The Crisis Of Test Cricket—Really??

62 Comments

During one of his battles with the administration, Andrew Symonds put forward the possibility of retiring from Test cricket and just concentrating on playing T20 cricket in the IPL, to which Modi rightfully let it be known that Symonds had to keep playing Test cricket in order to be eligible for IPL. However since then Symonds, whether it be through design or through unhappy circumstance has effectively finished his international cricket career leaving him to do what he wanted to do—-play in IPL. Recently Chris Gayle kept playing IPL till the last minute before joining the Test squad and then talked about moving away from Test cricket in favor of T20s, a stance from which he subsequently backed down. And now Flintoff declares he wants to retire from Test cricket to concentrate on ODI and T20s, interestingly in the season following him being bought for top dollar.

There is a reason I mention these three names.

And that is none of them are from the subcontinent.

Yet when the “first world” press and those who write for the “first world” present the “crisis of Test cricket” they present it as being caused by India, its inordinate money power and of course IPL. However they conveniently forget that it is the “first world” players who are the ones who want to jettison Test cricket for the frivolous forms of the game while a few of whom who make a big show of putting country before IPL do so because they are miffed at their selling price or because they realize they arent automatic selections in the IPL squads.

Which brings us to the “crisis of Test cricket”. In the last few days, the geniuses at the ICC have sounded the death knell.  Test cricket  could die out.  Solutions to it have been proposed . They range from the interesting, like a World Championship for Tests, to the disastrous, like making Test cricket four days, to the downright surreal, like making the cricket ball fluorescent pink, whose effect on the popularity of cricket, besides inducing Bobby Darling to watch it, I cannot imagine.

Of course all this is based on a fundamental assumption. That being that Test cricket is facing a crisis and something radical needs to be done.

As a long-time cricket fan, I can say I find that assumption thoroughly bogus.

There is no crisis.

In the mid 80s, there was. On dead lifeless pitches, sides struggled to complete an innings each. Ravi Shastri batted for five days and the Eden crowd entertained themselves by trying to hit the policemen on their helmets with fruit seeds. Batsman after batsmen played to just score runs but not to get a result.

But things changed from late 1990s. Test cricket, between the top sides,  became enormously exciting with results the norm rather than the exception. Titanic series have taken place since then and virtually all memorable cricket matches I have seen in the last ten years have been Tests.

I used the word “between the top sides” intentionally. Boring, game-killing series have taken place but invariably where the other side has been Bangladesh or Zimbabwe like the 2007 India’s tour of Bangladesh.  If there is any crisis in Test cricket, it is the continuing perpetuation of Bangladesh as a Test playing nation (since Zimbabwe has gone into exile), purely due to politics. Its not that Bangladesh cannot play interesting cricket, the recent series against a second string West Indies is proof positive that  absorbing Test cricket can involve Bangladesh. It just needs another team at their level. This is why we need a two-tier Test playing system and this is what the ICC should be looking at instead of pink balls, in my humble opinion.

So why is ICC so worried about Test cricket? Gate receipts. What they do not understand is that yes Test cricket will never be able to match ODIs and T20 in their revenue generation. That is precisely why we ought to have these bastardized versions of the game—so that the real thing may be subsidized.

It is not even that cricket administrators are facing a cash crunch so that they are forced to capitalize on everything in their bag.

Far from it.

For the true cricket lover, Test cricket in the 2000s have been the finest it has ever been with epic performances, attractive cricket and drama in the finest traditions of the sport, as opposed to flying skirts and the “watch the white ball fly” joys of T20. So why tamper with something that is working so well in a major way and totally destroy the history, the tradition and everything that makes Test cricket what it is?

Why? Oh why?

Which ignoramus would expect a classical music concert to compete with a big ticket pop artist when it comes to filling up a stadium? Which ignoramus would expect Ravi Shankar to smash his sitar after the end of the concert or expect a Carnatic music exponent to get people headbanging? Which ignoramus would ask a Bharatnatyam dancer to show more leg in order to compete with an item song program?

