‘Everyone should be open to changes in cricket’

Former England skipper Brearley wants Test cricket to be made attractive

19:10 October 17, 2016
Mike Brearley

Dubai. Mike Brearley, who is hailed as one of the finest captains in world cricket, wants everyone to be open to changes in cricket. This former England captain holds the prestigious post of the chairman of the Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC) cricket committee. MCC is the world’s most active cricket club, the owner of Lord’s Ground and the guardian of the Laws of the game.

“We don’t know where it (cricket) is going to go. But we have to go into the future, open to change but trying to keep the best of what there is. But I’d say that a Test match is not different from what it was 30 years ago. You still get the ball flying around your ear every now and again, you still get the ball turning as the match goes on and you still get slips at the beginning and defensive fields later on. So, it is still the best test of the range of cricketing skills and temperament and character.”

Brearley is delighted at the changes that have come to the game. “I have seen how things changed in one-day, so it’s a new innovation. I am not a stickler of cricketers’ clothing, I am more interested in the behaviour of the ball,” he added.

Brearley wants everyone to continue all attempts to make Test cricket attractive. “A World Test Championship should be a part of this ongoing attempt. The context is another big issue. Trying to get people or the best players playing as much as possible is another thing. Having a World Championship is another factor. There are various things with which one has to work along at the same time, which we have been trying to advocate on the MCC’s World Cricket Committee. Day-night Tests seems to be an important improvement to me,”

John Stephenson, Head of Cricket, MCC, who was with Brearley revealed how different experiments were done before deciding on a day-night Test match and the pink ball. “We started off with black sight screens and white screens and we discovered the feedback from the players what was good and what was bad. One of the feedback was that white seam was difficult to pick against the black sightscreen. Then the dark green seam was the best we found which has now gone to black. We are still experimenting because the feedback is not being able to pick up the seam when the spinners are bowling. It is getting better and better. The lighting has to be really very good. This Test has proved that the ball will wear in abrasive conditions, the Adelaide pitch was moregrassy but cricket is very interesting and the ball is okay if the conditions are good.”