New Delhi, May 5 : Rajasthan Royals’ lead owner Manoj Badale feels that the future of Test cricket will be reduced to short windows like Wimbledon in tennis to make it more productive in future, amidst hectic scheduling being one of the biggest concerns in the cricketing world.
“We can make Test cricket work if we make it more of an event. We should have it at the same time every year, played between a small set of nations that can actually afford it and Lord’s becomes like a Wimbledon, an event that is the diary.”
“The number of times I hear arguments like ‘Ben Stokes wants to play Test cricket’ — that is important but what is really important is what the fans of the future want to watch and where are they going to spend their hard-earned money. We are going to have to think creatively about Test cricket if we want it to work,” Badale was quoted as saying by the BBC Tailenders Podcast.
Badale further said he expects franchises to “become bigger entities” in the cricketing world as the proliferation of T20 leagues continues. “I do genuinely believe in the next three to five years there are a number of choices that the administrators are going to make that are going to be really game-defining.”
“We are the second-most-popular sport in the world at the moment but our real competition is other forms of entertainment. We’ve got too many franchise leagues now so you can have a hierarchy of the IPL, some major leagues and then some minor leagues.”
Badale also believes that T10 is the right format for cricket to enter the Olympics fold. “I was at a game at the Wankhede (stadium in Mumbai) the other day and the game was 4 hours and 15 minutes – that’s too long, so I think in a way T20 has got too long.”
“The T10 (10 overs per side) is going to become an interesting one. The only way I can see cricket in the Olympics is T10, where you can get it done in 10 days.”
Badale signed off by expressing his worry about the future of 50-over cricket. “There are too many formats. I would be more worried about the ODI game right now.”
“It is difficult one for me because Test cricket is what you grow up on as a fan and I haven’t missed the first day at Lord’s for however many years, it is still my preferred format. But it is not about me, it is about what the 10-15-year-olds in India and across the world are thinking.”