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  #1  
Old February 17, 2009, 01:40 PM
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Default Test modernization

Test cricket needs to change. I know this is blasphemy to those who call themselves cricket purists but it does. And below I make my case. This post is half serious and half wishful thinking so please take it with a grain of salt as you read it. I am interested in what other ideas there are out there.

If you are an above mentioned purist and fear/disapprove change, I acknowledge that and respectfully agree to disagree with you.

Questions to address:
1. Should the current bi-lateral FTP continue on? No. There needs to be a tournament of some sort in a shorter duration than 6 years
2. Should other nations be granted test status or should test cricket be limited? Other countries should be granted status if the popularity is generated and financially it is sustainable. However, there needs to be tiered league system with relegation and promotion to insure competitiveness and for each match to mean something.
3. Are draws acceptable: I’m not fully sure on this but forcing a result is necessary. If there is to be a championship, you need to have a clear winner. Unless there is a viable point system to distinguish between draws due to weather or saving the match, I’m sticking with results are mandatory.
4. Should the duration stay at 5 days? I’m gonna suggest a four day game here. You can read the details below

Now lets consider the following items before complete disregarding this. Test cricket went from being an eight ball an over played indefinitely till a result was reach to the format we know it now as it is today. Follow ons and declarations were all introduced at later stages. It started with Australia and England and has grown now to 9 (10 including ZIM) with no other country realistically making a case to be included into this elite group. Even BAN, ZIM in their current status and NZ can hardly call themselves elite when comparing themselves to the rest. WI with the exception of the current series with ENG has not displayed ‘elite’ qualities in well over a decade.
Based on the above, here my suggestions:

New Rules :

• 4 day game with 80 overs to be bowled each day
• Each team has two innings with 80 overs each to bat
• If the team batting first (T1) is all out prior to the 80 overs, the remaining overs will be added to the T2 first innings
• If T1 is not all out after 80 overs, they have the option to continue on but it will be at the option of reducing the additional overs batted from their 2nd innings
• For T2 first innings, all out in less than 80 overs lets T1 get the additional overs in their 2nd innings and if T2 continues beyond 80 over in the first innings, it will be at the expense of their 2nd innings
• A team can declare prior to their 80 overs in their first innings in exchange for the remaining overs in their 2nd innings. (the risk is that you lose the remaining wickets that could have scored additional runs at a gamble that the top order will be better in the 2nd innings and will need the overs)
• Follow on will apply based on 120 run differential (1.50 an over difference in run rate based on 80 overs)
• ODI style Wide and Noball rules to prevent unnecessary dot balls
• Total number of overs to be shared by 4 bowlers. So the 80 overs will cap a 20 over limit per bowler. If the batting team continues beyond the 80 overs then the bowling captain has free reign to bowl whoever he wants for however long he wants
• Weather/Bad Light will be the only draw factor besides ofcourse a tie

Tournament structure ( I mentioned this in a embrace T20 thread earlier)

• Tournament in a league format and tier based
• Teams ranked 1 to 5 in Tier 1 and 6 to 10 (KEN can replace ZIM temporarily) in Tier 2. Tier 3 and 4 and so on can be created if the format catches on
• Each team in the tier plays each other home and away in 3 test series’. That’s 24 tests in two years (12 home, 12 abroad).
• The champion in Tier 2 is automatically promoted to tier 1 and #5 from tier 2 is automatically dropped to Tier 2 for the next championship
• Top two teams in Tier 1 play each other in a 5 test series with the top team getting home advantage for the ultimate title
• The 4th position team in Tier 1 will then battle the 2nd place in Tier 2 to fight off relegation.
• The same will happen for bottom position Tier 2 teams if a Tier 3 comes into play

If ENG/AUS want to add Ashes or if IND/PAK want a series and they are not in the same tier, they can schedule it but those matches will be outside of the tournament.

Cosmetic Changes

• Day/Night games for higher audienceship (TV and stadium)
• Colored clothing or Jerseys
• Ball to suit the above two conditions

I believe this will create matches are more competitive, meaningful and profitable. The four day factor reduces the workload, the teams get equal number of matches against each other home and away and there will be results.

