Cricket - Featured - November 4, 2019

Anil Kumble supports Virat Kohli’s suggestion of limiting home Test venues

Indian cricket in the past decade (1/2)

Indian skipper Virat Kohli suggested that the BCCI to bring changes in the allocation of venues for home Test matches by granting Test hosting rights to only five venues. The venues must be properly distributed across the country and should be selected on the basis of “strong Test centres” as they are in other countries.

Team India has followed a venue rotation policy, India has played home Test matches at 27 different venues overall. Many countries like England, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa play most of their Test matches at their traditional venues. For which the contrary happens in India where the Test matches are widely spread all over the country. 

“It can’t be sporadic and spread over so many places where people turn up or they don’t, so in my opinion, absolutely. You should have five strong Test centres that teams coming to India know that this is where they’re going to play,” Kohli said this in response to a question about whether India should restrict the home Tests to the traditional big-city venues – Kolkata, Mumbai, Chennai, Delhi and Bengaluru.

“I think that has certainly been one of the ways of promoting Test cricket,” says Kumble

Kumble supports Virat Kohli

We know for a fact that Anil Kumble stepped down as Indian team coach back in 2017 due to unrest between skipper Virat Kohli and him but the two of them are in the same opinion here. Former captain and coach Anil Kumble has come out and backed the suggestion of Virat Kohli to limit the Test venues to just five.

Anil Kumble, while he was the head coach of the Indian team, felt that having fixed test cricket centres would help to promote the sport better in India. And he also wanted tests that coincided with festive holidays or significant dates, while calling for facilities in different stadiums across the country to become much more fan-friendly.

“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,” Kumble told CricketNext about Kohli’s proposal.

The three venues that hosted the recently concluded series against South Africa are all located in the outskirts of the city, and the facilities in some of the venues are not particularly spectator-friendly three-fourths of the stands in Pune, for example, do not have roofs. 

Test cricket attendance at newer venues which are located in smaller towns have been a point of discussion for several years now, but the trends of study at any such venues remain

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