India likely to tilt towards day-night Tests


Day-night Test cricket could set the trend for the future of the longer version of the game and India is likely to take a plunge in that direction this season.

The Board, confirmed its secretary Anurag Thakur, was not averse to India making its debut in day-night Tests.

“We are planning to have a day-night Test in the forthcoming season. The India-New Zealand series might be the best stage for it,” Thakur said at an interaction at his office here on Thursday.

Administrators worldwide have been worried at the dwindling attendance at most Test matches in recent times. The inaugural day-night Test was played between Australia and New Zealand at Adelaide last year with a pink ball and received appreciation from both the teams.

Thakur hinted at experimenting with the pink ball in the Duleep Trophy this season. “It is an idea that has to be discussed. I would like to see one match in this season’s Duleep Trophy played with the pink ball.”

It may be mentioned that the Duleep Trophy was not part of the domestic calendar last year due to the packed schedule.

The cricket administrators have been exploring ways to protect the position of Test cricket against the growing popularity of the T20 brand.

On the next edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL), Thakur emphasised that the Board may look at alternative venues overseas for staging the tournament following the various roadblocks to its smooth conduct at home.

Concerned at the growing opposition to the IPL, with PILs being filed on various fronts, Thakur spoke his mind on the future of the tournament.

“The IPL Governing Council would be forced into a rethink on the next edition. We would have to identify the venues much in advance, seek clearances from the respective state governments and plan the schedule.

“The option of taking the IPL overseas is always there,” Thakur said.

In the past, the IPL has been held in South Africa (2009) and the United Arab Emirates (2014).

The Board, obviously, is peeved at the relentless pressure on conducting the tournament for some seasons now, the latest being the shifting of matches from Maharashtra due to drought in the state.

The Board secretary revealed that he had advised the affiliated units to look at developing water-harvesting infrastructure but was clearly unhappy at the recent developments that have put pressure on the organisers and caused loss of revenue to the franchises.

Thakur was also worried at the impact of the Lodha Committee recommendations related to curtailing advertisement by the broadcaster.

“If that happens it is bound to have a negative impact on the pension scheme for retired players. We may be forced to restructure the payment to cricketers, past and present,” said Thakur. He felt that in case of pay cuts, the players may be forced to explore avenues in foreign T20 Leagues.

Among other schemes in the offing, the Board secretary said, “We are planning to launch a commentators’ academy where players would be taught the finer points of the profession. There is a huge field waiting to be tapped in the regional languages. The success of [former Test opener] Virender Sehwag as a commentator has given us this idea and it is worth pursuing.”

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