This will have the following benefits

• Let teams plan out their schedules and domestic leagues properly.
• Each match and series will become more meaningful
• Matches will be more competitive
• Tours will be easier to manage for the various boards
• Countries won’t refuse to play each other for financial reasons
• No one team will have to prolonged periods without playing tests (see NZ, PAK, BAN in recent years)

So there you go. Let the arguements begin…….
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  #2  
Old February 17, 2009, 02:51 PM
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"Grain of salt" did it for me.

I conclude: You are a Brian Lara fan and are out there to protect his 400* run record. AND you don't like Ashraful, cause you don't want to let him break that record. lol. Grain of salt it is.

+++
4 days was understandable for me. Championship thing was good to make out a clearcut supreme team. But limiting 80 overs per innings was "onedaying" the test somewhat. By the way, why don't you like the current test (point) ranking system?

I like the 2 tier system. Cause I know in near future BD will be in the Tier 1 and will say, "take that, you bullies". The problem with scheduling inter-tier series arises when Boards fails to negociate and compromise. If the schedule conflicts with the ashes do you think respective boards would want to play Bangladesh at that time? (say England is in 2nd Tier)
Quote:
Countries won’t refuse to play each other for financial reasons
Countries will always find another way to generate money and not tour certain countries. May be that will kill the test all together. In that case, you would be known as the "test killer".
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  #3  
Old February 17, 2009, 03:03 PM
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I think we need to re-engineer the Business Process first before trying to modernize the flawed process. Because we all know with a flawed process, and unreliable information, minimum governance, and unsustainable infrastructure, modernization effort is bound to fail.

We need to bring the appropriate SME to streamline the process first. Then we need to identify reusable and components. Moreover we need to invest on sustainable infrastructure first. And that takes us to SOA. And we all know to implement a successful and matured SOA, a matured and well-defined SOA Governance is must. Otherwise it will be back to square one, with more confusion and complexity.
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  #4  
Old February 17, 2009, 03:08 PM
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N offense to Rayman-da, but cliffnotes plz!
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  #5  
Old February 17, 2009, 03:18 PM
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So this is a longer version of one-day cricket?
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  #6  
Old February 17, 2009, 04:17 PM
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I read an article in Cricinfo a few weeks ago that proposed similar outlines that Raynman is proposing here. I am also taking it with a grain of salt. However, nothing can be ruled out for the future. The game itself is evolving and nobody knows what future holds. Everything you said may become norm in twenty years. The trend itself is pointing to that direction.

Good read.
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  #7  
Old February 17, 2009, 04:32 PM
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Never mind, I read parts of it and it seemed really interesting. One day I will finish this Leo Tolstoy.
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  #8  
Old February 17, 2009, 05:37 PM
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Good.
Present Test cricket is not commercially attractive. My wife often asks how many matches are being played after 3rd day.
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  #9  
Old February 17, 2009, 05:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tigers_eye
"
I conclude: You are a Brian Lara fan and are out there to protect his 400* run record. AND you don't like Ashraful, cause you don't want to let him break that record. lol. Grain of salt it is. ".
LOL, you got me.

I just think the only way for Test cricket to continue to move on and become exciting to the masses is to modernize. These are just my suggestions. I'm open to other ideas.

The current structure is not working. Most test series' are meaningless to those not involved. I want to see an end to the two test series. And with bilateral series' you can not grow test cricket. It will always remain centered to the few. Even SL a world champion plays only two tests against AUS. NZ gave up on it for a full year to focus on the 2007 world cup.

As far as Ashes go its up to AUS and ENG to work it out outside of this championship. ICC needs to be stronger in their approach with the individual boards. I'm suggesting a two year period where the league takes place and then a special series for the championshp and relegation. Those special series' can take place within that window of six months. I'm saying target a championship every 2.5 years.
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  #10  
Old February 17, 2009, 06:11 PM
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If one of the rules come into play, ash actually has 160 overs to get 401 = 2.501 runs an over.
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  #11  
Old February 21, 2009, 05:11 AM
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Test cricket is not going to change anytime in near future. Atleast the inventors of TC won't allow hat to happen. That's probably all different versions of cricket is showing up. More over there will always be a group of passionate viewers of test ricket, however small they get.

