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Australian media attacks BCCI for 'killing' Test cricket

Melbourne, Dec 7 (IANS):

In a scathing attack on the Indian cricket board, Australian media Monday said the financially strong Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) is doing every bit to kill Test cricket even as their team has taken the top spot in the traditional format.


"India rule Test arena while trying to kill it," a Sydney Morning Herald header screamed.

"It is incredible that India, long seen as promoting the death of Test cricket by driving the proliferation of Twenty20 matches, has reached the sport's pinnacle."

India played only six Test matches this year, an away series against New Zealand in March followed by the just concluded three-Test series against Sri Lanka after a gap of seven months.


The scene is worst next year. India will tour Bangladesh for two Tests in January, and after playing countless ODIs and Twenty20s, will meet New Zealand in November for three Tests.

"If you cast an eye over the ICC's (International Cricket Council) Future Tour Program (FTP) the answer many well be 'no'. In a bizarre twist, India's ascension to the number one spot coincides with a period where the team will largely be inactive in the Test arena for the next two years," said Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC).

The Sydney Morning Herald said: "A scheduled three-Test series against world No.2 South Africa has been cancelled, denying all cricket supporters of a major series that would have had significant impact on the rankings. Instead, the Proteas will play five one-dayers."

It also means that Indian fans will have to wait for a longer period to see their side play a Test series at home.
"The outrageous absence of home Tests for such a length of time underscores the  problems faced by the traditional format."
"They won't admit it, but the fixtures are determined purely by television revenue. Indian broadcast moguls are not interested in Tests because they rate poorly - as indicated by the recent survey - while ODIs and Twenty20s push their numbers through the roof."

"There is increasing pressure from the BCCI - which sells matches for a handsome profit to television networks - to scrap Tests for more ODIs and Twenty20s. The ICC has not stood up to India for years and clearly isn't about to start by the looks of the FTP, which has been manipulated from its original plan to accommodate the BCCI's thirst for short-format games."

"The situation is also not helped by the willingness of Australia, England and South Africa to jump at every chance to play meaningless ODIs in India, simply to boost revenue for the BCCI in return for partnerships in the Champions League Twenty20 competition and other financial benefits."

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