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11/20/2009

Making Test Cricket Testing Again

At present, the West Indies, cricketing powerhouse of the 1970s-1990s are so feeble that the Queensland state side are ahead by more than 300 runs on the first innings of their tour match. They have only 4 players who would make an Aussie state side (Sarwan, Chanderpaul, Gayle and possibly Bravo). Yet this is not the threatened 2nd tier team which would have come had disagreements between the players and sponsors not been solved. It is time for a two-tiered top level in Test cricket. Test matches are about the contest between two evenly matched teams, a true test of players' skill and resolve. The coming series of 3 tests will not tax the Australian side one iota (even if one of their best batsman (Hughes) is not playing).


Let the West Indian players develop their game against weaker sides (New Zealand, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Zimbabwe, Ireland, Australia A, England A, India A, South Africa A). At the end of each calendar year, the top side from the lower division gets promoted and the bottom side from the top division goes down (with variation possible in the number of teams in each division depending on the number of strong teams). The A teams would also be varied depending on depth and which teams are strong. This would also have the added effect of giving some meaning to the ICC Test championship table. The lower division teams would still get to play the top level teams in series of meaningless ODIs as they do now (hello Chappell-Hadlee series). Anyone from Fremantle could tell you that getting flogged every week doesn't make you a better player.

And obviously, pitches need to be prepared so that there is something in them for bowlers. Low scoring test cricket is much more exciting than games where both sides make 500 in the first innings and sporting declarations are required to make a contest.

1 comment:

Brendan Sims said...

You jinxed them. Good work!

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