ICC CEO Lorgat looking forward to an exciting India Vs Australia Test series

October 8th, 2008 - 2:52 pm ICT by ANI  

Dubai, Oct.8 (ANI): International Cricket Council (ICC) CEO Haroon Lorgat has said that he is looking forward to an exciting Test series between India and Australia in India.
Speaking on the eve of the first Test to be played in Bangalore between the two sides, Lorgat said that his objective as ICC CEO is “to make sure Test cricket is promoted and protected.
Suggestions that the popularity of Test cricket is dwindling because of the rise of other forms of the game are proving baseless, he added.
I am fortunate that I will be attending the second Test in Mohali and like most cricket fans around the world not just in India or Australia I cant wait for this series to start. It promises to be a real cracker, said Lorgat.
At a time when Twenty20 cricket has grown in popularity around the world, it is inspiring to see a Test series generate so much interest. I honestly do not think a bilateral ODI or Twenty20 International series could inspire this level of excitement but then Test cricket has been thrilling lovers of the game since 1877.
The success and popularity of Twenty20 is not a bad thing for those of us who love Test cricket. On the contrary, it is a positive development and the result is that we now have three viable formats of the game at international level. Provided we take precautions to protect and promote the longest form of the game, the influence of Twenty20 can continue to be extremely good.
So far this year we have seen some great Test cricket. First there was the India tour to Australia, which no one could say was dull! England played against New Zealand and South Africa, Australia and Sri Lanka traveled to the West Indies, the Proteas also toured Bangladesh and India, and all these Test series offered something special.
The players showed what Test cricket is all about courage, determination, patience, tremendous technique and great skill. I enjoy the shorter formats too but Test cricket is simply unique. Its a fundamental part of the future of the game and it will be maintained, said Mr Lorgat.
Another feature of Tests of the future will be the decision review system, which we trialed during the recent Sri Lanka v India series. After a positive response, further trials will be held over the coming months to see if its something we should implement on a more permanent basis.
It was not possible to hold another trial during this series because we needed to gather all the information from Sri Lanka before launching into another trial. This system is another example of something that the ICC is doing to help improve the game for players, match officials and spectators.
I know that Tests in England and some other places are nearly always well supported. It is a challenge for all of us who love the game and who love Test cricket in particular to ensure Tests all over the world are watched by high numbers of spectators.
In this regard, I have been encouraged by some of the ideas that have been tabled of late. We at the ICC have been looking at how we can revamp the Future Tours Programme to give Test cricket more context. Initial discussions at ICC Board level have been very encouraging with everyone agreed in principle to the idea.
The fact remains that according to a poll carried out this year more than 90 per cent of professional players regard Test cricket as the pinnacle. It is how they will be judged in years to come and it is vital to retain that link with the great players of the past. We all have a responsibility to make sure Test cricket remains strong and that all three formats of the game can successfully coexist at international level.
I will be making it a priority during my time as ICC Chief Executive to make sure the future of Test cricket is safeguarded. It will be a feature of my tenure that I will do everything I can to protect and promote this great game.
I dont know who will eventually prevail in this series between India and Australia but I am confident that we will be treated to remarkable feats of individual and collective skill that will live with us for a long time to come. Why am I so confident? Well, the worlds best players have been doing it for 131 years, why would they suddenly stop now? (ANI)

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