What’s the story?
Former West Indies batsman and captain, cricketing legend Brian Lara has opined that draws in Test matches are not exciting and do not retain the attention of fans. Lara feels that draws should be done away with if the longest format of the game wants to receive good viewership.
“One of the complaints by an American is, ‘how can you play a game for five days and it ends up in a draw? I would like to maybe see results in every single Test match. I know 70 percent of the time the game takes its natural course and you get a result, (but) maybe find a way where you structure the game … you have 450 overs in five days, come up with some formula that can bring a win at the end of it,” he told BBC.
While thinking of ways to keep Test cricket alive, the legend also called himself a T20 supporter.
“T20 has brought a new spectator in. I’m happy (with it) – it’s three hours, well put together, and it’s a game that has to grow in other countries, in America, in big countries … I believe (it’s) a product we can take around the place. So I’m a big fan, but at the end of the day, my career was based around Test cricket and I’m very, very happy it was that way,” he added.
In case you didn’t know...
Brian Lara played 131 Tests for West Indies before announcing retirement in 2007. He holds several world records in Tests. He has the highest individual score in both first-class cricket (501 not out for Warwickshire against Durham in 1994) and Test cricket (400 not out for the West Indies against England in 2004).
The heart of the matter
Over the past few years, Test matches seem to have lost as T20 matches gave gained more popularity. Lara feels scrapping of draws can add excitement in the game. Ironically, West Indies Test cricket has suffered most with the advent of T20 cricket.
Many of the star Caribbean players opt to play in T20 leagues across the world over Tests at home.
It will be interesting to see if the decision-makers pay heed to suggestions coming from a cricketing legend himself.
If Test cricket is to have a winner in every game, it can retain the dwindling attention from fans. But at the same time, it can also be tricky to come up with a substitute for rules which have been followed for centuries in the oldest format of the game.