It's very, very crucial to market Test cricket like we do for ODIs and T20Is: Virat Kohli

It’s very, very crucial to market Test cricket like we do for ODIs and T20Is: Virat Kohli

Kohli has been asserting various options as to how one can popularize Test cricket in India again and bring fans back to the stadiums.

Virat Kohli
Virat Kohli. (Photo Source: Twitter)

The historic pink-ball day-night Test at the iconic Eden Gardens lived up to its billing. Even though the match turned out to be a one-sided affair, with the No.1 ranked side in the world sweeping aside Bangladesh in what turned out to be the shortest Test on Indian soil with an outright result, it was a magnanimous affair where more than 50,000 fans turned up on each of the days to witness the marquee occasion.

This was a welcome change as far as Test cricket in India is concerned. And, it was also a perfect example of how one should market a Test match. In the past few years, we have seen Team India dominate at home in front of one-tenth of the crowd that came to witness the Test at the Eden Gardens.

Much of it goes down to the marketing, lack of basic facilities provided to the fans in the stadium. Former Indian captain Rahul Dravid had alluded to the same in the past that the five-day format needs to be marketed well in the country. And, now the current Indian captain Virat Kohli has also echoed the same emotions.

Maybe schoolchildren could interact with Team India players during lunch: Virat Kohli

Kohli, who became the first Indian to score a hundred in the pink-ball Test alluded to the same in the post-match press conference. According to Kohli, it is very important to market Test cricket on the same magnitude as we do One-days and T20Is and it is not only the job of the players but also of the broadcasters to portray the product in a certain manner, that would be appealing to the fans.

“I think it’s very, very crucial to market Test cricket like we do for ODIs and T20Is. It’s not only the job of the players but it spreads out to the management the cricket Board and the home broadcasters about how you portray a particular product to the people. If you create an excitement only around the T20 cricket and not much around Test cricket then in the psyche of the fans there’s already a certain template that’s established,” Kohli said in the press conference as quoted by Times of India.

Kohli has been asserting various options as to how one can popularize Test cricket in India again and bring fans back to the stadiums. Adding another suggestion to the list, the Indian captain said that it would be great if school kids can interact with the players during the lunch or Tea sessions in the midst of a Test match; something that would create enough buzz and interest.

“I think if there’s enough buzz created around Test cricket then there will be a lot more keenness to come to the stadium. Like you have in venues abroad, there’s something or the other happening, maybe a play area for games. Maybe schoolchildren could interact with Team India players during lunch.”

“I think all these things will really bring that strength into Test cricket and people would want to come in and have an experience of a Test match. It should be an event where you come and experience cricket, not just sit there and watch in you know, hot conditions. So I think there has to be more for the fan. I totally agree with that and has to be marketed well.”