Creating more and newer International venues and improving facilities at existing centres is the only way to attract crowds to Test cricket, ICC’s principal advisor and PCA president IS Bindra said on the third day of the second India-Australia Test match at PCA, Mohali.
“At the end of the day the empty stands do affect an association. It’s true that the associations get compensated for the large part of their money from TV rights but if the crowd starts remaining aloof it will have a affect on everything,” Bindra said.
He said the limited turnout can also be attributed to the fact that in the past two years the PCA has staged 13 high-profile matches. “We have done a through research on this topic and have decided to add two more venues of international standard in Punjab. We are in the process of building an international stadium at Bathinda and the one at Burlton Park, Jalandhar is also being revived. We then plan to rotate the matches in these venues as we think the 1 million Mohali population cannot sustain back to back matches,” he said.
Bindra denied the notion that T20 is having an adverse affect on Test cricket but said, “In fact the game has become more interesting and has attracted more people to cricket. The TRP ratings for the current series are high which shows more people are watching the game on TV. But now our challenge is to find a way to attract the crowds to watch matches in the stadium,” he said, adding that the PCA was looking to overhaul facilities.
“The association will forgo an international match in order to create a window to develop its stadia.
The projects in the pipeline at the PCA stadium are a new pavilion block at the North end and covered stands to protect spectators from sun,” said Bindra.
Bindra added that the ICC is also very serious about Test cricket and plans are already under way to have a Test championship between all the 10 Test playing nations of the world.