After the inception of T20 cricket, the longest and the elite format of cricket, the Tests are on the verge of becoming extinct. Due to the birth of T20 leagues like IPL, BBL, CPL; Test cricket is losing spectators in a dramatic ratio from all over the world. The situation has worsened so much that the schedules for Tests had to be cut short to make way for the T20s. If it continues like this, then in few years Tests will be completely eliminated from the cricket roster. So it is high time that some immediate measures are implemented to check the death of the 5 day format.
Here are 5 such ways by which Test cricket can be saved:
An already inititated idea has been taken by Cricket Australia and Cricket New Zealand as they have agreed that their respective countries will be featuring in such a Test later this year. The Test for the first time will feature a pink ball instead of the traditional red one so that it can be easily seen during the night! This is a brand new innovation that might revolutionize the Tests as something needs to be done to save it.
As of now we do not know if this will work or not, whether the audience will accept or reject the idea, a lot of questions are there and the answers are few but at this stage we can only hope for the best !
2) Make it a 4 day affair
One of the most repelling factors of Test cricket is that it continues for 5 long days. It is really difficult for the cricket audience(after they have tasted a delicious dish called T20 cricket) to watch the game for so long and it is often seen they seem to run out of both patience and interest as Test matches often get boring. So at least keeping the interests of the audience in mind, the ICC authority should consider reducing the number of playing days.
If this clause is implemented, then may be the number of maximum playing overs in a day will go up to 95-100 overs, better pitches will have to prepared and bowlers, especially pacers will have to work extra hard on their bowling! The players might find it a bit ridiculous but they should realize one thing that if Test cricket has to be taken out of the ventilator, it has a cost and they are in it together.
3) Revive the ICC Test Championship
If ICC wants to keep the Test matches alive, they should work out new ways to keep it interesting. Our common sense tells us that Test cricket cannot compete with T20s as far as thrill and entertainment is concerned. But still they should try to make the oldest format a bit more challenging and competitive by reviving the abandoned ICC Test Championship. It will serve a platform for the world’s best Test teams to compete with each other as well as make it more interesting to watch.
4) Money matters
The governing bodies of cricket must have realized one crucial fact that the youngsters nowadays are more focused towards T20 cricket as it will fetch huge money in a very short time. So they are least bothered to play the five day format where they have to invest more energy and labour but the returns are less.
So its high time that ICC and the respective cricket boards of the nations should collaborate to increase the prize money of various Tests series and should give Test cricketers extra benefits which will give financial stability and help them to concentrate on the longer format.
5) Frequent bi-lateral Test series between rivals
The on-going Test series between England and Australia, the Ashes is one of the most entertaining cricketing events in the history of cricket. The intense rivalry between the two teams attracts the fans from all over the world . But unfortunately its not the same with other nations. When other countries play Tests amongst themselves, hardly spectators turn up to see them. To makes things worse, bi-lateral series between two another fierce rivals Pakistan and India have been suspended indefinitely.
So countries which share great strife, Test matches should frequently be arranged between them so that the enthusiastic fans can see them in action, which will also enhance the degrading status of the Test format.