Lalit Modi: Test Cricket’s Devil

3 03 2010

The prospect of day night test matches is rearing its ugly head again with Lalit Modi this time taking up the baton. As the virtual creator of the IPL and a major reason why India insist on playing so many banal and meaningless one day series, he has now got test cricket in his sights insisting that in the future it will be a mere sideshow to the wonders of 20/20.

Regular readers will know our strong feelings on the importance of ensuring test crickets primacy so we will not delve into these arguments once more. Furthermore, we are prepared to concede  that day nighters in some countries might be possible, however we are concerned that it would create unnatural advantages at certain points of the day. What would happen for example when you had to switch from a red to a white ball for visibility reasons? Different balls can behave significantly differently and then you also have factors such as dew and the harder nature of batting under lights.

In our view the main problem turning people off test cricket is that modern batsman are at an advantage with the flatter pitches, more powerful bats and covered pitches. Groundsman around the world should be preparing ‘result’ wickets with something in it for the bowlers which in turn would create more closer games and less high scoring bore draws.

Sadly people like Modi are keen to mess around with the very essence of the game rather than an existing component of it. Once you start doing this then who knows where it might end – if Modi has his way we suspect it would be match after match of meaningless 20/20.




2 responses

5 03 2010

Think an increasingly worrying element, that I have observed increasingly regularly, is that if a home team takes the lead in a series, there is a tendency that the subsequent pitches will be flat with nothing in them, leading to teams batting out mundane draws.
Have you noticed this at all, Bradders?
I With the increasing financial stakes across the board in Sport, there will inevitably be some degree of foul play – but I am loathe to think that in cricket that Groundsmen are instructed as such.

7 03 2010

Yes I think you’re right and was noticeable for example in the West Indies England Series this time last year. The main problem with flat pitches of course means that draws are more prevalent. Admittedly this is offset slightly by the fact that sides score quicker, so there is more time to win a game. My thoughts are though that a game with scores along the lines of 350 plays 320 and then 260 leaving 250 to win on the final day makes for a much better game than 500 plays 500.

Too be honest groundsman have long been instructed to prepare this pitch or that pitch, but it is rarely admitted as such by the countries in question. I personally have no problem with this as in my eyes it is all part of the difficulties in travelling away. Think of the hard glassy wickets of the 80’s in the Windies, or the dustbowls in India. It is only recently that pitches seem to be taking on a uniformity.

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