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Pink Ball not enough to revamp Test Cricket, need to improve overall experience of fans: Rahul Dravid

Pink Ball not enough to revamp Test Cricket, need to improve overall experience of fans: Rahul Dravid

New Delhi, Nov 19: Former India captain and batting legend Rahul Dravid has opined that pink ball Test alone can't revive Test cricket and suggested the administrators work on other aspects as well to bring the crowd back to the stadiums in India.

Ahead of the highly-anticipated Day-Night Test match between India and Bangladesh in Kolkata, Dravid told the Economic Times, "It (pink ball) is not the only solution to rejuvenate Test cricket, but it is one of the things we need to do. If only we can control dew, the pink ball Test can become an annual feature in India."

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The former head coach of India A and Under-19 sides opined the pink ball is a novelty to draw spectators to the stadium but it isn't helpful for the bowlers to bowl with.

"You make it tough for the bowlers when the ball gets wet and takes the swing away... it (pink ball) is a novelty that will attract people to the stadium and must be tried," he said.

The Karnataka cricketer believes improving the facilities in the stadiums and providing a better experience to the fans at stadiums would do equally good to draw the crowd. Fans often complain about inadequate basic amenities at the stadiums and that becomes a hindrance for them to return.

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"Basic things like toilets, seating, car parking need to be looked into, these are things that will draw," said Dravid.

The huge surge in TV coverage of the matches and live streaming platforms also prevent the fans from heading towards the stadiums. He rued that unlike England and Australia, India doesn't have a set calendar for Test matches for which people can plan.

"When we say there were 1,00,000 people at the Eden Gardens in 2001, we are missing the point. At that time, there was no HD television that could guarantee you a better experience at home, there was no cricket on mobile, and if you wanted to catch the action, you had to make it to the ground," he added further.

"Things are different now and it is important we accept the ground reality. Yes, you can argue that the Ashes are always full and that Test cricket is in good health in England and Australia, but that's because they have a Test cricket calendar and we don't.

"People can plan for a Boxing Day Test in December and a Lord's Test in July a year ahead. We need this to happen in Indian cricket. Also, we need better facilities at stadiums, for fan engagement is extremely necessary to bring crowds back to the game," he said.

(With agency inputs)

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Story first published: Tuesday, November 19, 2019, 19:21 [IST]
Other articles published on Nov 19, 2019
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