Bengaluru, June 29: India's new head coach Anil Kumble today (June 29) stressed the importance of Test cricket and said his team will play in such a way that crowds will come to stadiums to watch the five-day format.
With the advent of Twenty20s there is a growing concern over the survival of the traditional format. Crowds have dwindled at Test match venues. But Kumble is hopeful.
The 45-year-old Kumble, who took charge as India's coach on Wednesday, said the Indian players and the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) were serious about the longer format.
India play 17 Tests in the next 12 months. 13 of those matches will be at home. New Zealand, England, Bangladesh and Australia will tour India.
Kumble, who is also the Chairman of the Internatioal Cricket Council's (ICC) Cricket Committee, was asked about the concerns over Test cricket and the proposed two-division league.
"I was a part of that discussion as well (2-divison league for Tests). At this stage I don't like to make a comment that. I am aware of all the proposals. Whatever it takes to popuralise Test cricket I am for it," the former captain said.
"India is playing 17 Test matches in the next 12 months that itself goes to show that how important Test cricket is for BCCI and the Indian team. Talking to the (Indian) players, although it is my first day (at preparatory camp), I realised how much importance they have on Test cricket. We will certainly display a form of Test cricket which will certainly bring in people to watch and love the game (Tests)," he added.
Indian Test squad is in Bengaluru at the National Cricket Academy (NCA) preparing for the tour of Caribbean next month. They play 4 Tests against the West Indies. This will be Kumble's first assignment as coach.