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The future of Test cricket: What is the future of Test cricket?

The future of Test cricket: What is the future of Test cricket?
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The future of Test cricket: What is the future of Test cricket?

The future of Test cricket: What is the future of Test cricket?

Highlights

  • India is the powerhouse of world cricket
  • 70% of the world’s audience is in India
  • India took a 2-1 lead against England
  • The number of spectators for India’s Test matches is high

Mumbai
Statistics always tell you one thing. The figures from Brisbane to Test cricket (when India’s third-ranked team defeated Australia in a bitterly competitive four-Test series) to the Oval (where Virat Kohli’s side are on the verge of a spectacular end to the series against England) look impressive.

Significant increase in the number of viewers on TV
When the Indian team toured Australia in 2021, the Brisbane Test subscription became the most watched match on TV. And the average number of viewers for that series was 33 percent higher than in 2019 (when India last toured Australia).

Now the last day of the second Test of the series between India and England was played at Lord’s, after which the average rating jumped by 70 per cent, while the last session of the day received a total of 10.7 million or 17 million spectators.

It was the most viewed season of any Test match until recently. Industry experts believe that only the India-Pakistan match can attract more spectators than this, the number of Oval is yet to be revealed.

This number suggests that the sunset of Test cricket is not yet over, as is the popular perception. In fact, contrary to the concept of sunset, the way the Indian team is playing under Kohli could be the dawn of Test cricket.

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The ICC recently announced the TV numbers for the World Test Championship final. In this final, India had to face defeat from New Zealand. The match was played on a neutral ground. His time was far from New Zealand’s prime time. But despite that, it was watched by 177 million world viewers. With this, the number of live viewers in more than 80 areas was around 130.6 million.

Although there is another side to the picture
For great players who have faced the great challenge of how to save the game, these numbers are not bad. Or are they? Let’s take a closer look. If you compare it to the limited overs format – the last session of the last day of the Lord’s Test match was the best. The same thing happened in the Oval Test.

For the most part, the spectators may have been following the match but not necessarily watching it. From this point of view, the match episodes are numbered in all formats, but not the entire five-day match. It’s like watching the last five overs of an ODI or the last two overs of a T20 match.

Does this kind of spectator serve the purpose for the professional aspect of Test cricket? Remember, we are talking about any two series and Test matches. And all of this includes India. A country where 70 percent of the world’s viewers live. People who often say they love Test cricket. Should they be asked if they really like Test cricket or if they like to watch Test matches in some countries?

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Do Indian audiences just want to see India win?
In addition, it is also worth noting that the package is based on Test cricket. Without limited overs format, Test cricket cannot raise funds from broadcasters. The biggest and most urgent question is, if the broadcasting rights of Test cricket were sold alone, could it fetch the same price on OTT and TV?

The answer is bitter but true – no. And that includes India’s matches. So, numbers tell stories but create a patch for gamers, is there a qualitative price to keep testing?

The value of the format should be determined on three different parameters.
1- How much is the price to the business partner
2- What personal value is visible to the seller
3- And most importantly and most importantly- what is its value to the fans.

Value in all three perspectives refers to what is given to the audience. What is the evaluation of the result? India’s victory in the Test match is a good example of this. Cricket is one of the ways to attract the attention of 70 per cent of the world’s population. And here comes an important question, is the environment good for Test cricket or, as it seems, India’s performance is very important?

Bumrah

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