Test cricket needs good pitches, not championship: Ponting

June 12th, 2008 - 4:47 pm ICT by IANS  

Sydney, June 12 (IANS) Australian captain Ricky Ponting has shot down the proposal for a World championship of Test cricket and said the five-day game is losing its charm because of the deterioting nature of wickets worldwide. Ponting believes the administrators would be better served improving the state of the world’s pitches than introducing a world championship of Test cricket.

“I just think Test cricket is probably not as exciting anymore because of the wickets that we are playing on,” Ponting was quoted as saying in the Sydney Morning Herald.

Ponting was visibly upset with the pitch in Antigua in the second Test and is adamant that a move away from flat batting surfaces would do more to enhance the game than a new programme and trophy.

“People would rather watch a game in Perth as they would in Antigua. There’s much more happening. There’s more bouncers, more batsmen ducking and weaving and sometimes falling on their backsides, more catches behind the wicket, more hook shots. That is the sort of Test cricket that we all grew up watching and enjoying.

The International Cricket Council revealed this week it was discussing the idea of a world championship of Test cricket. The proposed championship would differ from the current Future Tours Programme in that it would award points for each match, with a trophy to be presented to the top-ranked side at the end of each four-year-cycle.

“Some of the wickets we play on around the world are just too flat, too placid. That’s what I would be saying to all the authorities around the world: Let’s just try and do something with the wickets. If it means digging them up and relaying them then let’s try it.”

Ponting doubted whether a world championship of Test cricket would have much traction with the public.

“You’re playing for a trophy every series you play,” he said. “It doesn’t matter if it’s at the end of two or three or four years, there are trophies on the line every series. We’ve got to look at other smaller ways, I think. But let’s just see how this all pans out. Hopefully something very good comes of all the discussions that they have.”

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