Minimum over per day is 90 overs at the moment
Two tier is a very viable option with movements between tiers through play offs, I would like that.

Cosmetic changes, like playing at night may not be a viable option at the moment, as it is played with different color of ball, which might be difficult to spot at night. The durability of white ball isn't good enough to last for 80 overs, the orange ball under trial is said to be more durable than the white one, lets see if that is good enough for test. But using flood light if necessary, is already there.

Wouldn't like to see too many restrictions on the playing conditions of test matches, as it will tend to become like five consecutive ODI matches, the freedom that test matches offer to display their skills, is one of the biggest point of attractions, of test cricket. Better left alone except just to attain more precision of decisions using the tech as is feasible.
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  #12  
Old February 21, 2009, 05:26 AM
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Hmm. Those are some pretty interesting ideas, but I think it would be a major putoff for many people. I think it needs to change gradually for it to still have its effects. One of the reasons that I cannot agree much with the 80 over limit that you set is that in tests, the teams are being tested of everything. Their patience/ determination/ skills. I think that would be limited in a shorter version of it. To be honest, I'd love a 5 day test match with only 1 innings. That way, the patience and determination would be really tested (although probably will kill the player). For 1, I still think tests are too short in that most of them turns out to be a draw or are declared. I would love to see all teams BATTLE until they get all the other teams players out, even if its impossible.

I'd like a test match without limits. Bat all you can, as long as it takes you. No 5 day limit, no declaration. You MUST bat, or get out. That would really test a player as I believe no player will intentionally try to get out.

It was a good read, I just dont think tests should be shortened then it already is.
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  #13  
Old February 21, 2009, 05:30 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bangla-red
If one of the rules come into play, ash actually has 160 overs to get 401 = 2.501 runs an over.
So Ashraful is going to be the only one with the strike for 160 overs? Maybe at a rate of 5 per over...

Raynman, limited over (80 per innings) isn't gonna work if one team get all out in 70 overs in both innings. I think test cricket is beautiful the way it is...u wudn't say otherwise if u saw the SA-Aus series recently. And draws like the one WI had recently makes it all the more exciting.

Maybe there shud be some restrictions on grounds to make their pitches more bowler-friendly. If survival isn't as easy as just forward defense with a dead bat, things wud get more interesting. I find batsman ducking for dear life much more interesting than a four. The boundaries are only good when they are hard-earned. You don't always need a definite result to enjoy a match, as long as it is competitive..
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  #14  
Old February 21, 2009, 09:39 PM
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I was really hoping this thread was going spark some new innovative ideas for discussion and not just support/criticism of what I posted
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  #15  
Old February 22, 2009, 01:07 AM
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Good ideas.....looks like you are a good thinker. But fact is, cricket is not going to change so much in even a century...but lets hope...
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Old February 22, 2009, 06:28 AM
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You can hardly come up with innovative ideas, in favor of changing it. Too much innovation will make it something else, than Test cricket.
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Last edited by BANFAN; February 23, 2009 at 05:46 AM..
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  #17  
Old February 22, 2009, 06:53 AM
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Aren't you the guy that opened the "Bangladesh should embrace twenty20" thread? Pfft...figures.
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  #18  
Old February 22, 2009, 08:30 AM
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Test cricket should remain unchanged, but how results are interpreted should be changed. Currently a drawn match counts as a "nothing" match when it comes to deciding a series. Points could be introduced to decide series results instead. In a result bearing match, the winner will get 5 points, the defeated team none. Either team can get max. 5 bonus points, which may be awarded on scale of runs per wicket * run rate, given minimum 200 overs of cricket takes place. The distribution of bonus point can be like this:


-------------------
RPW * RR | Points
-------------------
80 | 2
120 | 3
160 | 4
200 | 5
-------------------
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Old February 23, 2009, 11:19 AM
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basically your proposal is creating a 4-day long ODI...

but i do agree with some of your other proposals. i do not support relegation/promotion at Test level, only promotion. no sport has members being relegated promoted in the proper league. its OK for associates seeking ODI status, and even then i disagree.

