As soon as the recent SA-Aus test series was finished, the tears for test cricket started rolling out. More than the anticipation of Sachin’s 100th 100, the discussion about test cricket’s future pisses me off – the lovers of cricket in its ‘pure’ form blame it on poor management (particularly in India), neglect towards test cricket, T-20 (especially IPL), and over-supply of cricket these days.
Some of the blame that people like Harsha Bhogle pen down may be right.
But I disagree with most of the part:
Stop blaming T-20 & IPL
- If anything IPL has done, it has enabled cricket players to earn well-deserved big bucks – effectively, in part, keeping them away from match fixing scandals like These.
- More than Test cricket Vs T-20 (which is like cricket Vs cricket), Cricket’s bigger fight is for its survival. It has not grown beyond a 5-6 nations in the past many decades.
- IMO, IPL has mostly tapped the new audiences (housewives, working class) to cricket. At least from a large section of cricket fans I know, no one has stopped watching test cricket for availability of T-20.
Stop romanticizing test cricket
- I wonder why people who tweet/blog/comment so much about test cricket & claiming it to be the ‘purest’ form of cricket never turn up in the grounds (administrative reasons may partially be responsible) or fail to improve the Television TRPs!
- Let’s man up to the fact that sports has become an industry all over the world and people today are not looking for what their grandpas enjoyed!
Get rid of stubbornness in cricket
- Minimal use of technology (are we living in 2011?): very few dedicated websites + web telecast is pathetic for cricket (less availability & poor quality)
- Extreme dependence on weather, much more than other sports: how difficult it is to protect the ground from something as common as rain?
- Rigid rules – they don’t even use the already-available floodlights in test cricket if play hours are lost
Let’s put an end to the bullshit that cricket is a religion, it should be treated as a business and every business needs innovation. Put cricketing brains together, have them come up with ideas to change cricket & its outlook.
Why not learn from other sports –
- American football sees packed stadia despite numerous high-quality digital streaming options.
- Well-commercialized soccer leagues in Europe have built industries around the sport.
- May be test cricket could learn from slow-paced golf & attract niche audience.
My $0.02 for my favorite sport!