Cricketer-turned-politician Gautam Gambhir is never shy of expressing his mind. Be it articulating his to-the-point opinions on burning issues or forwarding suggestions on improving the game, the 37-year-old former India opener is always forthright. The parliamentarian from East Delhi recently said that in these times of T20Is and ODIs, Test cricket should become more appalling to the new generation and some core issues need to be addressed for that.
Test cricket is said to have faced a survival battle in these fast times and with the emergence of shorter versions of the game like T20s and even T10s, not many feel optimistic about the future of the red-ball cricket. Also, a number of players are seen letting known their reluctance to play Test cricket and feel more attracted towards the shorter versions, including those offered by franchise cricket.
Yet, the International Cricket Council (ICC) recently came up with a World Test Championship whereby bilateral series have been integrated into a big network of points so that the format is made more competitive. The championship will continue over two years at the end of which the final will be held to determine the formal champions in Test cricket. A total of 71 matches in 27 series featuring nine teams will be played out during this championship with the final scheduled in England in June 2021.
‘Test cricket needs to appeal to millennials’
“It is a no-brainer that Test cricket must jazz itself up to survive the onslaught of T20s and alternate entertainment options. I am a die-hard traditionalist, but Test cricket needs to appeal to the millennials. The core issues need to be addressed,” Gambhir penned in his column for The Times of India.
Gambhir, who played in 58 Tests for India besides in 147 ODIs and 37 T20Is and was part of India’s dual world crown-winning missions in 2007 and 2011, advised the ICC to standardize cricket balls used in Test matches. While SG balls are used in India, Dukes are used in England, Ireland and the Windies while the rest use Kookaburra balls.
“I can understand the commercial compulsions of this but it is strange to be in a common competition with variable apparatus,” Gambhir, who quit cricket last December, said.
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