Test cricket in India is heading to new venues, remote destinations as there are not may takers for the conventional, longer format of the game.
The Board of Control for Cricket in India will be introducing Thiruvananthapuram in Kerala and Barsapara in Assam as new Test venues. Nagpur, which has been under suspension, is also likely to be reinstated as a Test centre. BCCI is hoping the move will help draw crowd to Test venues.
Test matches nowadays are being played in front of empty venues, which is creating a disinterest among the State associations towards Test cricket. “The board is facing a major problem to host Test matches as none of the major centres are ready to stage (Tests),” a senior official in the BCCI told Insidesport.co.
“The fixtures committee is now advised to look at smaller venues. That will also keep the smaller States happy and contribute towards promoting the games in remote areas.”
The traditional major centres will get to host limited overs one-day and T-20 international matches, which generate good crowd interest and need bigger venues.
A section in the BCCI is not happy with granting Test status to Assam and another Test to Kerala as both the States have got adverse remarks in the Deloitte on BCCI’s State associations.
A Kerala Cricket Association official has confirmed the development. “Since Kochi’s Nehru Stadium, which has traditionally hosted ODIs, will be used for the Fifa U-17 World Cup, we are hoping that Greenfields gets its first Test,” he said.
Another hectic and a challenging home season lies ahead of Virat Kohli and Company as Team India will be playing a record 23 international matches in between September and December this year. This may lead to a few major venues getting to host more than one game as the board has earmarked around 20 venues for limited overs international cricket.
India is scheduled to host Australia for five ODIs and three T20 Internationals from September end to middle of October. The Kangaroos’ trans-Tasman rivals come for three ODIs and T-20s each. Thereafter, Sri Lankans visit in December for a full series that will involve three Tests, three ODIs and three T20Is.
The season will include a total of three Tests, 11 ODIs and nine T20 Internationals.