Ten Ways to Improve Test Cricket

Posted on December 30, 2010 by


  1. It’s 30 overs per session of Test cricket, so bowl them and count every ball beyond the scheduled 120 minutes (adjusted by the Third Umpire for unavoidable delays) as a “time no ball” that counts as a legitimate delivery, but goes down in the book as an extra to the batting side. We wouldn’t see mid-over consultations between captain and bowler, nor various items of equipment being brought out on to the field either.
  2. If the TV umpire is available, he should call all no balls via the radio link to the on-field umpire. To balance off the batsman not having a free hit, the no ball should count for two extras. Bowlers wouldn’t bowl no balls.
  3. The bowling side to get three UDRS referrals and the batting side one. The batting side usually know the outcome of their referral (inside edges for example), whereas the bowling side are usually backing their opinion. If the referral is correct, but stays with the original decision because it is within the margin of error, the referral should not count as one of the three / one allocated.
  4. No drinks outside scheduled drinks breaks or at umpire’s discretion in extreme conditions. The game is a physical challenge in which stamina matters – 60 minutes without a drink is perfectly reasonable.
  5. If the ball is inside the boundary or in the air but not caught, it is neither a four nor a six, regardless of whether the fielder is touching the boundary rope. Caught with a foot grounded beyond the boundary is a six. The batsman has to hit the ball over the boundary for a boundary doesn’t he?
  6. One warning for a beamer or running on the wicket – just don’t do it again.
  7. New batsmen to cross the dismissed batsman on the field of play on pain of a five run penalty. Same penalty if dismissed batsman delays the game unnecessarily. Works perfectly well in T20.
  8. Bowlers to be allowed to alter the condition of the ball in any way they choose, short of artificial means or actions outside the field of play. Only the batting side to be allowed to request change of ball for it being misshapen. Change of ball is at umpire’s discretion.
  9. Bad light to be renamed “dangerous light” and only invoked if there is a clear and present danger to the players. The light is part of the environment in which the game is played – just get on with it.
  10. The follow-on to be available to any fielding captain with any first innings lead. Why not?


Article by Gary Naylor