This is my idea:

Have 12 Test teams:

India
South Africa
Australia
England
Pakistan
West Indies
New Zealand
Sri Lanka
Bangladesh
Ireland
Zimbabwe
12th ranked team (2nd ranked associate from ICC intercontinental Cup)

The FTP should be edited to create a 2-year cycle which culminates in the crowning of a Test champion. The ICC can also retain the current Test rankings tables, but the Test champion wouldn't necessarily be the team ranked # 1.

So the 12 Test teams should play each other, home and away series, in each 2 year cycle. They can be divided into 2 groups of 6 teams or 4 groups of 3 teams even. In the 6-team format, each team would play the other 5 teams in 2 seperate series, home and away. Thats 5 series/year which is a reasonable amount, not too much, not too little.

Each series should be a minimum of 3 Tests. The Ashes can still be retained as 5 Tests, to keep BCCI appeased, India can play 4 Test series with England/Australia/South Africa and so can the other "icon" series.

To keep the standings fair then, the only thing that should count are either points, or number of series wins.

Now the two 6 team divisions should be split the following way each cycle to ensure a healthy variation.

Division A

# 1 ranked team
# 12 ranked team
# 6 ranked team
# 7 ranked team
# 4 ranked team
# 9 ranked team

Division B

# 2 ranked team
# 3 ranked team
# 5 ranked team
# 8 ranked team
# 10 ranked team
# 11 ranked team

After the cycle is complete, each team will have played 10 complete series (though not necessarily the same number of matches due to "icon" series and wash-outs). The standings can either be decided on the basis of series win/loss/draw ratio or a scoring system.

A possible scoring system could be, 10* [(runs scored/wickets lost)/(runs conceded/wickets taken)] and used on a match-by-match basis. This ensures that even dead rubbers and drawn tests retain some value.

At the end of the cycle, there can be a play-off series, where the top 4 teams from each division enter the play offs as a single Super Eight division. Each team will play the other 4 teams in the opposite division, 2 series at home and 2 away. Again, a points system can accurately negate dead rubbers and drawn series. At the end, the top 2 teams enter a Final Test series, where the winner of series (by points in case of a drawn series) is crowned as Champion for the next 2 years. There can also be a 3rd place play-off series before hand.
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Old February 23, 2009, 11:33 AM
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Please consider the following factors:

I based my suggestions on the notion that there needs to be a result. A championship should be based on all teams playing equal number of games.

With maintaining the current method of teams touring each other the way they do today, there is barely enough time to accomodate all home and away series' in a 6 year period. Today, many of the series are meaningless and as pointed out even countries like NZ and SL are playing two test series.
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Old February 23, 2009, 11:55 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Raynman
Please consider the following factors:

I based my suggestions on the notion that there needs to be a result. A championship should be based on all teams playing equal number of games.

With maintaining the current method of teams touring each other the way they do today, there is barely enough time to accomodate all home and away series' in a 6 year period. Today, many of the series are meaningless and as pointed out even countries like NZ and SL are playing two test series.
valid points, except that part about results.

tests have been played for 130+ years without results...there is no inherent need to change that. for results we already have ODIs and garbage cricket.

even in the absence of results, we can assign points in any simple or complex equation if we have a need of objectively say team X is better than team Y. but even in the absence of a result, we can state which team is better/worse.

also, draws are increasingly rare these days. india drew 48% of their tests from 1932-2000, and since 2000 have only drawn 34% of their Tests. australia drew 29 % of their total Test matches from 1877-2000, since 2000 only 14%.

due to more attacking cricket and RR's nearly always in excess of 3 an over, draws are pretty rare in cricket, and not just for BD.
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Old February 23, 2009, 05:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by al Furqaan
valid points, except that part about results.

tests have been played for 130+ years without results...there is no inherent need to change that. for results we already have ODIs and garbage cricket.

even in the absence of results, we can assign points in any simple or complex equation if we have a need of objectively say team X is better than team Y. but even in the absence of a result, we can state which team is better/worse.

also, draws are increasingly rare these days. india drew 48% of their tests from 1932-2000, and since 2000 have only drawn 34% of their Tests. australia drew 29 % of their total Test matches from 1877-2000, since 2000 only 14%.

due to more attacking cricket and RR's nearly always in excess of 3 an over, draws are pretty rare in cricket, and not just for BD.

