Sydney : Pink-ball day-night Test matches, which make their debut this week in Adelaide, should only be the beginning of a cricket revolution, former Australian captain Mark Taylor said on Monday.
Taylor, a Cricket Australia board member, is advocating the introduction of four-day, 100-over Test matches and a clearly defined Test championship. He wants all Tests to begin on Thursdays, allowing them to build to a Sunday evening climax.
“As someone said to me years ago, why are we surprised when people go to one-day cricket and T20 cricket more than they do a Test match, when we put all the one-dayers and T20s on in school holidays and at night,” he told the Sydney Daily Telegraph. “And we put Test matches on during the week outside of school holidays.”
Taylor said he had discussed his ideas at an International Cricket Council level and they were now gathering some momentum with different options being brought forward.
“You’ve got to look at the game as a whole. Where is cricket going? The younger generation generally want more instant gratification and I think over five days to keep them interested in the game is not so easy,” he said.
“People are more about who is the best in the world at the moment. They like watching World Cup finals if you’re always working towards who is the best Test team in the world, that can only help the game.”
Taylor said a Test championship would likely include a similar scoring system to football, where three points are awarded for a victory and one given for a draw.
Australia face New Zealand in the first-ever day-night Test in Adelaide from Friday and Cricket Australia has reportedly already contacted the Pakistan Cricket Board about securing a similar game in Australia for the next southern summer.
The chief of the Federation of International Cricketers’ Association, Tony Irish, warned against significant changes happening too quickly.He said that while players should be given credit for allowing this week’s Adelaide Test to go ahead, it should be seen as an experiment.
“This match needs to be seen strictly as an experiment. If there’s one thing that everyone agrees on, it’s that the pink ball in Test cricket is a big unknown,” Irish told Fairfax Media. “The views of the players following the Test match have to be central to any future decisions.”