India vs Australia 2023
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World Test Championship 2023: What Steps ICC Should Take To Make Test Cricket More Competitive? About 3-4 decades ago or maybe more, there was a time when Test Cricket dominated the Cricketing World with Stadiums witnessing full houses even on working days. Although ODI Cricket seemed to attract the interest of all age groups, it was the five-day format that was the most popular form globally during that time. During those days even though some Test matches ended in draws but there was equal competition between the bat and the ball.

Whenever a team toured another country the wickets were prepared by the curators of the home team keeping in mind the game saw an even contest between the ball and the bat. A newcomer always dreamt of playing the longer format. Since the advent of T20 Cricket, the excitement levels of Red Ball Cricket has been evaporating and Test cricket is now becoming a type of formality.

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Nowadays we are seeing that wickets are being prepared as per the requirements of the home team. The ongoing India vs Australia Test Series which is a part of the World Test Championship (WTC) 2023 a perfect example. All three Tests ended in two and a half days each and most of the time India dominated. So what exactly the ICC should do to make the longer format competitive like before?

Guidelines For Curators

First of all, whenever a team travels to another country a neutral curator should be appointed from another Test playing nation. He should be guided in a way to understand the conditions of the country where the series is held.

If the ICC doesn’t want to appoint neutral curators then the home curators should be instructed before any Test series that the wicket should last for at least three days otherwise the curators should be paid only half the match fees or they should be liable for a penalty.

Cricket Boards should be instructed in this regard to properly monitor the wickets prepared by a curator. If any Cricket Board fails to monitor the preparations or shows ignorance in this regard the Board should be penalized.

A Committee Of Former Curators To Administer The Functioning

A Committee should be formed of veteran curators to inspect and supervise the performance of active curators. Those curators who don’t prepare Sporting wickets should be warned.

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England Vs New Zealand Test Series- A Perfect Example Of Sporting Wickets

When we compare India vs Australia Test series (Border-Gavaskar Trophy 2023) with England vs New Zealand Test series that was played in New Zealand, the latter one was much more exciting in terms of the quality of cricket that we witnessed in all departments. The wickets were prepared, keeping in mind an even competition between the batsmen and the bowlers.

No Influence Of Team Captains, Coaches Or Support Staff While Preparing The Wicket

India vs Australia test series is not just a one-off instance as in the last 6-7 years there were Test Series where wickets were prepared as per the requirements of the home team. The ICC should also bring in a rule where the captains, coaches as well as the team management of both teams including the home team shouldn’t be allowed to influence the curators or the groundsmen.

Wickets Should Aid Pacers As well As Spinners And Rules For A Reserve Day

Apart from this, wickets should be prepared in a way that aids the pacers as well as the spinners irrespective of the conditions or the venue. A new rule should be brought in whenever an entire or half a day is wasted due to rain a reserve day should be added.

To attract more crowds every Test Series should have one day/night Test and matches should be scheduled in a way that they start or end on a weekend.

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Saving Test Cricket should be ICC’s biggest priority and the contribution of Test-playing nations is one of the most important aspects at the moment. The points mentioned above might play a big role to create healthy competition in the five-day format. If the same pattern continues where the conditions are favorable for the host nations then we might see the end of Test Cricket soon.

Bringing in these necessary changes might bring back the competitiveness in the five-day format like before and the ICC needs to pull up its socks to get this format to its ultimate level like before.