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Dhaka Tribune

Gordon Greenidge: Cricket has taken a back seat to spectators’ enjoyment

The shorter formats are purely for the enjoyment of spectators, while Test cricket is the true benchmark of quality of play, says the West Indies cricket great

Update : 08 Jan 2023, 11:47 PM

West Indies cricket great Gordon Greenidge believes that the game has lost some value with the growing popularity of shorter formats, such as T20 and T10, over Test matches.

The shorter formats are purely for the enjoyment of spectators, while Test cricket is the true benchmark of quality of play, the 71-year-old cricketing legend said on the fourth and last day of the 10th Dhaka Lit Fest.

He was speaking during a session titled “Eye on the ball” at the Abdul Karim Sahitya Bisharad Auditorium of Bangla Academy on Sunday.

“I think this game unfortunately has taken a back seat and is reducing the value of Test match cricket. Don't lose the beauty of this game. It is called Test because it tests every fragment of you. Your mind, your whole soul goes into the game, and the outcome is a beautiful one,” Greenidge said.

“The day has been long, hard, and tough both physically and mentally. You are able to overcome this because of your endurance. Keep this game alive please, I beg you,” he pleaded.

“Those of you here today I suspect would much prefer to watch T20 and the recent inclusion of the T10. God knows where it's going from this. It could eventually be two overs a side,” said Greenidge, drawing laughter from the audience.

“It's changing all the time, but I don't think it's changing for better. I think it's changing purely for spectators' enjoyment,” he added.  

“I still wish to see Test matches being played. Unfortunately, countries have to play only one or two Tests every year. I feel very sad because of this, as I think there are times where countries need more. So, I'm a Test match supporter, one hundred percent.”

Greenidge, who was the head coach of the ICC Champions Trophy winning Bangladesh team in 1997, also said that he is pleased to be back in the country which he calls his second home.

Although Greenidge is on a private tour this time and discussions on controversial issues of Bangladesh cricket were not on the agenda for the session, he could not constrain himself when an audience member asked about BCB earning plenty of money but not enough success.

“You can have a lot of money, but if it's not spent in the right place then you will find your success and development is only marginal,” he replied.

“Maybe the board needs to take a fresh look at how they organize themselves and cricket. Let's make cricket stronger in Bangladesh than the past before sending players out to play national cricket. Develop Bangladesh players first,” former Bangladesh coach added. 

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