Wait. I know. The ICC.  They would just ask the legendary Pandit Bhimshen Joshi to have laser lighting and backup dancers so that he would sell out Wembley and be as “successful” as Himesh.

Sick.

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62 thoughts on “The Crisis Of Test Cricket—Really??

  1. Recent Ashes test and Pak-SL reiterates the viability of test matches. No limited overs match can provide the kind of twist and turns. After all, it is the real “test” of cricketing acumen!

  2. Well written. Add Scott Styris to the list of First World retirees from the real thing.
    It was ironical that just a few days after doomsday was declared by the ICC, we were witness to one of the finest rearguard action in Test cricket in the past few years. And yes, if the stupid four day Tests idea had been implemented, we could never have had the privilege to see it.

  3. “That is precisely why we ought to have these bastardized versions of the game—so that the real thing may be subsidized”

    Except that the subsidy may not continue for ever. If Lalit Modi has his way, he will expand the IPL to nine months a year (same as EPL) and get rid of these bilateral Test series which no one watches. And you can’t blame him either. As he told the MCC committee, he is just following the market. If Test cricket wants to survive, it should find a way of standing on its own legs rather than depending on subsidy from Indian money. Bhimsen Joshi doesn’t expect Himesh Reshamiyya to subsidize his concerts. Same should happen with different forms of cricket. Let them operate as independent businesses and compete with each other for fans, cricketers, etc.

  4. Agreed. But with one slight variation. Even today(as in the last 10 years too) dead lifeless pitches are killing a lot of matches even when contested by “top teams”

    A few years ago I would’ve said the main culprits are the dry subcontinental pitches but now its a chronic condition everywhere.

  5. “making the cricket ball fluorescent pink, whose effect on the popularity of cricket, besides inducing Bobby Darling to watch it, I cannot imagine.”

    Haha, priceless!

  6. Nice one, the two-tier system sounds good, just that the record pursuers may miss the minnows especially when they are closer to the record or out of form or both..

    I also completely agree with the test matches on dead pitches when i started watching cricket. that is not the case anymore, its like the ATP worrying about speeding up the game of Tennis more than a decade ago when it was widely felt that the game was in no danger what so ever..

    I guess they can strongly consider hosting a Test championship that runs for an year or more putting aside the regular calendar, its more like the League games V the Cup games and we know which is more popular..

  7. Add to that the fact that almost all players in subcontinent/India, even the ones who are super-successful in T20 like Yuvraj Singh consider playing in the test team the ultimate goal and achievement. That’s how important tests are to them! I don’t see that desire in the England or WI. Australia, though is an exception. They revere the test cap. Symonds is an exception.

  8. Agree completely. Test matches between top sides in the last few years have been absorbing and better than any white ball cricket.

    A Fast bowler like Bret Lee in his whites on the first morning of a test steaming in with the red cherry is definitely a sight to watch compared to any sex oops six that yuvaraj might hit in the IPL.

    Even I don’t understand how can they compare gate receipts from the two events. But your examples just put things into crystal clear perspective. Now just find someone to show this to the ICC bosses.

    PS. With regards to the top guns retiring, I think for every player playing in the International side, there are a 100 others who are ready to step up and take their position. So let every person choose what he wants to do.

  9. @Mohan: “Bhimsen Joshi doesn’t expect Himesh Reshamiyya to subsidize his concerts. Same should happen with different forms of cricket. Let them operate as independent businesses and compete with each other for fans, cricketers, etc.”

    Except for cricket and soccer, almost every other sport in India survives on sarkari subsidies. Should we shut down the shutters of all other sport federations coz they can’t operate as independent businesses?

  10. Greatbong,

    Apart from Tests in England and Australia, and only just for the Ashes (maybe SA) I do think Test Cricket is in danger. If you look at broadcasts of Test Cricket from other countries, more often than not you will see many empty stands:



    I think if the data can be found the average test attendance is decreasing over the years.

