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India ‘selfish’ to not play day/night Tests, says Mark Waugh

by Wisden Staff 3 minute read

Mark Waugh, the former Australia batsman and selector, has said India are being ‘selfish’ in refusing to play day/night Test cricket, and that they were holding back the future of the game.

Cricket Australia confirmed last week that the BCCI had turned down their proposal to have the opening Test of their four-match series, starting December 6 in Adelaide, as a day/night contest.

The current ICC playing conditions stipulate that a day/night Test can be hosted only “with the agreement of the visiting board”.

James Sutherland, the Cricket Australia Chief Executive, has since called for scheduling decisions to be left to the home board going forward, and Waugh expressed his disappointment on Wednesday May 16 while speaking to Big Sports Breakfast radio.

Australia have been involved in four day/night Tests so far

“It’s a little bit selfish from India’s point of view because we need to revitalise Test cricket,” Waugh said. “Day/night Test cricket in some countries is going to be one of those ingredients that could transform Test cricket back to where it should be.”

Waugh, who was in India recently as part of the commentary panel for IPL 2018, believed the depth of personnel possessed by India will ensure they wouldn’t have a problem adapting to the format.

“Their team is pretty well suited to day-night cricket,” said Waugh. “They’ve got a string of fast bowlers, so they don’t just rely on the spinners, and their batsmen are technically very good as well. So, for the greater good of the game, I would have loved to have seen that as a day/night Test.”

Test cricket received a significant boost when Ireland ran Pakistan hard in their maiden Test in Malahide, Dublin earlier this week, with Kevin O’Brien scoring a historic century.

Mark Waugh won’t renew his contract as Australia T20 selector

Waugh was all praise for Ireland, but said they needed to focus on the next generation of players. “Their challenge will be to bring some younger players through, because they’re a pretty old team,” he pointed out. “The depth of Irish cricket is going to be key there. The same for Afghanistan (who play their maiden Test against India next month).

“They (Afghanistan) have got a lot of talent, some fine young players. They’ve got two of the better bowlers in the IPL tournament in Rashid Khan and Mujeeb Ur Rahman.

“So there’s countries coming into the frame of Test cricket around world, but they can’t come in for just a little while and hope they do well. They need infrastructure and some depth in their playing ranks and that’s going to be pushed in the coming years.”

Waugh, 52, recently confirmed he wouldn’t renew his contract as Australia T20 selector, which expires at the end of August, and will take up a commentary role with Fox Sports instead.

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