Test cricket, the longest and the oldest format of cricket, has now become an endangered species. With the audience slowly getting addicted to T20 cricket all over the world, it is being feared that Test cricket's end is not far away. ICC is doing everything possible at their disposal to renew the fan interest in the Tests. Like the first ever day night Test match between Australia and New Zealand was a breakthrough in the history of the five-day format, which was able to generate a huge amount of interest amongst all cricket fans all around the world.
Here are five ways by which Test cricket can be saved:
1) Make it a four-day affair
Some are in favour while some are totally against it. If we analyze the recent Tests throughout the globe, we will see slowly Tests matches are getting over by the penultimate day. ICC should realize this fact and should change the rules of Test cricket, keeping in mind that Tests are no longer played in the old-fashioned way. Even the spectators find it quite boring and tedious to sit through the five days and eventually run out of patience. That explains a huge number of vacant seats in Test matches all over the world. ICC should take into consideration these facts and modify the rules of the game.
2) Revive Test Championships
Reviving the Test Championships is a great way to increase the competitiveness in Test cricket, both amongst players and fans. Test cricket's peers, T20 and ODIs have many leagues and tournaments of their own which makes them entertaining as well as competitive at the same time and will definitely give the cricket fans something new to cheer about. If Test championships between top teams are introduced, it will surely attract a lot of attention from all over the globe and will breathe fresh oxygen into Test cricket's life.
3) Money matters
There is a lot of money in the T20 format, thanks to various domestic leagues all over the world. So it is quiet natural that players will get attracted to the shortest format of the game rather than playing the five-day format where quantity of money is comparatively much less. The governing bodies of cricket, ICC and respective bodies of the cricketing nations should see through this simple fact and increase the monetary quotient so that players do not abandon the Test format. If not always money, players should be assigned certain privileges so that they remain glued to Test cricket.
4)Frequent bi-lateral series between top rivals
A high octane clash between two rival teams is like a cherry on the top of a cake for any cricket lover. One such example is the Ashes, the never ending fierce rivalry between two of the oldest cricketing nations, Australia and England. Another similar example is India and Pakistan. The Ashes happen almost every year but unfortunately the latter has been missing from the cricketing arena due to several non-cricketing factors. Fans just love to see the rival players fighting it out on the cricket field and trying to get the best of each other and they should not be denied that chance. Test cricket between top rivals will not only be a treat for cricket lovers, but also for Test cricket itself.
The Day-Night Test match, which also included the introduction of the pink ball between Australia and New Zealand, was nothing less than a breakthrough in the cricket's 138 year history. The match attracted a huge number of spectators, both on and off the field and generated a huge amount of interested amongst all cricket fans. It might have attracted a little criticism but no one can deny that the formula of the Day-Night test was more than just a hit. If during all the Test series between countries, if atleast one match is arranged to be a Day-Night one, it will help Test cricket to get some of its lost ground.
BY Dipayan Saha