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Posts Tagged ‘Test cricket’

Commercialization of the Gentleman’s Game

Tuesday, July 28th, 2009

Since the first cricket test played in 1877, cricket has evolved drastically and diversified into three main formats and other local formats. Test cricket remains as the heart and soul of cricket, while one day cricket and now T20 are tagged as the popular versions of the game. Cricket has been generating billions of money from the sub-continent, especially from India, where people keep cricket close to their heart and celebrate every cricket match as a national festival. Advertisers pour in to be a part of every cricket carnival where cricketers are considered as demigods. Corporates are behind them for making them brand ambassadors of products, because of their superstar value and it is no wonder that cricketers are amongst the highest paid sports professionals now.

IPL has helped several international and domestic players to secure their lives through its lucrative pay packages and helped them to get priceless experience through its generic flavor. The IPL has contributed a lot to team India’s current success, with players like Yusuf Pathan, Ravindra Jadeja, Abhishek Nayar and several others being the beneficiaries. It has also amplified the flow of money into cricket. The prize money, sponsorship, players’ salaries and all other attributes have outdone the prevailing trend and IPL became the benchmark in the world of cricket.

Notwithstanding its attractiveness, arguably, IPL has resulted in the premature retirement of several great players like Adam Gilchrist, Matthew Hayden and the latest update to the list is Andrew Flintoff. Can the players alone be blamed for this especially when West Indies players boycotted their series against Bangladesh due to contract issues? We can argue that the players should give preference to their country first than any other commitments. However, the fact is that, at the end of the day money matters!

Salvaging The Vintage Edition

Friday, July 24th, 2009

There has been lot of discussion across the globe pertaining to the saving of test cricket from becoming obsolete. Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC), the lawmakers of cricket, have been brainstorming on this issue for a while and come up with several solutions including ‘Day-Night’ matches.

The lack of interest for test matches has been being prevailing since 2004, after the introduction of T20 matches. The huge success of the Indian Premier League has fastened the demise of Test cricket. Andrew Flintoff’s retirement from test cricket has brought the spotlight again on IPL that provides a lucrative income stream for the players. It is rather apparent that the opulence provided by the IPL is resulting in the premature exit of several great players. Let’s see some solutions by which we can keep the test matches alive.

Starting the matches on Wednesday

This will increase the revenue of the match, since the last couple of days will fall on Saturday and Sunday. People will be quite happy to spend their weekends to support their home team.

The 20-20 Intervals

Currently there are 3 sessions, which are Lunch, Tea and Post-Tea. The mandatory overs bowled per day can be reduced from 90 overs to 80 overs. This would help to create 4 sessions of 20 overs each, which will avoid the ‘bad light’ issue, which happens very often these days. This will also help the players to charge up as they would be getting sufficient breaks. By reducing 10 overs everyday, the pace of the game will also improve.

Mandatory sporting wickets

An ICC committee should review each turf before the matches to ensure that they are made without any bias to the home team. It will make the match more competitive as the ‘home advantage’ factor is eliminated.

Test World Cup

The concept of a World Cup for test matches is quite a complicated topic, however there are few ways by which this concept can be applied properly. In the preliminary stage, the 8 test teams will face each other in a home and away match. There will be 40 match days in this round (8 matches * 5 days) followed by 20(4*5) in the semi finals and 5 days in the final. Altogether there will be 65 match days and this can be stretched to the whole season like the football leagues are conducted.

Above all, the cricketing fraternity that includes players, boards, officials and most importantly, the spectators should love and favour this version of the game. If the test matches are overlooked, the coming generation would find it hard to understand the feats by the great legends like Don Bradman and Garfield Sobers.

Battle For The ‘Ashes’ Starts Today

Wednesday, July 8th, 2009

Now it is back to good old test cricket after we witnessed a hemorrhage of T20 matches in the IPL and the World Twenty 20. Since inception, T20 has been a major threat to test cricket because it is short and thrilling and the kind of money it generates is unparalleled. But Test cricket still remains as the ultimate test for the cricketers. Ashes has a unique place among the list of elite series in test cricket, thanks to the arch rivalry between Australia and England. Australia are still struggling to fill the vacuum created by the exit of Glenn McGrath and Shane Warne. Their preparations have been put in complete disarray after Brett Lee was ruled out of the series opener at Cardiff. Apart from Lee, none of the other Aussie fast bowlers have played test cricket in England before and this gives England a slight edge over Australia. England have the likes of Kevin Pietersen and Andrew Flintoff  who are potential match winners in present-day cricket.

Phil Hughes was the surprise package against South Africa and emerged as one of the future prospects for Australian batting. But his tentativeness against short-pitch bowling was well exposed in the warm up match against the England Lions. Besides that, the inexperienced bowling attack, in the absence of Brett Lee, will have to toil hard to contain the strong English batting line up. Apparently, the current Australian outfit doesn’t look as ominous as their predecessors have been in the past . However, few will write off an Australian triumph this time around also.


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