AYMAN CHOWDHURY |
March 03, 2021 12:49:58 PM
The recently completed Border Gavasker Trophy between India and Australia was proof of why Test Cricket is the first version of the sport. Even the first Test between Bangladesh and the West Indies, in which the visiting team celebrated a huge win, was a great game.
Although the glamor, excitement and action of the T20 game make it more appealing to the neutrals, Test- For purists and cricket connoisseurs, cricket will always be the ultimate form of the game.
In many ways, test cricket is similar to human life. You survive long periods of troubles and exhausting battles, and then you take advantage of all the opportunities you can. Test cricket is truly the best test of a cricketer’s skill, patience, strength, tenacity and resilience.
However, today’s pace means that shorter versions of the game (ODI and T20) are preferred by fans become. As a result, aside from some weird exciting series here and there (Ashes 2019 and Border Gavaskar Trophy 2020/21), Test Cricket has created a boring environment.
Long hours of blocking, one-sided wins for home teams, and boring draws have a lot of benefits taken away from the excitement this game can offer. Low viewership and ticket sales have resulted in the need to revive the game’s best format. We’re looking at some changes that can help rejuvenate this format.
There has been ongoing debate about reducing the length of Test Cricket from 5 to 4 days. This would indeed be a broadcasters dream. A normal test game requires 5 game days and at least 3 days of rest before the start of the next test (a total of 8 days). Since the calendar only has 7 days a week, this 8-day system prevents all games in a test series from being played on weekends.
A 4-day test game ideally starts on Thursday and ends on Sunday. Then you should take a 3-day break before starting the next test on another Thursday. This Thursday through Sunday schedule gives viewers the opportunity to watch the game on TV or visit the stadium on the weekend. It would also be the 4th and last (also the most exciting) day of every test match on Sundays, a day that is viewed as a weekend almost around the world.
However, the purists of the game and the players have spoken out quite loudly against it and states that doing so would spoil the game’s beauty. In fact, thrillers would stop happening on day 5, and the likelihood of getting more draws would increase in 4-day testing.
Day-night test games were introduced in the hope of audiences for Magnify test cricket. It gives people the opportunity to visit the stadium or watch the game on TV after work.
Even so, the number of day-night test matches was very low. The teams decide on a maximum of 1 day-night test per series. Since it was founded in 2015, there have only been a total of 15 day-night test matches to date. It goes without saying that this number must be increased in order to make test cricket more attractive to the public.
For far too long, pitches for test matches have been created for the home team. As a result, there wasn’t enough competition between. Home teams tend to dominate and win; or play a draw. It is therefore important to create playing fields that both teams have to offer in terms of hitting and bowling.
The Ashes 2019 was a perfect example of this. Sports fields were created for the test series, which led to one of the most amazing test series in recent history. Exciting games will always attract crowds. It is therefore important that the ICC address this issue. Attempts must be made to ensure that sports fields are created for test cricket.
Test cricket should be scheduled on public holidays and vacations so people can visit stadiums or watch the sport from home. Teens and young adults make up a large portion of the fans of the sport. Semester breaks and religious holidays offer people free time to enjoy the sport.
England and Australia have made festive tests a tradition in their countries. England has the Lord’s Test in July each year while Australia has its Boxing Day Test in December. These festive tests provide a proper family outing that can be planned a year in advance. Therefore, these tests receive special attention from their fans.
This technique can be implemented in other countries to attract the attention of test cricket. The celebration of the new year and various cultural events can serve as the basis for these festive exams.
In addition to these techniques, however, test cricket requires attractive marketing, similar to ODIs and T20s. The game’s longest format has to be branded for the excitement that comes with it. India can be a good example of this.
The BCCI caused quite a stir in connection with India’s first day-night test against Bangladesh in 2019. In terms of quality, there is a clear disparity between the two sides and for the fans no reason to join the game. However, the advertising strategies pursued by BCCI made the event a success as nearly 50,000 people took the test. BCCI has also worked with schools in the past so that children can attend test matches as part of their field trips.
The overall goal should be to create an atmosphere around test cricket in which people buy tickets, or at least the Turn on the TV to watch the game. Hence, work must be done both on and off the field to ensure that the most demanding and challenging format in sport does not become extinct.
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Editor: Shah Husain Imam
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