Stressing that day-night Test matches will increase viewership, Sanjay Manjrekar on Monday wondered why India was reluctant to embrace this idea, reasoning that players are choosing T20 leagues over Test cricket because of the money involved in the shortest format.

“The only way to get more people to watch Test cricket, increase its viewership, popularity and thereby its quality is day-night Test matches,” said Manjrekar in Mumbai.

“Why aren’t we playing more day-night Test matches, when its a no-brainer that it will draw more viewership,” Manjrekar asked while delivering the ninth Dilip Sardesai Memorial lecture at the Cricket Club of India.

“An offer was recently rejected by India - because the players are vary of it, vary of the pink ball, the dew factor etc. I always believed that conditions aren’t unfair if it is the same for both the sides,” said the 53-year-old, referring to India’s refusal to play a day-night Test during their upcoming Australia tour this year.

“Today’s Test cricket is played in front of empty stands and IPL in front of frenzied crowds of 50,000 plus and millions watching on TV.

“It’s about playing the IPL (Indian Premier League) at all cost, player injuries surface before and after the IPL. IPL offers you fame and money and who will say no to this? Also Test cricket is just too damn hard, so it’s no wonder that many are choosing T20 leagues over Test matches,” elaborated Manjrekar.

Responding to the observation, COA memeber Diana Edulji said at the sidelines of the event, “We will have a day night Test after the series against Australia. I know it (day-night Tests) hasn’t happened yet but it will soon.”

Manjrekar also cautioned that people “who are at the top” should not get dictated by the views of the players.

“I believe that people at the top should get their (players) views and not get dictated by those,” he said.

The former Mumbai captain squarely blamed the batsmen’s poor technique for the team’s 4-1 loss in Tests in England. As a man who is reputed to have a great technique himself, while also studying the technical aspects of the game in great detail (almost to his detriment) the Mumbaikar said more than temperament, Indian batsmen were found wanting in their skills.

“Interestingly, it was the batting that let India down this time (in England), the bowlers kept getting India back in the match and the batsmen kept letting those chances slip. It wasn’t temperament that was letting these batsmen down. In South Africa and in England it was purely a technical problem, specifically defensive technique,” he said.