Brian Lara suggests scrapping draws for Test cricket to stay relevant
Brian Lara, who retired from international cricket in 2007, has suggested that draws must be scrapped from Test cricket if the format has to stay relevant among contemporary cricket audiences.cricket Updated: Apr 25, 2017 13:46 IST
West Indies cricket legend Brian Lara has said draws must be scrapped in Test matches if the format is to stay relevant in an era where Twenty20 cricket is flourishing. He stated that this would attract contemporary audiences.
Lara, who holds the record for the highest individual score in Test cricket when he smashed 400* against England in Antigua in 2004, has said cricketing authorities need to come up with a formula to ensure all Test matches end in a result.
Speaking to Stumped, a weekly cricket show on BBC World Service radio, Lara said, “One of the complaints by an American is, ‘how can you play a game for five days and it ends up in a draw?’ I would like to maybe see results in every single Test match. I know 70 per cent of the time the game takes its natural course and you get a result, (but) maybe find a way where you structure the game. You have 450 overs in five days, come up with some formula that can bring a win at the end of it.”
Lara, who retired in 2007 with 11953 runs in 131 Tests, is also a fan of the Twenty20 format as it has brought new audience to the game. “I’m pro T20, because I played in a period where Test cricket was waning, the crowds were a bit smaller. I grew up in the 70s and 80s, lining up at 5am to watch a Test match in a packed house,” Lara said.
He added: “T20 has brought new spectators in. I’m happy (with it) – it’s three hours, well put together, and it’s a game that has to grow in other countries, in America, in big countries. I believe (it’s) a product we can take around the place. So I’m a big fan, but at the end of the day, my career was based around Test cricket and I’m very, very happy it was that way.”
Lara’s admission comes as a surprise as other West Indies legends have blamed the shortest format and leagues that have been mushrooming around the world for deteriorating standards of West Indies cricket over the last few years with player opting to skip international matches in favour of cash-rich leagues.
The West Indies left-hander last played an international game in the 2007 World Cup. Following his retirement, he was selected in the Mumbai Champs franchise in the now-defunct ICL in 2008. He was also part of the 2011 IPL auction with a base price of USD 400,000. However, no franchise bought him as he hadn’t played any competitive cricket since he retired in 2007.