    Some solutions of course make no sense, like 4-day tests. Tests under lights many not be a bad idea since that will allow people to catch a session or two after work. A two-tier regime could also be welcome but with promotion and relegation between the tiers.

  11. Its probably the old MCG crowd (read ‘budhau’) feeling they are not getting enough credit for their past achievements. So they have to invent this crisis to get some attention.

  12. Arnab, it sounds like you are ok with the idea of Test cricket catering to a niche market, if you will, of cricket while 20-20 (and maybe ODIs) serves the mass market for cricket. But that is not exactly how many others including the ICC and national boards are (apparently) viewing it. Which is why there are clauses like a 2 year ban from playing in 20-20 after a player retires from test cricket – because Test cricket must apparently be protected from being ‘poached on’ by 20-20 in any way; it is not acceptable for a player like Symonds who could still play more tests to announce that he wants to chuck that and play 20-20 only. If he had never been ‘good enough’ to be selected for test cricket in the first place, then no one would care I suppose. He (or those others) actually voicing a preference for 20-20 is treated like blasphemy.
    .
    And while it may be easy for a Test cricket lover to say that 20-20 should ‘subsidize’ test cricket, it may or may not make complete sense from a profit maximizing commercial sense. After all, what is the optimal level of this ‘subsidy’? 2 month 20-20 season and rest test season? Or 6 month 20-20 and 6 month test season? Or 9 month 20-20 and 3 month test season? Any spectator dependent business would seek to maximize the run of its most popular product, and that in this case is 20-20. Only the leftover is likely to will go to test cricket, once the people have had enough of 20-20 (after all they may not be enough viewer interest for a profitable 12 month 20-20 run). That leftover is already not enough for the purists, and that when 20-20 seems to have artificial curbs on it like that of the 2-year ban you’ve linked to and that I talked about above. If indeed just having 2-tiers of test teams will solve this ‘problem’ optimally and forever, well I would be personally satisfied (as I like test cricket).
    .
    And I think the comparison of the current situation of Test cricket with that of Classical music is not a good one. Is it really that simple? There is no single body analogous to the ICC that produces pop songs to generate big money to ‘subsidize’ Classical music. Those two are separate markets and the performers (and even administration/management) do not overlap in any meaningful sense. Not so in Test cricket currently. This whole discussion is partly because many of the same players that play 20-20 also play tests. Ultimately, we seem headed for a situation where test cricket and 20-20 will end up competing for some (if not much) of the same cricketers’ man-days. How often does something similar happen between Classical and pop music? Many cricketers could choose to focus predominantly on one form (Tests or 20-20) – but how many musicians are there who could succeed in both pop music and Classical depending on what they choose to focus on? That is why the disparity in remuneration in different music genres is not really a factor for any individual musician as far as what he chooses – but in cricket the situation is not the same. The remuneration is a factor in how much time one may want to play the different forms of the game. And that seems an unacceptable situation to many people who like Test cricket – whether they just watch it or are involved in the game in any capacity.

  13. Mohan puts it well: “Bhimsen Joshi doesn’t expect Himesh Reshamiyya to subsidize his concerts. Same should happen with different forms of cricket. Let them operate as independent businesses and compete with each other for fans, cricketers, etc.”

  14. GreatBong,

    Very aptly written…. Test cricket has been really absorbing these days … But then don’t you think lifeless pitches is taking out the charm out of 5 days of intrigue and drama….

    The recent test matches between West-Indies and England and the run fest between Sri Lanka and Pakistan was boring to say the least… Rather than having a centralized team to improve pitches that suits Test Cricket or to have a two-tier test playing system that would have teams like Ireland and Netherlands thrown in to the fray alongwith a couple of current test playing nations…..

  15. GreatBong,

    You chose a topic that is so close to my heart. Well said as always and that touch of humour and sarcasm – your famous traits elevate this piece to the highest.

    I tried imagining Ravi Shankar blasting his Sitar and Bhimsen Joshi live at Wembley with background dancers!!
    I simply can’t, just as I cannot see Dravid going slam bang in test cricket or Laxman slogging it off.

