Bengaluru : India is still not comfortable with the idea of playing day-night Tests, but former England captain Kevin Pietersen on Tuesday made a strong statement when he said that pink ball matches is the only way forward to save the game’s traditional format.
The first-ever foreign cricketer to address the prestigious MAK Pataudi Lecture, Pietersen couldn’t have possibly chosen a more appropriate platform to make a case for day-night cricket, especially at a time when T20 is threatening to usurp all other formats.
“If we wish cricketers to commit to five-day cricket we have to pay them. So how do we pay them? Simply by throwing the same commercial nouse and innovation at the Test game. Five days of action. They provide so many opportunities.
“Day night games have demonstrated the enormous leaps that are possible. The IPL doen’t play its biggest fixtures when many of its staunchest, wealthiest fans are at work. Neither should Test cricket,” Pietersen said in his address.
Pietersen stated that marketing Test cricket is the need of the hour for the custodians of the game.
“It will only be by pushing the marketing dial to a maximum that we will see if the Test game has true potential. Let’s make every game count. Push the profile of the world Test championship. Develop marketing opportunities. Offer cheaper seats in the ground to provide a better spectacle for TV viewers,” he said.
“We need to get them back through the turnstiles. It’s better for the players the sponsors and television. Let’s get the fans back! Let’s throw equal marketing clout behind the Test game before we succumb to the lazy assumption that 20-20 rules.”
Pietersen said entertainment value of Test cricket needs to be increased. “I say, let’s create a fair comparison. Let’s not compromise entertainment. Let’s put the Test fans first. Let’s make Test cricket a spectacle. Garnish it with colour and fireworks.”