Cricket comes first

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Scyld Berry and Christopher Martin-Jenkins have expressed their discontent at the proposed English tour schedule announced by the all too fallible BCCI.  While their concerns are valid, my biggest disappointment is that once again there will only be three tests (not to mention another 7-ODI series).  In his brilliant piece, The unique drama of Test Cricket (a must-read), Mike Marqusee posits why three-test series are not ideal.  In this case, however, the blame lies not with the Indian board, but its English counterpart: the last paragraph in Martin-Jenkins’ piece reveals that the ECB had turned down BCCI’s request for five tests this time around.  Sure, that was before the English resurrection, but surely somebody must see the reason of having one or two additional tests between these two top sides now.  The next time these two outfits go head-to-head in the subcontinent, their constituency could have altered vastly.  This time around, two ODIs could easily make way for an extra test without adding any more days to the tour.  With two more tests, the Englishmen’s request to see some well-frequented tourism spots in the list of test venues could also be accommodated.  Hopefully, somebody will insist on putting all issues aside in order to give the fans what they crave the most: some riveting Test cricket.

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6 Responses to “Cricket comes first”

  1. Amar Says:

    I don’t think the fair-weather fans in India crave Test cricket that much. ODI’s have and will always be more popular in the subcontinent.
    I can understand your agony as far as the BCCI goes, but at the end of the day the only thing that matters is the big bucks. And lets face it, they are not going to take a chance of having a 5 match Test series against, arguably, the most boring visiting side to set their foot in India (as pointed out by Sunny Gavaskar recently, which, in theory, is a true statement). The English team don’t have the same charisma as the Pakistanis or the Aussies or for that matter even the South Africans do.
    I agree, however, that there should be some balance b/w the number of ODI’s and tests. 7 ODI’s in a series IS a joke. But, then again, such long ODI series have been going on for years in South Africa and Australia.

  2. Pratik Says:

    I suppose you’re right about ODIs being more popular than Tests among the Indian proletariat. What I meant when I said that the BCCI should “give the fans what they crave” was that the BCCI should give the fans what I crave. 😉

    On a more serious note, a Test series can become popular too (as the 2001-02 Aussie tour to India did), but we need to give it the chance to last a while. And England surely is a worthy opponent. Their new-look squad certainly cannot be termed as boring (let alone the most boring).

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