    Dravid has to play in for a minimum 6 hours, Laxman has to set in to play those blissful offside drives or the inside-out shots and Sachin the master must pace his innings steadily with lovely straight and cover drives.

    McGrath must bowl 30 overs relentlessy w/o missing his line between middle and off! Warne and Murali must continue their wizardry.

    There must be a continuing battle between the ball and the bat and there must be play for 5 whole days to experience the suspense!

    Test cricket offers the best that no T20 and ODIs can match. There is so much more to put in but I think I’ll reserve it for a post on my blog!

    Well written!!! I hope the ICC reads this and picks up the relevant stuff and does not plan the Wembley concert with Bhimsen joshi and Himesh!:-)

    Cheers!

  16. You chose a topic that is so close to my heart. Well said as always and that touch of humour and sarcasm – your famous traits elevate this piece to the highest.

    I tried imagining Ravi Shankar blasting his Sitar and Bhimsen Joshi live at Wembley with background dancers!!
    I simply can’t, just as I cannot see Dravid going slam bang in test cricket or Laxman slogging it off.

    Dravid has to play in for a minimum 6 hours, Laxman has to set in to play those blissful offside drives or the inside-out shots and Sachin the master must pace his innings steadily with lovely straight and cover drives.

    McGrath must bowl 30 overs relentlessly w/o missing his line between middle and off! Warne and Murali must continue their wizardry.

    There must be a continuing battle between the ball and the bat and there must be play for 5 whole days to experience the suspense!

    Test cricket offers the best that no T20 and ODIs can match. There is so much more to put in but I think I’ll reserve it for a post on my blog!

    Well written!!! I hope the ICC reads this and picks up the relevant stuff and does not plan the Wembley concert with Bhimsen joshi and Himesh!:-)

    Cheers

  17. @ mohan: the issue is, bhimsen joshi and himesh are artistes that look after themselves and earn their own money – they are not supposed to be cared for and nurtured by a parent body. If they were, wouldn’t it be the parent body’s duty to see to it that the art that bhimsen joshi produces is not lost, and wouldn’t they then use receipts from a himesh concert to prop up a joshi concert?
    i think gb’s comparison with classical versus pop music is valid – at any rate, it struck a chord with me!

  18. i thoughted that he is a good persun and his name telling that he is shiney persun. All pepuls are spradening baddy things about him. No oned talkied about shakeete kapeur and guldshand geiver. Why?
    is it urdu ?
    It is engleesh. I am not haved urdu kebard.
    boss don’t ki*ll me with your english !
    how i killing you with simpule engleesh? are you goned maddy ? to killed you need guned, kniefe, hamur, stoned. howe simpule engleesh killed you?
    From wer did u get this language…did u learn this kind from mohan-jo-daro excavations !!!
    hi nishant, I am leurning engleesh from my vidaya paeith school. I am learned up untill 15 standurd with engleesh as 3rd laeunge. I knoew i have to impreve on it. but it is bettar now.
    Pleeze nobodie cannot respect Halaku avaru. Why maked funny noises from buttun of kibroad. If kannot undertstnding, why maked tum tum?

  19. esbee: It is government’s wish if they want to subsidize some sports in the coutnry. But a private body like BCCI has no obligation to subsidize loss making forms of cricket all over the world, when they can better utilise that time by giving the people the form of cricket that they want.

    debashish: agree entirely.

    saurabh: I don’t think it is anyone’s obligation to ensure that Test cricket is not lost, certainly not a private body like bcci’s. And artificially sustaining something is not going to work for long anyway. If Test cricket has a market (I am sure it does), let it scale itself down to a level to suit that market. It won’t be able to compete with IPL/T20 when it comes to attracting top talent, but that doesn’t mean it won’t get any quality cricketers at all. Just as classical music and classical dance still get talented singers and dancers despite the huge money available for bollywood singers/dancers. But that has to happen in a fair competitive environment. You can’t impose restrictions on the popular format as is being done currently, just so that Test cricket can survive. Just as you don’t say Himesh should sing bollywood songs for only 2 months a year and rest of the year he should be giving classical concerts, otherwise that art will die out.

