Lalit Modi’s thoughts on Test cricket

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People won’t watch Test cricket unless there are day-night matches

Time zones, Lalit. Time zones.

At least half the matches your team plays aren’t in your country. If it’s all about broadcasting rights then one nation’s day-night match is the opposition’s daytime match.

We’ve got to admit that day-night Test matches make sense in a lot of countries though. Not all of them, but a few. Not in England because people are actually looking for an excuse to get out into the sun because warm days are such a rarity over here.

People don’t have the time for Test cricket

This is one of Modi’s beliefs. This is one of the main reasons why he thinks Twenty20 will ultimately be the dominant format (but not the sole format, it’s worth noting).

Lalit Modi works an 80-hour week or summat like that. He’s never even managed to watch a whole IPL game – only fragments. This is his world. He doesn’t realise that most of the rest of us are lucky if we put in eight hours of actual work in an entire working week.

A Test match, played during the daytime, is the best way of avoiding work that there is. That is the modern world, Lalit; a world that revolves around the internet and finding ways to slack off.

Test cricket’s survival depends on the way it’s marketed

It doesn’t. Test cricket’s success depends on the way it’s marketed, but Test cricket offers something unique that sporting followers can’t get anywhere else, so it shouldn’t die unless it is utterly neglected.

Even if Twenty20 were to become as popular as football, we’d imagine that many of the fans would start to appreciate elements of Test cricket over time.

We’re still with Test cricket because it’s got more depth; because it offers more to think about and more to talk about. It’s not marketing that’s kept us watching the sport for 20 years.


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  1. If there is one person in the world I want dead, it’s him. Even more than Hayden.

  2. La-Lalit Moodi is a twat who is actually ruining T20 cricket even.

    He really knows frak all about the game of cricket, just pretends that does and makes Moodi noises when asks.

    He hasn’t got an original thought in his head.

  3. Until this post I didn’t really have an opinion one way or the other about Lalit Modi.

    Now I realise he’s an arrogant, evil, selfish arsehole. One of the great beauties of test cricket is NOT watching it, at least not concentrating on watching it. I love having either TMS or Skyplayer running in the background as I work. Tests enable the viewer to get on with their life whilst still keeping up. 20/20s happen too quickly and leave you with a faint sense of disappointment (B-Macs recent innings are an exception that proves the rule).

    A 20/20 match is like a quick wank before bed to relax whereas a test is like a romantic weekend with the love of your life. I think this says a lot about Mr Modi.

  4. Monster Cable, I doubt anyone could come up with a better way to compare 20/20 to tests!

  5. Lalit Modi talks through his a**e.20/20 is more of a premature ejaculation .Comparing it to wank is an insult to masturbation.

  6. “People won’t watch Test cricket unless there are day-night matches”.

    It might fail in countries like England, but it is an interesting idea that could be tried out in tropical climates, where sitting an entire day in a badly equipped stadium under scorching sun might only be for the really brave.

    “People don’t have the time for Test cricket”.

    This is true, no matter what people say or write. True, we can follow the scores online, but that isn’t the same as watching the game unfold.

    “Test cricket’s survival depends on the way it’s marketed”.

    Definitely true. People like us who grew up on test cricket might be inclined to dismiss this as nonsensical. But trying to get the modern kid who feasts on action packed computer games to watch an entire day’s (let’s be honest, more often than not action-depraved) play is quite a task. And ten years from now, it is the view of the children of today that will matter as regards test cricket. It’s definitely worthwhile to try out anything (not tinkering with the format itself) that will ensure tests don’t die.

    Though many people are peeved at Modi, what with him running amok with his Twenty20, I’ve never heard the man speak out against the primacy of test cricket. Hopefully, he won’t change that.

  7. Lalit Modi knows as much about cricket as Hayden knows about the art of Public speaking

  8. Deep Cower, we didn’t grow up on Test cricket. We grew up on whatever cricket happened to be on. It was only over time that we nailed our colours to the Test mast.

    We don’t see why that shouldn’t be the case for those brought up in the Twenty20 age.

    What 11-year-old has ever really wanted to sit and watch a whole day of Test cricket? They watch an hour and then they grab their bat and go and play.

  9. KC – I cannot quite imagine someone who grows up on Twenty20 switching allegiance to tests. Let’s just agree to disagree here.

    Take the case of India or England where Twenty20 is popular, and compare the number of hard hitters these countries have produced in the last five years to the number of genuine test specialists.

  10. It’s not a case of switching allegiance. It’s a case of shifting priorities.

    If you enjoy fast bowling, Test cricket has more of it. If you enjoy a tight finish, close Test finishes are a billion times more powerful.

    It might be the obvious things that attract someone to the shortest format, but the obvious things don’t hold the interest for as long.

  11. “It’s not a case of switching allegiance. It’s a case of shifting priorities”.

    Granted. But one still worries how many people’s priorities would indeed shift.

    “If you enjoy fast bowling, Test cricket has more of it.” Agreed.

