London, Aug.17 (ANI): Former Australian leg spinner Shane Warne has said that he has a six-point plan to further improve spectator interest in the game of cricket.
In an article for The Courier Mail, Warne says he thinks that overall cricket is in pretty good health, but believes that his six-point plan, if implemented, will ensure that the game continues to move in the right direction.
The six-point plan is as follows:
1) Fast-track umpires and raise their wages
Warne believes that the standard of umpiring is as low as he has known it in 20 years. While admitting that umpiring is a difficult job and technology exposes any mistakes, he believes that there is a need to fast track new and fresh umpires into the system and also to raise the wages of the men in white.
2) Scrap one-day internationals
Warne believes that cricket has evolved so much that the 50-over game has passed its sell-by date.
"From now on, we should be playing Tests and Twenty20 internationals, with a Twenty20 World Cup every two years. TV still gets seven hours of cricket every weekend, but it's Twenty20. Four-day games should start two hours later at 1pm, but finish at 7.30pm. That way people could come down after work for the final session," he says.
He believes that by eliminating one-day cricket, players would be freed up to spend more time at domestic level, grass roots cricket and time at home with families.
3) Introduce a World Test Championship
The ICC can sort out the nitty-gritty, but I'd be looking for two divisions, one side going up and down every two years. Those in the second division would just have to raise their game to get back among the best, but there is enough TV money in the game to make sure they don't struggle financially, and stay viable.
4) Ban switch-hitting
Warne says: "I'm with Michael Holding on this one. The day isn't far off when a batsman takes guard left-handed, the bowler sets the field and the guys switches to become a right-hander. I'm all for players using their initiative and making the game more exiting, but this one just isn't fair for the bowlers."
5) No rolling or sweeping the pitch once the game has started
"Like my previous idea, this one is designed to help bowlers, mainly spinners, and as most wickets are flat now this can help bowlers. The groundsman should still mow the pitch daily to make sure there is the same level of grass for both teams. Otherwise, just let the surface deteriorate naturally," says Warne.
6) Create a window for the IPL
He believes that a separate window for the Indian Premier League (IPL) should be created.
"I've read that it is already the fourth biggest sporting event in the world in terms of value, estimated at around a billion dollars. The sooner the authorities realise it is here to stay, the better," says Warne. (ANI)