  20. Can’t agree with you more, rather than suggesting foolish things like reducing the 5 day test matches to 4, more feasible is the option of the 2 tier system which surpirsingly has always been talked abt, but not yet implemented.

    Can you get tho priceless moments of an australian collapse in the post tea session of the 5th day a ala Eden 2004, or the recent fightback by monty and anderson, if not for the 5th day..

    finally A totally unrelated thing to this post: Mithun Bhakths out here, in case interested, can read my 15 minutes of fame(literally) with OUR GOD- MITHUNDA
    @ http://maskasjhatkaas.com/2009/07/15/mithunda-gives-darshan-to-maska/ . It is for real and not a fantasy…

  21. Well written Arnab – and very timely!!

    The point you make about none of the naysayers of Test Cricket (who matter anyway) are from the subcontinent is very interesting – and i suppose attributable to the fact that it is the sub-continent where cricket continues to be a religion. Therefore, ANY form of cricket there is appreciated, and well attended.

    Not so, maybe in countries such as England, SAF or maybe even Australia. The audiences in these countries are dwindling by the match – and when the Flintoffs of the world compare themselves with the footballers of the country, they even feel shortchanged financially!

    So where does that leave them?? In a place where they are happy to junk Test Cricket in the favor of the IPL masala (which i am a big fan of btw); and leave it to the highbrowed commentators of the game to squarely put the blame on India & IPL..

    PS – Not sure you managed to catch the point made by some of the UK media saying that there are VERY few interesting Test Match rivalries left in the world – maybe only the Ashes!!!

  22. You speak my mind. A tier system ( smthing similar to our Ranji , organized better ) would do wonders and make teams fight for prestige. But a series like Ashes which has (why) to be played every two years will ruin it, since every nation will have to stick to the same number of games. Take away T20 from the international scene..stick to bikini cricket to leagues. The boards will surely find their purses better filled hosting tests.My mind goes out to the poor players and i wont be surprised if careers are cut short by 4-5 years now.

    – added you on facebook, Rahul Krishnan

  23. @Anubhav:

    You say:

    “The point you make about none of the naysayers of Test Cricket (who matter anyway) are from the subcontinent is very interesting – and i suppose attributable to the fact that it is the sub-continent where cricket continues to be a religion. Therefore, ANY form of cricket there is appreciated, and well attended.

    Not so, maybe in countries such as England, SAF or maybe even Australia. The audiences in these countries are dwindling by the match – and when the Flintoffs of the world compare themselves with the footballers of the country, they even feel shortchanged financially!”

    However for most of the tests in India you see empty stands. I don’t buy the assertion that Test Cricket is very popular in India. The only test matches in the recent past that I have seen have many spectators are the Ashes, India V Aus, and Aus v RSA (atleast in Aus)

  24. BTW when packer happened in 1978, did any of the Indians joined him? I don’t think so.
    Who did Gora saab’s blame them for the crisis of cricket?

  25. Anybody who thinks test cricket is boring should’ve watched the final moments of the first Ashes test… the look on Collingwood n Ponting’s face were worth a million dollars….

  26. The Fact that Non subcontinental players are retiring from Test Cricket in favor of shorter versions of the game is a good Catch. Nice Post Great Bong….I couldn’t stop laughing on the imagination of Ravi Shankar Smashing his Sitar after the performance…..Kudos

  27. Good Post.I feel the same.The current Ashes series is going to be another great exibition of the game. Do we ever rememeber what happened in those 20-20 and 50 over games after a few days?

  28. GB, you have summed it up aptly as always!
    losing interest in cricket these days.. kind of has a circus kind of feel to it now…anyways can we have some movie review from the latest disasters please?

  29. Savita Bhaabi, your emotional state is understandable, but Pakistan and the West Indies did join the circus back in the day, so it is not so much about gora or kaala as it was/is about green.

