England’s tour of New Zealand: a 23000 mile round trip, a series spanning fifteen days and three matches, and not a ‘result’ to be found. Just a solitary wicket could have settled the series and given the Black Caps a deserved scalp of the second best side in the world. It wasn’t a classic series, granted, but surely even mediocre cricket deserves a winner? Or in this case, one side at least deserved to be a loser?
The solution is blindingly obvious and the world’s governing body the ICC know it, with discussions of the revival of the ‘Timeless Test’ in the case of needing a decider in the inaugural Test Championships due to be held in
2013 2017 (maybe).
The last Timeless Test, between England and South Africa in Durban 1937, was described as “a monstrosity” in The Times; it only ended after 5447 deliveries across 10 days as England had a boat to catch. They were basically scrapped as they were unbelievably dull. The ICC, in all their consistent lack of wisdom, have decided to ignore this section of history and damn well bring the concept back! That’ll teach The Times for limiting it’s online content to subscribers only, those elitist blighters!
If anything, I would go further than the ICC (wotta maverick!): imagine if the Final Test of each series which was tied suddenly became ‘Timeless’. Or better yet, every Test. Suddenly, results would become the norm. You’d get rid of those repetitive jokes from chaffball followers about “thirty days of cricket ending in a draw” etc, the rankings would begin to truly reflect the strength of sides, and – even better – we could potentially wipe out those entirely pointless series of mediocre One-Day Internationals which seem to be held post-good Test Cricket!
Yup, Timeless Test Cricket is certainly the future. Imagine Monty and Jimmy blocking out until Day 7 at Cardiff in 2009, each forward prod against Nathan Hauritz and the inexplicably still bowling Marcus North a thing of amaranthine unfading beauty…or perhaps the illimitable perverse pride of watching every single ball of an 8 day stand between Alastair Cook and Jonathan Trott. Test Cricket Fans – it is time to reclaim our sport! Let us slowly and passively do nothing about it at all! The T20 crowd will quickly usurp their attention spans, and as they leave midway through the first session, the sport shall be ours!