the crown jewel of the Olympics. If some people can't tell the difference between cheap beer and vintage wine, they have only themselves to blame. You can get more sixes and manufacture excitement by having short 30 yard boundaries. Enough to make tail enders look more menacing than Viv Richards at his best. Or limit the bowlers to a maximum of 2 overs so that the best bowlers don't play any role in the game. If you only care about quick results, then watch the 100 metre sprint and you will have a winner in less than 10 seconds.

Posted by PeterJerome on (June 30, 2013, 14:38 GMT)

It is the hard truth, that commercialization has to a large extent tarnished the purity of cricket. The sport has already become a lot adulterated because of the money-minded cricket boards. But it is also true that much more funds now flow to the development of the game in the lesser known countries bcos of the money made by such. Money, it can make and also break empires. The BCCI should first and foremost understand that economic boom is not a constant. There had been others in the power seat before them and that there will be others after them. But Legends are made when men of great skill seize power and apply it for the enrichment of a purpose. But bandits are made when they use the power to rob the purpose itself. Such bandits are quickly forgotten once they are gone. Its your chance to become Legends BCCI. The choice is yours. An Indian fan.

Posted by gsingh7 on (June 30, 2013, 14:23 GMT)

so true. i heartily agree to authors views that india is the star attraction of odi tournaments. money flows where best team and world champions(also ct2013 champions ) play. good move by wicb to arrange tri series by inviting india and increasing viewership. even test matches involving india in carribean(india won) did not made enough money for wicb. odis and t20 are future of cricket.

Posted by harishk8006 on (June 30, 2013, 14:16 GMT)

Only some old cricketers who have made some meaningless records in meaningless matches wants test cricket and alsothese are the people who influence young cricketers to say TEST cricket is important....coz they fear their RECORDS will be erased if test cricket do not survive....please explain...are we living in 1900s or 21st century....we need to be able to adapt to the changes with time and change our priorities accordingly, else we would not have seen the type of technological and industrial development that we see around the world....if cricket has to evolve internationally (like football)it has to change as per the fans around the world wants nobody wants to see a game which last for 5 days and MAY PRODUCE A's been 2 decades of cricket for a foreign land where cricket is not much known...everyone asks same can you watch a game for 5 days and i agree and i have never been a fan of test cric,wake up ICC AND old generation....the onus is on you

Posted by naudurivsm on (June 30, 2013, 14:06 GMT)

Hi Raj S I agree but here the concern is stadium crowds are a direct revenue to WICB and that was one of their goals and their purpose is also to bring back the crowds. For India it is not an is an issue. Hope you get my point ad revenue via TV viewership is a shared one among many. So WICB should also try and generate direct revenues to sustain.

Posted by Manoj1234 on (June 30, 2013, 13:36 GMT)

Wherever India goes money follows. So whats the issue here??? Whats the point author is trying to make. I think he wants to really talk about the failure of WICB to attract sponsors compared to CPL. Putting in India in the article. I just don't understand.Maybe more pple will read it, more hits and he will remain relevant as a commentator. He should be thankful for India that Cricket is even played anymore. Test cricket is very very boring to watch even for me.Its just a matter of perception. You could have a 10 day test match too.. That would test the ultimate endurance in the sportsman. who would watch it though.

Posted by ajaym55 on (June 30, 2013, 13:27 GMT)

Three cheers to Sir_Ivor. I totally agree. Enjoy the game and stop carping.

Posted by   on (June 30, 2013, 13:22 GMT)

To Tony Cozier, and the WI board, I like Tony views on "Where India goes money follows" Not neglecting the smaller islands or affecting the competitiveness of the game, but in the interest of the WI board, don't you think it would have been wiser to host more of the matches at venues where the population is greater?

Centralizing match venues is one thing but if West Indies businesses along with the local Caribbean air lines can facilitate an ease on travelling and hotel cost, the benefits of all including jam packed pavilions will really be a feat for the entire Caribbean.

Posted by Sachin_Ramesh_Bradman on (June 30, 2013, 13:22 GMT)

Tony Cozier is one of my favorite writers and I am very happy to see him call a spade a spade and acknowledge the shift of the seat of power in cricket.

Wankhede/Kolkatta are the real home of cricket and Lords is like the grandparents village we visit every summer.

Posted by supacricfan on (June 30, 2013, 13:05 GMT)

Tony Cozier is broadcasting superstar and when he says something better agree with him..great to hear from you at cricinfo sir,its been ages since i have read a column from you..great going and keep it coming please!!

Posted by   on (June 30, 2013, 13:02 GMT)

naudurivsm: Even if the stadiumg is not filled to capacity it does not matter.. what matters these days is how many people are going to watch it on TV. I bet, in India, that is not a problem at all.

Posted by Sir_Ivor on (June 30, 2013, 12:47 GMT)

If India is the country that is so important to the financial health of International Cricket why should it matter ? If that is the new order let us all just accept it and enjoy a good game of cricket as we did the Champion's Trophy recently. Perhaps the fact that the erstwhile points of power in cricket are no longer so is what rankles.As an old timer myself and a very long cricket follower, I must mention that while I do love Test cricket in its unadulterated form, the changes that have come about like the new formats of the game are also compelling to watch. No,I am not talking about glamour that accompanies the 20/20 version but the quality of cricket that is on view.Initially I was cynical about the ODIs in the 70s and then the 20/20s. But I find that at the end of the days play there is usually a winner.That does not take away anything from Test cricket.If Indian money helps all of them co-exist so be it. Why make it look like an undeserving upstart in an otherwise sane world.