    “If you enjoy a tight finish, close Test finishes are a billion times more powerful”.

    Yes, but in Twenty20, they are much more common, and even if not as “powerful”, capable of causing some excitement.

    “the obvious things don’t hold the interest for as long”.

    Wishful thinking. I am guessing by “obvious”, you mean the hit and run nature of the sport. But if that were true, we should see a dwindling in interest rates even now. After all, twenty20 has been around for a few years now.

  12. If Twenty20 becomes increasingly popular, there are ever greater numbers of people who might slowly be won over by Test cricket.

    Interest rates won’t dwindle in terms of number of people, but each person is likely to be interested in Twenty20 for a shorter duration. Once again, we base this largely on ourself and some friends and our attitude to one-dayers and Twenty20s.

    Twenty20 has not been around for long. We’ve been with Test cricket for 20-odd years and probably enjoy it more than ever. After five years of Twenty20, we still enjoy it, but not as much as we did.

  13. All test cricket fans should stop following the matches on the internet and start actually watching the games on tv.

    Now reason I say this is I really fear many advertisers will pull out from advertising during test cricket matches which will eventually lead to sports channels trying to bid for 20/20 or ODI coverage instead of tests.

    While I am crazy for test cricket, I really fear for its survival purely if the test fans dont actually watch the match live. Test cricket needs proper markets, whole lot of advertisers who find value in sponsoring test matches to genuinely survive. I know many people will dissagree, but thats the truth.

  14. The need for sensible debate has long gone. Monster Cable and V have clearly settled the matter.

    There will never be a better sentence written on 20/20 cricket than ‘Comparing it to wank is an insult to masturbation’.

  15. I had as much problem with Chappell’s theory of 4 day tests. People who don’t like test cricket (philistines and large Jamaican openers) don’t like it because it goes on for days and days. They aren’t going to be convinced that 5 days was way too much but 4 days is just thrilling. meanwhile those of us who still rahter like test matches the way they are will feel cheated.

  16. I think the basic problem with you people is you don’t want people dead. Arguing about the merits of test and 2020 is stupid. The basic fact is – this man should be murdered.

  17. Playing T20 is really rubbish aswell.

    You get 4 miserly overs and two deliveries in which to play yourself in. If you come in after the tenth over you are forced to have a hoik.

    If test cricket is a full dirty weekend then T20 is like accidentally being wanked off by a pickpocket

  18. Monster Cable is more correct than he might realise in his metaphor for 20/20, given that those most heavily promoting it are a bunch of tossers.

    The solution to the formats problem is to kill the idea that they have to compete against each other. There ought to be room for all. One answer, relatively simple but requiring standardising the tours and putting them on a proper schedule (and thus something that the BCCI, and to a lesser extent all the other boards, won’t countenance) is to combine the three formats into a single competition.

    Imagine this. A team turns up once every four years. They play five 20/20 matches, three ODIs and three tests. Each of these matches has some points awarded to the winner (e.g. 1 for a 20/20 and an ODI, 3 for a test). These matches are always the first of any longer series, but if more are needed (like five tests in the Ashes, or thirty-two ODIs for an Indian tour) they can be added onto the schedule (no points, though). This way every match counts, and the points scoring matches don’t impact on the desire to win the series if it is longer.

    If you take the example of the next Ashes series, England would win 8 points for the one day matches, and 9 points for the tests. These seventeen points go to a league table, and once every four years the top two (or the top four) play a combined-format series to decide the proper World Champions at Cricket.

    It doesn’t have to be as I’ve described above – there are dozens of possible systems that are probably better. But with a little thought AND SOME INTERNATIONAL COOPERATION a system could be implemented that ties all the forms of cricket together, thus ensuring the interest level in all of them, while at the same time not distracting from the historical aspect of winning important series.

  19. I think I’m starting to develop some strange form of mental Tourette’s…mixed in with some sort of Pavlovian conditioning (which is nothing to do with my deep-seated love of cakes).

    In short, whenever I see the name “Lalit Modi”, I think “***** ****-faced ******** of an excuse of a ********”.

    On the one hand, there’s doing wrong through inaction. On the other, there’s Lalit ***** ****-faced ******** of an excuse of a ******** Modi.

  20. My own opion sits somewhere between mahinda and e normous, depending on what kind of day I’ve had.

    While we’re Modi bashing has anyone noticed the lack of IPL fantasy games around this year? This is because the IPL licence now expressly prohibits it.

    This is an excellent way to kill one of the few ways for me to give a crap about matches involving teams or players I don’t normally support. Well done Modi you ***** ****-faced ******** of an excuse of a ********.

  21. ” Rayden // Mar 2, 2010 at 7:43 pm

    All test cricket fans should stop following the matches on the internet and start actually watching the games on tv.”

    I would watch it on TV, but the ECB took it off free-to-air, and I can’t justify the expense of a Sky subscription for the England home matches and the foreign tours that are on in watchable hours.

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