Former Test cricketer Sanjay Manjrekar has questioned India’s luke-warm embrace of day-night Test cricket, and believes it is key to the traditional game’s survival.
“An offer was recently rejected by India because the players are wary of it, wary of the pink ball, the dew factor etc,” said Manjrekar at the Dilip Sardesai Memorial lecture at the Cricket Club of India. “I always believed that conditions aren’t unfair if it is the same for both the sides.
“The only way to get more people to watch Test cricket, increase its viewership, popularity and thereby it’s quality is day-night Test matches.”
“Why aren’t we playing more day-night Test matches, when it’s a no-brainer that it will draw more viewership.” The 53-year-old is also irked by the fact that organisers and players are prioritising the glitz of T20 cricket, insisting it’s the easy way out.
“Today’s Test cricket is played in front of empty stands and IPL in front of frenzied crowds of 50,000-plus and millions watching on TV,” added Manjrekar, who played 74 ODIs.
“It’s about playing the IPL at all cost, player injuries surface before and after the IPL. IPL offers you fame and money and who will say no to this?
“Test cricket is just too damn hard, so it’s no wonder that many are choosing T20 leagues over Test matches.”