Tests originally started out with an indefinite timeframe so there were results. As I stated in the first post, this is based on the assumption that the current bi-lateral format has run it course. I also said that I wasn't 100% sold on removing the draw but if there is to be a tournament I think a result is necessary.

I believe that all teams need to play the same number of games and have the same criteria to earn points.

Take the SL/PAK test for example. Due to a flat pitch there is a good chance this test will end in a draw. If it does, how is it fair that the teams will split the match where another match (lets say BD vs. NZ) leads to a result because of a more bowler friendly pitch? The loser in that test will be behind in the standings unfairly.

Also in the scenario I proposed, there won't be a dead rubber match since all the matches will count towards points.

Lets also keep in mind that the more international commitments you put out there, the less time you have for domestic leagues (with your top players involved).

In my scenario a full season lasts 2.5 years. 2 years for the league and then 6 months in which the championshp and other series' take place. Teams can choose to stay with 'Classic Tests' if they see it as financially viable (Ashes, Ind/Aus etc.).

But from an ICC perspective, I think a strong decision must be made in order to bring a broader audience, make every test matter, NOT allow BCCI, ECB and CA to determine who gets to play and who doesn't and find a balance in the international schedule.
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Old February 23, 2009, 08:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Raynman
Tests originally started out with an indefinite timeframe so there were results. As I stated in the first post, this is based on the assumption that the current bi-lateral format has run it course. I also said that I wasn't 100% sold on removing the draw but if there is to be a tournament I think a result is necessary.

I believe that all teams need to play the same number of games and have the same criteria to earn points.

Take the SL/PAK test for example. Due to a flat pitch there is a good chance this test will end in a draw. If it does, how is it fair that the teams will split the match where another match (lets say BD vs. NZ) leads to a result because of a more bowler friendly pitch? The loser in that test will be behind in the standings unfairly.

Also in the scenario I proposed, there won't be a dead rubber match since all the matches will count towards points.

Lets also keep in mind that the more international commitments you put out there, the less time you have for domestic leagues (with your top players involved).

In my scenario a full season lasts 2.5 years. 2 years for the league and then 6 months in which the championshp and other series' take place. Teams can choose to stay with 'Classic Tests' if they see it as financially viable (Ashes, Ind/Aus etc.).

But from an ICC perspective, I think a strong decision must be made in order to bring a broader audience, make every test matter, NOT allow BCCI, ECB and CA to determine who gets to play and who doesn't and find a balance in the international schedule.
agreed...so i suggested a points system which is basically bat averge divided by bowl average so that even drawn tests could be "decided".

but the whole thing is moot, since there is no reason to believe ICC will act on this, but i agree that certain boards should not be allowed to continue dictating terms to the ICC regarding fixtures.
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  #24  
Old February 24, 2009, 02:11 AM
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Format of test cricket will never change radically, in near future. I wish I could use the word ever.

Only the tier system or championship systems or tournament rules could be changed. Technology will come in to aid decision making. That's it. Test by itself will remain & should remain the same.

A drawn test is a drawn test, you are insisting on changing something which is almost 2 centuries old. That's absolutely nonsense from the English or Ausie point of view, even BCCI with all it's power, cannot think of changing it. You can invent N versions of cricket, but forget about changing Test cricket. Why do you think England or Aus, with so deep rooted history of Test cricket should agree to u & me? Whould you give up your century old traditions? There are limits upto which one can accomodate changes in traditions.

How much you are able to give up in observing 21st Feb considering the fact that it is also an international event (''Matribhasha Dibosh)'? How about replacing Amar bhaier rokte rangano....... song with some other, english or other brazilian carnival version songs, to make it more attractive?

Please don't get wild with your imaginations & sense of ICC membership rights, consider the attachment of those who have almost two centuries of traditions & memories attached to it. Would you give it up if you were in that situation? I wouldn't.
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Old February 24, 2009, 04:09 AM
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Haha Our Thinktanks re unite .
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