Lack of spectator interest killing Test cricket: Boycott

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Melbourne, July 15 (ANI): England's batting legend Geoffrey Boycott has warned that the lack of spectator interest is killing Test cricket, which requires radical changes to save it.

The former opening batsman said crowds at Ashes matches masked the dwindling attendances for Tests elsewhere in the world, with even the recent series between South Africa and Australia, failing to sell out.

"If you're watching England against Australia this summer, we're all seduced into believing Test cricket is fine because you could sell Test-match cricket twice over for huge amounts of money because it ... has history and tradition," Boycott said.

"But every other series around the world, there are declining attendances and there have been declining attendances for many years," The Herald Sun quoted him, as saying.

"Everywhere crowds are down except in England and Australia ... we have to tweak it a bit or do something to get bums on seats or their will be hardly anybody watching except television in 20 or 30 years," he added.

The MCC cricket committee, which is made up of former and current international players called for a World Test Championship similar to the World Championships that exist in 50-over and Twenty20 cricket to reignite interest.

Although there are world Test rankings, which do ultimately lead to a team being declared the best side in the world, they have yet to become a part of the fabric of the game.

"Test cricketers want to be able to say they're the world champions of Test cricket," said Steve Waugh, a member of the MCC cricket committee.

"We can say it in the Twenty20 and 50-over game but Test cricket continues on and on. There's the ranking system, but there's no actual trophy where you can hold it aloft. Something definitely needs to be done to lift the profile of Test cricket," he said.

Boycott added: "The idea is not just to have a world championship but to package it better."

The International Cricket Council (ICC) announced last month that it was considering the possibility of having a day/night Test in 2010 on a trial basis. (ANI)

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