ICC President says Oz-Proteas series illustrates Test crickets viability

January 8th, 2009 - 6:03 pm ICT by ANI  

Sydney, Jan.8 (ANI): ICC President David Morgan today said the thrilling Test series between Australia and South Africa once again illustrated the continued viability of the longest form of the game.
He said the 2-1 success for the Proteas showed cricket had entered an era of exciting competition at elite level.
He urged all those involved in the game players, administrators, match officials and spectators to do all they could to sustain the current buzz around the sport.
For sustained drama, no format of any other sport can match it. It truly is a test of skill, courage and stamina, and once again we saw all of that in abundance in Sydney, an outstanding Test match in an outstanding series. Congratulations should go to all those involved South Africa for its first series win on Australian soil, Australia for its success in the final Test that ensured it continued to top the Reliance Mobile Test Championship table and the players and officials for helping to ensure the series was played in a great spirit,” Morgan said.
The players clearly want and enjoy Test cricket. It is the yardstick by which they measure themselves against past and current players and the records will be there in years to come. And the public in Sydney also demonstrated a significant appetite for the oldest format with more than 110,000 turning up to witness the action, even though the home side had already lost the series,” he added.
As the global governing body for the sport, the ICCs role is to work with our members to harness and sustain that type of enthusiasm where it already exists and to develop it where it may not.
One way of doing just that is to explore how we can make the format even more attractive and relevant and the introduction of an enhanced Test championship is one option in that regard. The ICC Board is continuing to look at potential models for such a championship and that work will continue in 2009.
In the short term, the result of the series in Australia has set things up beautifully for the return encounter in South Africa starting in late February, with the winners topping the Reliance Mobile Test Championship table.
And with India hard on the heels of those two sides we have entered an era of exciting competition at the elite level, something that has to be a great thing for our great sport.
With so much high-quality action to come over the next few months, including the ICC World Twenty20 for men and women, the ICC Champions Trophy, the ICC World Cup Qualifier and the ICC Womens World Cup as well as a host of outstanding bilateral series, cricket has a fantastic opportunity to portray itself in an outstanding light in 2009, the ICCs centenary year.
Cricket is in the fortunate position of having three viable forms of the game at international level and with all of those formats producing great, high-quality action all around the world our sport has a positive feel to it at the moment.
It is up to everyone players, match officials, administrators, commercial partners and the public to ensure the feeling is sustained. And if it is then our strong sport really will continue to grow stronger, added Morgan. (ANI)

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