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England v Sri Lanka 2016
Yes and Kabir was a great red ball bowler. Is it easier to open than bat at 3? I think 3 is the hardest position myself. You normally come in against a newish ball and bowlers are fired up after getting a wicket.

heard Ian Botham 's comments on the cartoon game and he would have excelled at it,he wanted to showcase his talents playing the real game
(31-05-2016, 03:56 PM)narsty simon Wrote: Or eventually wiped out in favour of the T20slog, before you get prickly with that remark I was talking to Kabir Ali on Saturday who, without any prompting referred to the red ball game as'proper'cricket as do all players, whatever level they are at,have you

Interesting.... His reference to red ball cricket being 'proper' cricket suggests he has a problem with limited overs cricket? or does he? Perhaps not..... Limited overs cricket probably funded his wages over most of his career? From memory Kabir Ali was often a fine closing T20 bowler. It is the next generation of professional cricketers that will rely on particularly T20 money to fund their careers in whatever format.

There is a group of professional cricketers (and other groups) who feel embarrassed to say they like playing or watching T20 or 50 over cricket. In some cases that's because they don't like it - to be fair its not to their skills sets... in other cases they worry what a small group of self proclaimed 'purists' in the media may say. I remember the legendary Michael Holding pouring scorn on T20..... he said he would rather there be no cricket at all than it including the T20 format. A somewhat strange feeling considering T20 is about the only thing keeping cricket going in the Caribbean. There also seems to be a lot of members who suffer from the same embarrassment. I'm lead to believe that I'm one of the few members who likes CC and T20 cricket. However, when I turn up I mostly find that the members areas is overflowing on T20 match days???? I do hope membership cards are being checked properly as this discrepancy in numbers is most baffling. The only conclusion I can come to is that they like more than one format of the game?.... Well unless they all misread their fixture list?

The last PCA survey I have (2013) shows that 91% of professional cricketers rate the CC as the most important competition and 87% rate T20 second. The other format is rated least important by 93% of players. So I feel in good company supporting the four day and T20 formats.

However - lets put semantics aside as to what we like and don't like - we all have opinions on that..... and whether it be CC, T20, 50 overs ... or any combination of 1, 2 or 3 of them - then great.

It worries me that in certain small groups of the English cricketing public there is perhaps a lack of understanding as to where Test cricket sadly is. In England we know that we can charge £60 plus a ticket and people will come …. But elsewhere the five day game is, outside the odd blue ribbon event, gently sliding away. The patronising notion of what is and what isn't really cricket is causing confusion amongst the population of our country and perhaps sadly destroying what hope the game has. There are actually still people who question the skill levels involved in a game of Twenty20 cricket. People may not like it (fair enough) - but it certainly deploys many old and new skills to succeed. Test cricket is still viewed as the pinnacle in England but in other countries that is perhaps beginning to change. We need to pull together to save Test cricket – empty plastic seat disease will soon be on our own shores at many test venues.

As I say, I suppose my concern is Test Cricket - on TMS there was a discussion that it should be played over either three or four days. Apparently 5th days are a killer for test venues. What are the views on trying to "save" test cricket by having more overs in a day and playing it over a shorter period? I just don't see that teams will bowl 110 to 120 overs in a day? Any thoughts on truncating the number of days allocated to a match.... altering the number of days has been done before with four day tests, timeless tests , six day tests etc. etc.
Test Match cricket is about allowing enough time for both teams to bat twice or be bowled out twice. There certainly needs to be an improvement in the number of overs bowled in a day. A drinks break every hour - nonsense. Spending ages discussing fielding changes - nonsense. Let's have time limits between overs with immediate "runs" penalties imposed. 4 day tests are OK providing no loss of play due to weather.
LE - aka John
The intensity of the modern game probably means they cant bowl as many overs in a day as they used to. No problem with 4 day tests if they allow for an extra day if too much time has been lost to the weather. What we dont want are too many drawn matches.

The main reason for slow over rates is the drs, should be reduced to1per make teams more selective as to when thew use them
There were slow over rates well before DRS.  As for the intensity of the modern game, today's players bowl fewer overs per season as well as fewer per hour. And with all the help with diet and exercise they should be fitter than the players of old, some of whom trained on cigarettes and beer.
Regarding drinks breaks, Tom Dollery got it right when he said: “Drinks? Why do they need drinks? When we were in the desert in the war, we had two pints of water a day – and one of those was for the vehicle.”
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I actually don't feel cheated by slow over rates these days..... often the play is high octane and skillful. Its when you get 80 overs and turgid play.... that is the problem and there were a few of those sort of games I saw 20 plus years ago. I like DRS - it has sexed test cricket up for me. I suppose one of the easy ways to make test cricket more accessible and avoid empty seat syndrome is...... charge no more than £ 25 / £ 30 in some stands. I'm not sure how much a ticket is for England v Pakistan in a few weeks time.

As for four day tests - I wonder if there are any stats for the games, both in UK and elsewhere, for what percentage of games finish on which day? How relevant is the fifth day?

I do know that in 2014, 81% Tests had a win-loss result. In 2005, it was 76% and 71% in 1995. In 1985, the win-loss percentage was only 57.69%. That would perhaps suggest that (apart from most tests now having a result) a lot of games used to go to the fifth day and not achieve a result?

If anyone has any stats on percentage of games finishing on days 2,3,4 and 5 - I would be interested.
Or maybe 1985 was a very wet summer
LE - aka John
That was before we had global warming LE ;-)

Wednesday 1st June was colder in parts of this country than Christmas day....... so perhaps a Christmas test would be the answer :-)

If anyone has any stats, I would be interested......
I've experienced 13 degrees on Christmas Day in England and also in Melbourne followed by the Boxing Day Test that wasn't much warmer to begin with.
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Some information here:
Keep up-to-date with County Cricket at
The article gives no comparison figures for earlier periods - say 60s,70s etc. There were several in England when the WIndies were in their pomp and earlier when NZ and India were weak teams.
LE - aka John
Interesting stats though that suggest to me that Test cricket should be four days. With perhaps the exception of the Ashes, Ticket prices should be £25. Members should be able to bring a bottle of wine in too. As for the weather..... In these days of global warming the sun always shines and what could be done in three days should be completed in four.

Interesting article.... ..... But from an organisation that can't even schedule its popular T20 World Cup properly..
Didn't see the need for this ........... However its TV numbers that count in reality ..... and during the day a lot of those potential viewers are at work.

Good knock from Cook today .... but Hales, Compton, Root and Vice hardly set the world alight. Bairstows DRS decision was a bit tight ....... I love DRS - adds something to test cricket!
Slows the game down unnecessarily
(10-06-2016, 07:28 AM)narsty simon Wrote: Slows the game down unnecessarily
Morning all, long time no post.
This will likely slow it down even more as captains will be more likely to review. However, it may conversely speed things up as umpires may now give more LBWs!
Pleased for Woakes that he has getting a good score, although at the same time disappointed as it means he will spend less time with us!
Yes well done Chris, however he will be judged on what he does with the ball rather than the bat. Lets hope he has another good test with the ball.

Shows how important it is to actually get out there and play. Chris Woakes has spent most of the last two summers either injured or carrying drinks for England squads. This year he has been able to get some game time in and play himself into the sort of form that enables him to do himself justice at Test level. Very pleased.

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