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ICC raises concerns about poor warm-up games

Khaleej Times 2018-10-11 17:47:39

 The International Cricket Council expressed concerns about the issue of home countries not offering best practice to visiting teams in warm-up games ahead of a Test series.

And ICC general manager Geoff Allardice, during an interaction with media at the first Test between Pakistan and Australia at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium, said the game's governing body has had discussions about this issue in their recent meetings.

"At this stage, we don't have any power of enforcing regulations. But we have been raising this issue at ICC meetings to help make this situation better," Allardice said.

Even the Pakistan Cricket Board didn't field their best domestic spinners in the four-day warm-up game between Australia and Pakistan in Dubai.

Australian made 494/4 in that game with the Marsh brothers - Shaun (94) and Mitchell (162) - making big scores at the ICC Academy ground.

But few days later in the first innings of the first Test, Australian batsmen, including Shaun and Mitchell, struggled against Pakistan's Test spinners.

"All of the countries have spoken about trying to make sure that the teams get a fair opportunity to prepare and that's about net bowlers, warm-up matches, opposition quality, the composition of the warm-up match and the pitch conditions," Allardice said.

In recent years, BCCI, the most powerful cricket board in the world, also hasn't fielded their best domestic spinners against visiting teams in warm-up games.

"It's an issue. South Africa made similar comments in Sri Lanka. I think the idea should be about giving the opposition the sort of preparation that they would really desire. We should be strict on that area. But it really comes down to how the two teams treat each other and how all the countries treat each other.

"That's what we have been talking about in the last couple of ICC meetings. It is about offering each other the sort of opportunity that helps stage Test cricket in the best possible way. We don't want Test matches where the home team dominate all the time," he added.

Allardice then defended ICC's decision to reintroduce four-day Test matches.

New Zealand had their fair share of four-day Tests in the 1970's.

And last year, South Africa and Zimbabwe played a one-off four-day pink-ball Test which ended in two days at Port Elizabeth.

"We have got lot of first class competitions that are played over four days, we can see the way the game is played. But in terms of the Test moving forward, in the world Test championship, all the matches are scheduled at five days," he said.

"At the moment we are trying to get opportunities for Ireland, Afghanistan and Zimbabwe to play Test cricket against some of the teams that are in the world Test championship. It often works better over four days than five," the former Australia first class cricketer said.

"Ireland and England are also playing one four-day Test in July next year. But four-day Tests are mainly outside of the Test championships."

rituraj@khaleejtimes.com


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