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Sunday, July 05, 2009

Is Test cricket suffering a slow death?

(This entry was originally published in this blog December 2008 and it is based on the information of that time.)

We have heard a lot of term slow poison. Well, so that it also something that we sometimes here and it seems that test cricket is suffering a slow death. Today, there were two test matches that started and in the one test, India played against England in Chennai while on the other hand, New Zealand played against West Indies. There you can find that millions of people are eagerly waiting for India vs England match but hardly any one even New Zealand and West Indies are thinking about it. I live in South Asia and I tried a lot to find any TV channel that is going to broadcast New Zealand vs West Indies match but I could not find it. In stead, I could watch India-England match and it was clear that test series has got lots of sponsors and advertisement in TV channels.

Cricket has become a sports that is mainly dependent on India. If India plays against any other team then there is a lot of TV advertisement and revenue. On the other hand, if India does not play any test match then there is hardly any interest about it.

So, this is very bad for world cricket and especially for Test cricket. The other teams can generate passion is playing mainly Twenty20 matches. For example, a Twenty20 match between Australia vs England is very attractive. So, it seems that test cricket is suffering a slow death because of the growing popularity of Twenty20 cricket. Well, this is a part of reality and it is clear that most people in today’s busy life are not too much eager to wait for five days to know the result of a match. Instead, they want instant entertainment and instant result and Twenty20 cricket can give it.

I was really amazed to see that this season, Indian Cricket League or ICL could attract so many TV viewers in South Asia. ICL could attract enough viewers in Indian, Pakistan and it got a lot of advertisement too. There is nothing wrong with commercialization of cricket because this is what has happened in every sport. In fact, it took a lot of time for cricket to adjust to the global reality.

I think that test series is something that will die eventually. The best thing for all of us to do at this moment is to find out a solution by which we can make a balance between a Test cricket and Twenty20. Well, it is not easy. Many people would argue that test cricket is needed simply because of the fact that it ensure the quality of the cricket is always high. I agree with this view but the same time we have to accept the really to. We have to look what is happening to world cricket. If no one is interested about test cricket then for whom you should play it.

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