Test cricket could be in 'pink' of health with historic day-night format
Dubai: A top official of cricket's governing body asserted the first-ever day-night Test featuring Australia and New Zealand starting in Brisbane from today will help promote Test matches.
ICC chief executive David Richardson
The International Cricket Council (ICC) chief executive David Richardson believes the day-night Test is part of a package to lift the five-day format. "The game needed to understand the demands and expectations of both the fans and its key stakeholders, and Tests played into the evening session will provide an option to countries where Test cricket was facing attendance and commercial issues," Richardson is quoted in an ICC release. Most of the countries face the problem of dwindling crowds in Tests and the huge popularity of the Twenty20 cricket endangers its future — a fact Richardson admits.
"The reality is that Test cricket is faced with challenges such as declining crowd attendances in some countries, as well as issues of context and competition for attention from shorter formats of the game," said Richardson. "Either we do nothing, and let the appetite for Test cricket die, or deal with the problem head-on and with an innovative and proactive approach."
A pink ball will be used for the first time in international cricket at Adelaide today. Pic/AFP
Funds to play Tests
Richardson said another step to lift Tests is to provide funds to seven member countries to help them play the longer format. "It has already been agreed to introduce a Test Cricket Fund from next year which will assist countries with the costs associated with staging Test matches," said Richardson of the 10 million dollars fund to seven countries except India, Australia and England.
South Africa, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, New Zealand, Bangladesh, Zimbabwe and the West Indies will get USD 12.5 million annually over eight years from January next year.