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Viswanath asks ICC to back Test cricket

November 18, 2009 10:23 IST

Inspired by Rahul Dravid's glorious 177 in the ongoing first Test against Sri lanka at Ahmedabad, former India captain Gundappa Viswanath has asked the ICC not to undermine Test cricket and promote the five-day game, which has been in vogue since 1877.

"Test cricket is what cricket is about. It tests the players' skill. It is a different ball game altogether. It is the real cricket in which all players would want show their prowess. I want ICC to think about vigorously promoting Test cricket," said Viswanath.

"To play such a fabulous innings when India were down in the dumps (32 for 4) reflects the player's skill and temperament. It is only in Tests that you can get to do this. It provides you the platform to show your character, skill and temperament.

"The ICC should realise that cricket has been kept alive by the calibre, skill and class that the Dravids, Tendulkars and Pontings produce time and again when the going gets tough. The trio among others have shown what Test cricket is all about. It is a glorious game," he said.

Viswanath also expressed his stern opposition against ICC's idea of introducing pink balls to make Test cricket more a day-night affair and feels the format will lose its sheen if the ICC, more so the Indian Cricket Board (BCCI) continues to nurture the game's latest manifestation, the T20 version.

"ICC shouldn't think about introducing pink balls in Test cricket. The red ball is traditional. It should not yield to the pressure of marketing only T20 cricket.

"I am not suggesting that the ICC should do away with T20 cricket which has come to stay. But the apex body should ensure that Test cricket does not take the back seat," said Viswanath, who was probably the only skipper to recall an opponent batsman in Test history.

Though umpire Hanumanth Rao had deemed that Bob Taylor had nicked to Syed Kirmani, Viswanath, in a rare gesture of sportsmanship, had allowed the English wicketkeeper-batsman to continue his innings in the jubilee Test at Mumbai in 1980, remembered for Ian Botham's exploits.

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