Thursday, June 19, 2008

Small tinkerings

This is a late reaction to IS Bindra's comments on the need to tinker with test cricket to make it more popular (prompted by this piece suggesting the use of floodlights in tests). I think Bindra's worry about scoring rates is misplaced. Scoring rates have improved a great deal in cricket. Scoring above three runs an over is almost the standard in tests now and many sides even manage 3.5 runs an over over a day - or 315 runs in a day's play. There are other things to worry about. Bindra should be worried about fall of wickets-rates (though the use of television for line decisions has certainly helped). Concern about pitches would be spot on target. Local administrators want surfaces that last all five days; hence the erring on the side of docility. Pitch improvement would go a long way toward ensuring a decrease in the number of turgid runfests. Then there are problems with water management that cause playing time to be lost; some grounds have excellent drainage and drying facilities and equipment, some have very rudimentary setups. The problem of how to ensure adequate light for the players still remains unsolved with no unanimity yet on how floodnights should be used (if at all). And lastly, grounds differ in their spectator comfort levels. If folks have to be spend a day somewhere, the least that could be done is to make their home for the day a little comfortable: covered stands, drinking water fountains, reasonably priced food and drink, accessible and usable public facilities and so on. As for a championship that is able to draw and hold fans' interest, that remains a tougher problem than any of these.

5 Comments:

Blogger w_o said...

Hi Sameer, nice to read your blog!!! This is Onkar, an avid reader of cricinfo, waste enough of my office bandwidth to eat up virtually everything cricinfo publishes and occasionally blog about cricket.
Here is my blog - oatcricket.blogspot.com

I will love it if you could visit it and post your comments!

3:40 PM  
Blogger Som said...

The To-Do list would look intimidatingly long. For starter, if administrators in the sub-continent begin respecting the spectators, that would be a mammoth step forward. Basic amenities have to be there and you need to treat the stadium-thronging crowd like a guest, so that they keep coming. I have been to the most cricket grounds in India and inmost cases, bona fide ticket holders are treated like dirt by smug security officials and fraudulent oranisers. It has to change and no one can take the crowd for granted.

10:32 PM  
Blogger David Barry said...

Bindra should be worried about fall of wickets-rates
Wickets are falling faster this decade than in any decade since World War I.

Run rates are at an all-time high, which more than cancels this out. We live in fast-scoring, batsman-dominated times.

3:08 AM  
Blogger Straight Point said...

today the guy who even don't know where his off stump is says 'tests are the real test of a player'...

my foot...

let them play on uncovered pithces like before...they are getting enough dodos to enjoy in t20 and odis...lets sort out some pretenders hiding behind all these protective gears...let it be 'real' test...

nothing brings the crowd then good results...and if matches end up in three days so be it...

only the fittest will survive...

...and i was not bowler...i was an opening batsmen when i played cricket in blue moon...

8:47 AM  
Blogger Samir Chopra said...

Onkar: Welcome to the blog, and thanks for the link. I'll check it out.

Som: Thats an absolutely necessary basic first step. Why would anyone want to subject themselves to a day at a crap stadium?

DB: I hadn't realized that. Imagine what some more bowler-friendly pitches would do to the result rate. Yeah, and I didn't think scoring rates were the issue at all!

SP: No arguments there (as far as the business of making tests more even is concerned)!

10:07 AM  

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