There are things which would enhance the game of cricket without changing it fundamentally

Dear Editor,

It happens a lot. The latest was the one-day match between the West Indies and Ireland scheduled for September 13. Last year in Trinidad a Test match was abandoned in beautiful sunshine. I believe it also happened recently in South Africa and in New Zealand. It happens only in cricket. What is more whenever rain intervenes during a game it usually takes a lot longer for resumption of activities than one would reasonably expect in this day and age. It does seem as if there is less planning and less consideration for spectators in cricket than in other sports.

Cricket people are not more stupid than other sports administrators. It probably has something to do with attitudes. Cricket people maybe tend to be more traditional. It might help if the big shots who run things attracted younger people to join the ranks. There are a number of other things to consider that would enhance the attractiveness of the game without changing it fundamentally. Take, for example, the taking of the new ball, one of the more dramatic moments in a game. For as long as I can remember the minimum use of a ball before change has been 80 overs. Surely it is time to consider an earlier change, say somewhere between 60 and 75 overs. With the recognised effectiveness of the DRS is there enough evidence to justify the limitations on its use when it is now evident that its usage has become a new dimension for assessing captaincy? Since most of the money being made in cricket seems to be generated from the shorter forms of the game, is it not about time the sport is marketed without belittling the skill required in the shorter forms? Might it not be a good idea to describe all games according to their lengths rather than persisting with the practice of describing the longest format as ‘Tests’ and the others by length. Could we not take a second look at the value of having different field-settings, overs per bowler limitations, different colours of balls for the different games, and such things? Surely the ICC can make or require teams to make the investments that would have the game played as long as there is no rain?

Yours faithfully,

Romain Pitt

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