IPL: Indian Premier League 2009


Miandad rejects four-day Tests

 
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miandadFormer Pakistan captain Javed Miandad warned the International Cricket Council (ICC) on Wednesday that any experimentation with Test cricket will prove to be counter-productive.

Responding to reports that ICC president David Morgan has floated the idea of having four-day Tests, Miandad feared that such steps would achieve little other than ruining the traditional format of the game.

“To have four-day Tests played with coloured balls and under floodlights will be the sort of experimentation which Test cricket doesn’t need,” said Miandad, regarded among the greatest batsmen of all time.

“It will not be good for Tests which I still believe is the real cricket. It should be spared of any experimentation, which I believe is being planned for the sake of commercialisation, for the greater interest of the sport,” he told ‘The News’ in an interview.

The ICC is considering shortening Test matches from five to four days in a bid to revamp the game’s traditional format and save it from the rise of the popular Twenty20 version.

David Morgan, the ICC president, has said in an interview that Test cricket will have to be made more exciting through a series of steps.

“The board of the ICC is determined to ensure that Test match cricket is seen as the pinnacle of our great game,” Morgan told India Today magazine.

“Another thought… that we are examining is whether Test match cricket can be played over four days rather than five. I would be very surprised if within a year you haven’t seen some significant changes in Test match cricket.”

The idea of four-day Tests four-day Tests was raised in strategy discussions during ICC meetings in London last month.

Miandad, currently working as Pakistan Cricket Board’s director-general, said that the game’s governing body is barking up the wrong tree.

“The question (ICC should ask) is whether you want to keep Test cricket alive or not,” he said. “If you think that Test cricket is important then you should just leave it the way it is. Personally, I think the real beauty of cricket lies in the Tests. You mess with it and it will be gone.”

Miandad said he was confused over the idea of having four-day Tests.

“Twenty years back, people used to ask for six or seven-day Tests because they played less overs in a day and most matches were drawn. Now there are 90 overs a day. But if still there are no results then how can you get results in four-day Tests?”

Miandad said that instead of taking reckless decisions, the ICC should take a long, hard look at the future of the game before making any major move.

He also suggested that the ICC should form a think-tank involving the big names of world cricket, which should come out with comprehensive suggestions over issues like the survival of Test cricket.

“Unfortunately, the ICC doesn’t have the big names of the sport on board,” he said. “There is a need to have people with rich cricketing background because they are the ones who can come out with proper solutions.”

Miandad is of the view that Test cricket is unlikely to face many problems in countries like England, Australia and New Zealand. “In those countries, Test cricket is still very popular and profitable,” he said. “It faces real problems in countries like Pakistan and India where it is not attracting big crowds.”

However, Miandad stressed that there are economic reasons behind the falling interest in Test cricket in “our part of the world”.

“Everything is so expensive for our masses. When you can see a match on TV, why would you go to the stadium and spend precious cash,” he said.

The rise of Twenty20 cricket, he said, is also undermining Tests.

“Take India’s example. Players like Yousuf Pathan are more popular than most of his more illustrious team-mates because Twenty20 cricket is in these days. It is just like fast food, a bad habit.”
Source:Cricket News

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