    GB’s point when he takes on the perpetually frowning cricket press (and former cricketers) in England and Australia is well made. However, one reason why we do not see Indian cricketers attempt similar moves could be because they know BCCI is pretty ruthless.

  30. Completely agree with you. Test Cricket has been so much more exciting in the recent past and I have seen some great tussles. Twenty20 Test Cricket with two innings is blasphemous to the game. Test Cricket is a man’s game, with great legacy behind it and shouldnt be let to fade away.

  31. Not to harp on it, but it makes much more commercial sense for India’s cricketers to be part of the ‘establishment’ teams and being good boys. Big Pakistani names signing up with ICL shows that the dynamics of the game are not the same as in this country. There is a lot of endorsement potential in India that comes with being part of the national set up, which is only possible with BCCI blessings.

  32. There is a very real crisis in test cricket insofar as the game’s governing body thinks there is. Thats the problem. If the governing bodies of the game get caught up in T20 fever and forget about test cricket, then we have a crisis, no matter how high the quality of test cricket.

  33. Excellently written! I completely agree with your thoughts. I still remember the days of yore, when we had 6 days of a test(including the crappy ‘rest day’,which I think was more beneficial to the spectators and viewers, to help break the monotony and boredom, than a Ravi Shastri or Geoff Boycott who were anyways resting, be it on field or in the dressing rooms).

    And I think the chapter the heralded the ‘new age’ of test cricket was that fabulous India-Australia ‘Very Very Special’ 2001 series. Since then, test cricket has never looked back, and it would be sad if the ICC were to resort to gimmickry, to ‘pseudo-salvage’ what’s been a tradition.

    And if it were to have pink balls, why not go a couple of steps further and award 100 runs to the team that has all clean shaven faces, manicured nails and hourglass figures. Bobby Darling would then be the new Sachin Tendulkar.

  34. I think we have the Aussies to thank for ensuring the revival of test cricket from the bog it got into in the 80’s. Ever since Waugh, Gilchrist and then Ponting’s team went on a record-breaking spree of consecutive test wins (only to be broken by the Indians on both occasions) the interest of the common spectator in test cricket has soared.

  35. The biggest crisis that test cricket is facing is not the dwindling cash collections. Its the growing trend amongst modern players to shun it and play(or prolong) thier T20/ODI careers.That today’s players find test matches disposable is the real concern. The players of yesteryears acknoledged test cricket as ‘the real’ cricket, and always wanted to play and prove themselves. The current cricketers, have no such ideas. Besides, the future players during their formative years are getting raised purely on slam bang 20-20. Which will anyway hamper their ‘test’ability.Tests of future will have ‘lesser’ players, having even lesser willingness to play them. This will jeopardise the existence of test matches, and not the bovine ICC.

  36. My idea was gate receipts form a very nominal percentage of the entire revenue collected with the real moolah coming from the sponsors. So how can lack of audience turn-up sound the death bell for Test Cricket?
    ” like making the cricket ball fluorescent pink, whose effect on the popularity of cricket, besides inducing Bobby Darling to watch it, I cannot imagine.”

    Priceless.

  37. ‘Test’ cricket is real ‘Test’ Of a cricketes in now it as an acid ‘Test’ For ICC to make ‘Test’ cricket more populer.

  38. @Mohan: Any links to support the claim that tv ratings of test match cricket is as low as the gate receipts? I do remember reading during Ind-Aus test series (in aus, 2008-9) that the ad rates for the adelaide were one of the highest ever. will try and track down the link. also,recent ind-nz series supposedly generated more revenue than the world cup rugby they hosted. dont know the exact amount, but hunch is that the two t20s held werent that responsible for all the moolah.

  39. @mohan: afterthought; if tv ratings of test match cricket were that low, then private bodies like espn will not be interested in buying broadcast rights, just like they are not so interested in showing ranji matches.

