Amid a growing debate over the survival of Test cricket, Indian batting great V.V.S. Laxman on Wednesday pitched for day-night Test matches, asserting that its novelty value would attract crowds without compromising the inherent core fabric of the longer version.
Delivering the Mansur Ali Khan Pataudi lecture here, Laxman said the biggest challenge for the administrators was to attract more spectators for Tests whose survival was critical for the future of cricket.
"Day-night Test cricket is being suggested, and while we are not sure whether it can meet technical requirements, it might draw newer audiences for its sheer novelty value. People could dash to a ground after a day's work and unwind for a few hours.
"Who knows, gradually their interest in Test cricket might be reignited, they might start coming to the grounds more regularly," Laxman said. (Also Read: Gavaskar Hailed as Best India's Batsman Ever by Legendary Spin Trio)
"So maybe day-night cricket is worth a shot, no doubt, especially when the shot doesn't compromise the inherent core fabric of the longer version. Test matches during the day should remain the norm, but occasionally, five days of Test cricket under lights, especially in places of extreme heat and where dew is not a massive factor, will add an exciting dimension to the game," the Hyderabadi said.
Despite being 'old fashioned', Laxman said he was a huge fan of Twenty20 cricket but attributed the "proliferation of franchise-based domestic Twenty20 leagues across the world" to be the reason for the lack of interest in Test cricket.
While Twenty20 format has opened up the cricket economy for a larger number of players and offering new avenues for the spectators, Laxman called for balancing both the formats.
"Twenty20 forces you to think differently, both as a batsman and as a captain. It opens up new avenues of scoring and exploring different scoring options, and as we have seen, it has triggered bowling and fielding innovations that are, quite simply, mind-boggling and have gradually made their way into Test cricket too.
"There is no denial to the fact that the format adds excitement and entertainment value to our sport," said Laxman, who was involved with the IPL first as a player and later as the mentor for Sunrisers Hyderabad.