D/N Test is the way forward, says Pietersen

D/N Test is the way forward, says Pietersen

Former England captain Kevin Pietersen on Tuesday made a strong pitch for pink-ball Tests, saying that's the only way forward to save the game's traditional format. 

The first-ever foreign cricketer to address the prestigious MAK Pataudi Lecture here at City hotel, Pietersen used that platform to pitchfork the importance of day/night Tests in the rapidly evolving world where many youngsters are interested in playing only T20 cricket.

"If we wish cricketers to commit to five-day cricket we have to pay them. So how do we pay them? Simply by throwing the same commercial nouse and innovation at the Test game. Five days of action. They provide so many opportunities.

"Day night games have demonstrated the enormous leaps that are possible. The IPL doesn’t play its biggest fixtures when many of its staunchest, wealthiest fans are at work. Neither should Test cricket," Pietersen said in his address.

Pietersen said Test cricket needs to marketing well if it has to survive the onslaught of T20s. "It will only be by pushing the marketing dial to a maximum that we will see if the Test game has true potential. Let’s make every game count. Push the profile of the world Test championship. Develop marketing opportunities. Offer cheaper seats in the ground to provide a better spectacle for TV viewers," he said.

"We need to get them back through the turnstiles. It’s better for the players the sponsors and television. Let’s get the fans back! Let’s throw equal marketing clout behind the Test game before we succumb to the lazy assumption that 20-20 rules."

The entertainment value of Test cricket also needs to be increased, felt the maverick English batsman. "I say, let’s create a fair comparison. Let's not compromise entertainment. Let’s put the Test fans first. Let’s make Test cricket a spectacle. Garnish it with colour and fireworks. Fill the grounds. Play in the evenings. Give the umpires microphones to broadcast to the spectators. Allow sledging -- as long as it remains the right side of the line. Communicate better with the fans."

Pietersen, who himself has plied his trade across the globe in various T20 leagues, said playing Tests was the ultimate challenge.

"In my humble opinion, a hard-fought five-day Test match remains the greatest all-round challenge in modern day sport. A challenge as mentally demanding as it is physical. A challenge demanding the very highest levels of concentration of technique, of determination, of stamina, all, for the batsman at least, with no second chances.

"Because, having played every form of cricket in every corner of the cricketing globe, I remain 100 percent convinced that the five-day Test remains the supreme form of the game," Pietersen stressed.