Posted by krishna_j on (June 30, 2013, 12:45 GMT)

i first heard Tony Cozier when he came to India in 1974 along with CliveLlloyd's team - he's been an active fixture in every cricket series including Kerry Packer's WSC - its thrilling to see him still active with the same gravelly voice and infectious enthusiasm for the game and the windies though the team has been in decline for the past 15 years - please carry on....

Posted by luks on (June 30, 2013, 12:43 GMT)

When talking about business, it should be all about fans and T20 and India and all that. When talking about the sport, it should be all about test cricket. And, people interested in the sport hardly care about the business and vice versa. So, whats the problem? Its only if you try to make test cricket as profitable that it is a problem. But, why bother? Let test cricket operate in its own way, at whatever level of profitability. Maybe it won't attract the best T20 players. But, that's fine, that's how it should be. So, again, whats the problem?

Posted by Un_Citoyen_Indien on (June 30, 2013, 12:42 GMT)

@ SanjivAwesome

That was pretty Awesome :) !

Posted by Jadejafan on (June 30, 2013, 12:40 GMT)

@Imsrk: Exactly! Cricket is really nothing without India because most of the world do not play Cricket full time sadly..@Pinto..ICC Trophy successful yes because India made it to the final and won it but other than that, most matches were one-sided, weather interruptions etc so I do not understand how it was 'successful'.

Posted by naudurivsm on (June 30, 2013, 12:25 GMT)

Whether you like it or NOT. this is the fact Cricket boards and players get money when they play India. and they need that for keeping cricket alive. The other day, I watched WI v SL match and observed the stadium was not even at 50% of its capacity.

But watch it today, potentially could be already sold out or oversold by the time the match starts.

Posted by SanjivAwesome on (June 30, 2013, 11:59 GMT)

Horse and cart. Silent movies. Test cricket.

Posted by Al_Pinto on (June 30, 2013, 11:30 GMT)

It's time that the ICC abandons its "high alter" stance of "we should do what's good for the game" and adopts what the viewers want. Because that's how professional businesses work all over the world. Viewers don't want 5-day test matches; they also don't want meaningless bilateral series. They want multi-team 50-over or 20-over competitions, likely the highly successful Champions Trophy in England. The world has changed a lot since cricket started as a sport 100 years ago. Today, no one has the time to sip tea and watch a match unfold slowly and tortously over 5 days. Instead of trying to preserve the sport in its original form, the ICC should keep up with the times and adapt the sport to suit today's environment.

Posted by Sudhir65 on (June 30, 2013, 11:30 GMT)

Cricket Boards and Cricketers need money to survive. Are you going to opt to play Test cricket with almost empty grounds or play ODIs and T20s with stands at least half full and supported by many advertisers?

Posted by bonaku on (June 30, 2013, 11:22 GMT)

It just shows WICB is evolving for survival. If you don't it will be the end.

Posted by   on (June 30, 2013, 11:07 GMT)

Life cycles apply also to test cricket. Now it is T20. May be Test Cricket after some time.

Posted by   on (June 30, 2013, 11:02 GMT)

It is a good article by a great W.I.test cricket commentator Tony Cozier.I compare him with Englishman late Chris Martin Jenkins and Australian Jim Maxwell in commentating test match cricket.Let us see more test matches in future

Posted by pvwadekar on (June 30, 2013, 10:47 GMT)

We all want west indies to succeed in Tests, ODI and T20, however one must also consider the fact that WICB needs to maximize its profits to survive, so if such tri series tournaments work then let it be. Besides by playing test cricket with Zimbabwe or Bangladesh, is really diluting the quality of test cricket. So for test series WICB should more with England, South Africa, Australia, India, so that the quality is maintained, while invite other countries for tri-series with one of the above mentioned teams.

Posted by   on (June 30, 2013, 10:28 GMT)

Nothing, however, properly explains how the WICB hasn't been able to attract sponsorship for its major tournaments since the days of Shell, Sandals, Geddes Grant/Harrison Line, Busta and Red Stripe a decade and more ago, while CPL cooly signs on Limacol and Courts right away and entices Digicel over.

I think the answer is simple.The sponsors just like fans see the T20s as the future .Maybe for the older generation who grew up with test cricket this change maybe hard to accept ,Fair enough.

But its clear which format majority of fans and Sponsers prefer

Posted by g.narsimha on (June 30, 2013, 9:53 GMT)

very sorry stat of affairs -just for the sack of revenue test cricket is being --egnored ,agreed a mare participation of INDIAN TEAM in any tournmemt - gauruntees for good returns but scraping a FTP is not acceptable-

Posted by warneneverchuck on (June 30, 2013, 9:11 GMT)

with all due respect other countries the main reason behind survival of cricket is Indian cricket fans nothing else

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India v Sri Lanka at Port of Spain - Jul 11, 2013
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