Test Cricket and Covid19: The Changes Need to be Adopted

                                                                                                  -SHUBHANKAR

Cricket is back and with the pandemic still going on, the new normal needs to be adopted and adopted well so that players play in a safe environment. With cricket played with the new norms, lets look at what the new changes would be and what affect would it have on the gentleman’s game. According to the new norms, the most affected format would be the test format, and this is the main format which has to make itself bloom again in this darkness. Why I’m saying darkness is because of the fact that test cricket needed a rejuvenation but with the pandemic hitting the world, test cricket could be again on the fringes.

Test cricket as all cricket lovers know is the best format and the most testing formats of all. This is the ultimate test for all players. But with the introduction of twenty twenty cricket and ODI format, most people have forgotten test cricket. They find it boring to play for 5 days. That’s why we in the last many years never saw too much of crowds in stadiums for test matches. With the players finding it not interesting, they came up and spoke about this issue openly in the media to encourage spectators to watch test cricket in stadiums, giving a natural lift to the players to give their 200% on the field. The change was starting to happen, with many spectators now going to watch test matches in the recent years. Especially when talking about the Indian crowds, they have lived upto the expectation of the current Indian Men’s cricket team captain Virat Kohli and come to watch test cricket in huge numbers whenever India plays, be it away or at home.

But now with the Covid19 restrictions in place, what it holds for test cricket is the fact that with restrictions on entry of people into the stadiums, will test cricket get the same reception back by the spectators? This question arises because according to the WHO this Covid19 virus is here to stay and with people not looking to risk their life at all, will cricket boards be able to bring back spectators for watching test cricket again in stadiums? The answer to this question could be instrumental in saving test cricket from fading away. The next thing which could harm test cricket and in particular the bowlers is the fact that saliva can’t be used to shine the ball. Those of who have played test cricket or are cricket enthusiasts know that saliva is one of the main weapons for a fast bowler to swing the ball as it helps in shining the ball. If the use of saliva is banned, which off course is now, the bowlers will face a lot of problem while they bowl in test cricket. The saliva ban will affect test cricket of all the 3 formats because of the fact that the red ball needs to be shinned more as test cricket is played for 5 days whereas in T20 or ODI cricket, its just a day’s game where swing doesn’t really have that much impact on the game and also with these two formats really fast paced and played with a white ball, the saliva ban would certainly not impact the shorter formats of the game.

In the end, I would want to say that whatever happens, I feel that test cricket is well and up and running and the people need to make sure that it stays there. Because cricket is nothing without a format of it, known as TEST CRICKET.