Indian ascent augurs well for Test cricket: Lorgat

Indian ascent augurs well for Test cricket: Lorgat

Talking to reporters from Dubai, ICC Chief Executive Haroon Lorgat said India thoroughly deserves the new status and it's a good news for Test cricket. "India must be very excited about the achievement which they should be extremely proud of. They have done really well over the last 12-18 months and deserve this position," Lorgat said.

"Test cricket deserves a team like India to reach the top at some point of time and you cannot reach there without performing well. "Mahendra Singh Dhoni and his team have done extremely well and I can also see how well the ICC ranking system is working. First Australia dominated it, then South Africa and now you have India at the number one," he said.

Lorgat said the fact that the top three-four teams have a very narrow gap separating them from each other speaks volume of the competitiveness at the highest level. "It is very competitive at the top. For that number one spot, you have India, Australia and South Africa challenging each other. It makes Test cricket a lot more exciting," Lorgat explained.

Clearly the most cricket-crazy nation, India's ascent to top comes at a time when Test cricket's future looks uncertain in the face of the competition from the limited over formats. Lorgat, however, believes whenever there is something major -- like world number one tag -- at stake, Test cricket would continue to draw crowd.

"As shown over the years, we all have concerns about poor crowd turn-up. But whenever India is playing and there is something at stake, there will be lot of interest in Test cricket," he said.

Incidentally, the British press was sore about India's rise to the top and demanded an overhaul of the ranking system. Lorgat said there was nothing called perfect but this was the best one has got. "See, there is always room for improvement but this is the best possible way we have. And don't forget that this system was developed over the years," the ICC CEO said.

Sri Lankan captain Kumar Sangakkara and star spinner Muttiah Muralitharan, however, were upset with the standard of umpiring against India and both felt the Decision Review System (DRS) should have been used in this series. Lorgat said there was some technical issues involved.

"We are mindful of that but we have to first ensure that it's technically possible. We want to push it as long as it is technically possible and cost-effective. The technology involved has to be reliable. We just cannot force it on everyone," he explained.

Lorgat also took the opportunity to dismiss media reports that claimed English umpire Mark Benson was mulling retirement after one of his decision was overruled by DRS during the Australia-West Indies Test series.

"This is completely untrue. Benson has been a strong supporter of the system and his return home has nothing to do with it. "He is not well and that's why he is returning home. I'm sure once he reached England, he would issue a clarification," Lorgat said.

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