  40. liberal: http://www.indiantelevision.com/tvr/telemeter/indexteltam.php4 has the tv ratings for last 10 years or so. You can go back and check the ratings for any Test match featuring India. Most of them don’t even show up on the list there (it only has Top 100 programs for every week) – which means tv ratings for most Test match sessions are less than 1.0. Whereas a typical odi will have a rating in the range 4-5 and the two IPL seasons had an average rating of 4.8 and 4.6 respectively for all 60 matches.

    My favourite is the 2008 Perth Test. India was on the verge of a famous win, it was a national holiday, match started at a convenient 8am India time. Yet, not a single session of the final day managed to break into Top 100 for that week. Even the RD parade a week later at, same day, same time, managed a TRP of 2.0.

  41. liberal: as for broadcasters not buying the rights, they don’t buy rights on a match-by-match basis. They buy the rights from host boards for a 4 year period and all the matches hosted by that particular board are bundled together. So ESPN-Star have the rights for all matches played in Australia, NZ and England for 4 year period, Ten Sports has for WI, SL, Pak, Neo has for India and so on. They buy mostly for the odi’s and Test matches are just thrown in.

  42. Mohan: If that was the case, then just like the odd ranji matches shown, there would be no ads. there are ads after every over almost going into the runup of the first ball of next over. Clearly isnt all that revenue?

  43. liberal: but do we know how much those ads go for in comparison to odi’s? TRP’s are there in the link I provided and you can check for yourself.

  44. Mohan: couldnt come across any exhaustive data on that except: http://www.thehindubusinessline.com/2004/10/06/stories/2004100601420700.htm
    that is from a 2004 article. Things surely would have changed since then; for the better or worse, no idea.
    “The spot rates for the Test matches range between Rs 40,000 and Rs 50,000 for 10-second slots. Spot deals for the lone one-day international were initially pegged between Rs 75,000 and Rs l lakh for 10 seconds”. Doesnt sound as abysmal as naysayers of test match cricket point it out to be. I am not saying hence it should be protected or not, since i agree with business aspect of it. But at the same time cant be quick to assume that it is very low profit making or loss making enterprise.

  45. liberal: Here is more recent data:
    http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/Broadcaster_hikes_spot_rates_for_Perth_Test/articleshow/2687923.cms
    Tests – 2008 Aus series – Rs. 50k per 10 second (increased by 30% just for Perth Test because of the increased interest due to monkey-gate)

    http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/News/News_By_Industry/Media__Entertainment_/Media/Nimbus_begins_hard-selling_India-Lanka_series/articleshow/4013920.cms
    ODIs – 2009 series in SL – Rs. 2.25-2.75 lakh per 10 second

    That is, odi rate = ~4-5 times that of Tests. That is consistent with the TRP ratings too. It is not surprising because most of the tv industry runs on trp’s. Nowadays, some deals are even structured based on cost per rating point rather than specifying the absolute cost.

  46. theres a hell lot of bias in your analysis. Your Symonds link doesnt work, but yeah Flintoff and Gayle seem to be swayed by the money. But what gives you the right to generalize it as a First World moral? 3 cricketers from countries a thousand miles apart and you conveniently club them as 1st world? Tbh if you think about it, its pretty stupid to club a West Indian cricketer in a 1st World group. They are not a 1st world country in any respect.

    The way Lalit Modi has gone about the IPL has been despicable and his (and hence India’s) attitude has always been arrogant about its clout. Hence thats why the “First world” press flails it. There is no bias or racism in that. Australia is probably equally passionate abt cricket and if they had tried to bulldoze the world with their domestic league, you would be the first to cry foul about it.

    I really think we Indians should get over this whole First world- Third world divide. Rise above it. We gain nothing from this inferiority complex.

  47. Maybe you should have taken cognizance of Murali’s age in terms of years played in comparison to that of Flintoff/Symonds/Gayle before you accuse me of “stupid” (which is why he wants to retire in a phased manner). And if you note Murali just wants to play till 2011 World Cup (since a World Cup is a landmark for any player) and then totally retire unlike say Flintoff who wants to indefinitely play T20/ODIs. Pity your argument has to be littered with such pejorative adjectives.

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