Flat wickets killing the excitement of test cricket

March 4, 2009 at 1:18 pm Leave a comment


The flat wickets in the Caribbean have provided the main talking points of this week. The Test series has so far failed to produce what you would call a result wicket, can that be good for the future of test cricket?With the emergence of twentry20 cricket, for Test cricket to remain the pinnacle form of international cricket, it needs to have the appeal to attract fans for 5 days. The grounds men feel it is in their duty, and in the best interest of the cricket board, financially, to produce a wicket which will last 5 days. However, they have over compensated, producing wickets that last 5 days, but limit the chance of the fans witnessing a result, with a batting collapse, the best chance of seeing a result. From a financial point of view, it is easy to see why this kind of pitch is produced. Many England fans come over on holiday expecting to see some action, with more tickets sold if the game goes on to the final day. However, how long will fans tolerate this, going to a game that ends in a bore draw.

Cricket fans at a game want to see a competitive game between bat and ball. They don’t want to watch someone effortlessly stroll to a hundred. What they want to see is someone working for runs, playing the good balls on merit and attacking the bad balls. The wickets in the Caribbean have got flatter as the test series has gone on. The forth test showed batsman after batsman strolling to three figures as the bowlers toiled for 5 days. The test series in South Africa is exactly how a test match should be, and how a wicket should be prepared. A wicket needs to be good to bat on for the first couple of days, before it tears and allows for more swing and turn. On display there is an even battle between bat and ball and heightens the significance of winning the toss.

The ICC needs to do something to ensure that the cricket boards prepare wickets with the interest of cricket rather than financial gains. The ICC takes action if there is a great topple of wickets on any day, so why not take action if both teams rake up 600 odd each in the first innings. Cricket in the Caribbean and the sub continent have generally yielded flat wickets that have allowed players to easily boost their average. Someone like Sarwan, averages 50.49 in the Caribbean, compared to his average of just 34.81 outside the Caribbean. Also 10 of his 14 hundreds have come in the Caribbean. I’m not saying that Sarwan is a bad player, but the conditions have allowed him to show himself as a better player than he is. It has a similar affect on the England players, with Collingwood seemingly back in knick.

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Entry filed under: Cricket.

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