Mumbai. BCCI, the governing body for the game of cricket in India, has announced a shock retirement from test cricket, the 5-day long traditional version of the game, in order to concentrate on Twenty20, the 3-hour slam-bang version of the game. Board said that it was finding the longer version of the game too “tiresome and boring” to manage and hence thought it better to concentrate on the shorter versions.
“The five-day long schedule of test-cricket was taking a toll on the fitness level of the board, with many of the members picking up nagging injuries,” BCCI president Shashank Manohar said, “The heavy work load of test cricket could have caused some permanent injuries to us, hence we decided to call it quits.”
Board denied that the step was taken under the lure of cash-rich IPL, the professional league for Twenty20 cricket featuring cheerleaders and Bollywood stars.
“It’s not about money, it’s about fitness,” Mr. Manohar claimed that the last two presidents of BCCI – Sharad Pawar and himself – had gained weight due to the “lazy” nature of test cricket.
The BCCI president also held test cricket responsible for the controversy of Sri Lankan cricketers playing in IPL and claimed that there wouldn’t have been any problem at all if the Sri Lankan board too had retired from the format.
But with governing bodies of cricket in other countries not yet bidding adieu to test cricket, BCCI has requested the Sports Ministry of India to take care of organizing and managing test cricket on behalf of team India.
Although the board specifically praised Twenty20 for its “energetic” nature and expressed desire to further its “career” in the same, it didn’t rule out ODIs (One Day Internationals) from it future plans.
“We hope to be around till 2015 World Cup and take part in it,” a BCCI representative confirmed, “We are definitely interested in ODIs till Sachin and Sehwag are playing.”