Anil Kumble has spoken in favour of Virat Kohli’s suggestion to confine Test matches to five stadiums in India. Like the Indian captain, Kumble too believes that designating a few select venues would help in promoting the longest format in the country.
The newly appointed Kings XI Punjab coach also suggested that the Tests could be held during festive holidays or significant dates to bring in more crowds and build a sense of occasion.
“I think that has certainly been one of the ways of promoting Test cricket,” Kumble told CricketNext about Kohli’s proposal.
“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.
“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.”
Kumble also spoke mentioned that the venues in India should be more fan-friendly, providing basic amenities like comfortable seating, water and food within the stadium and also issuing tickets for games through the internet.
“What we need to also do is to create better facilities for the spectators to come and view the game,” he said. “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. If we can provide all of that, make the spectator really comfortable, then I think you will see a lot of people coming in to watch Test match cricket.”
The former coach of India also suggested that it is high time India hosted day-night Test cricket.
“I think day-night Test cricket will certainly bring in the crowds towards the latter half of that game,” he said. “You also need to choose the right time of the year because we’ve seen in day-night ODIs, the ball gets really wet because of dew.”
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