Thursday, 3 November 2011

Testing Times

Testing Times

This is a campaign for the preservation and protection of Test and First Class cricket around the world. Our aims are to show the various international cricketing boards that there is still a need and a desire for the longer form of the game and that its support is as passionate, vociferous and numerous as that of limited overs cricket. 

We are not anti-limited overs cricket. What we are against is limited overs cricket at the expense of Test cricket and we are becoming increasingly concerned at the ICC’s dismissive attitude towards Tests. It appears that the longest form of cricket is being eschewed in favour of the more commercially viable One-Day Internationals and Twenty20 forms. 

What we ultimately want is for the ICC to stop eroding the importance of Tests by shortening key Test series in order to fit in more limited overs internationals. We feel that ODIs and T20s should be included as a part of a tour and not as its centrepiece, and certainly not as a tour in their own right. 

If we continue to witness the occurrence of series made up solely of limited overs internationals, such as the recent one between India and England and that between England and Australia scheduled for next summer, there is a real danger that it is a trend which will grow and grow until before we know it, Test cricket has become a charmingly amusing anachronism and pyjamas rule the cricketing world. 

In this world, matches like those unbelievable Ashes clashes at Headingley in 1981 and at Edgbaston in 2005, the famous tied Test at Brisbane in 1960-1, India’s astonishing comeback against Australia at Kolkata in 2000-1, will be consigned simply to the annals of history, the like of which will never be witnessed again. 

To allow that to happen would be doing a great disservice to cricketers and cricket fans of the future which is why we’re asking anyone who cares about Test cricket to join us and try to open the eyes of the cricketing authorities to the fact that there is interest outside the world of brightly coloured clothing, cheerleaders, loud music, over-excitable PA announcers and three-digit strike rates. 

Now is the time to try to stem this tide of avarice and greed and implore the ICC to show some respect to Test cricket and its millions of fans around the world: to try to make them see that while some things can be bought or sold in the never ending frenzy for profits, there are some things that are beyond such baseness; some things in fact, which are timeless, peerless and utterly priceless.

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