Ahead of the third and final Test between India and South Africa, there were reports that only 1,500 tickets had been sold for the match at the JSCA International Stadium in Ranchi.
India may have completed an emphatic series win in just a little over three days, but the crowd at the Ranchi stadium was sparse throughout.
After the victory, Indian captain Virat Kohli weighed in on the matter and made an interesting suggestion.
“In my opinion, we should have five Test centres at most,” said Kohli. “It can’t be sporadic and spread over so many places where people may or may not turn up. Teams coming to India should know this is where we are going to play and nowhere else.”
Test cricket has been battling for survival since years now, and the poor turnout during the three Tests between India and South Africa – in Visakhapatnam, Pune and Ranchi – wasn’t a great advertisement for the longest format of the game.
Countries like Australia and England have always had a handful of centres where they conduct Test matches, with fans usually turning up in good numbers at the stadiums. Only time will tell whether the Board of Control for Cricket in India will pay heed to Kohli’s observation.
With the ICC Championship making each and every game significant, perhaps it’s time India considers this option of having fixed centres for Tests.