On Virat Kohli’s proposal to have 5 Test centres, Anil Kumble offers way forward
Former Indian captain Anil Kumble has supported Virat Kohli’s suggestion of having five strong Test centres at home. After India blanked South Africa 3-0 in the Test series, Kohli had asked the BCCI to trim down the Test centres to just 5 cities as this could attract better crowds.
“I think that has certainly been one of the ways of promoting Test cricket… It is also important to choose the time of the Test match. We all remember that during the festival of Pongal, a Test match used to happen in Chennai. And the start of the season used to be in Delhi. Bangalore would have a Test match, Mumbai would have a Test match, Kolkata of course,” Kumble told CricketNext.
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The former coach also said that the BCCI should market these Test centres approproately in order for Test cricket to prosper.
“I think it is important for Test cricket to promote these centres where people would know that these are the centres where you are going to play Test match cricket prior to the start of the season, so that you can market Test cricket and you can make sure that the crowds come in.
When I was the coach, I think we played in six different centres. They were all new centres and the one centre it was packed was Indore. The atmosphere was brilliant. It [the stadium in Indore] is in the heart of the city. That was one of the reasons that the crowd could come in irrespective of the time of the day.”
The legendary leggie also pointed out access to stadiums need to improve especially in cities where the grounds are far away from the centre.
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“What we need to also do is to create better facilities for the spectators to come and view the game. You know, they need to have comfortable seats, the access to the stadium, ticketing I think use of technology is something that we need to look at when it comes to issuing tickets and then of course the basic comfort like food and water and toilet facilities.