Virat Kohli on Cricket: In an interview with Wisden Cricket Monthly, Kohli was critical about marketers planning another format of cricket.
Indian captain Virat Kohli has shelved the need for another format of cricket citing that the current demands of the game already cause a lot of pressure to the players. In an interview with Wisden Cricket Monthly, Kohli said that he supported various T20 leagues but wasn’t up for another format (like the ECB’s 100-ball format).
He was quoted, “Obviously for the people involved in the whole process [of the 100-ball format] and the set-up it will be really exciting but I cannot think of one more format, to be honest. I’m already very… I wouldn’t say frustrated, but sometimes it can get very demanding of you when you have to play so much cricket regularly. I feel somewhere the commercial aspect is taking over the real quality of cricket and that hurts me.”
He was wax lyrical about cricket’s ancestral format, i.e., Test cricket, and spoke about the need to not just preserve it but market it in a way that it reaches a wider set of audiences. “If you’re not going to give more importance to first-class cricket, then people are going to lose motivation to play the longest format of the game.
“And with the T20 format coming in I think there’s far greater responsibility on all the cricket boards across the world to treat first-class cricket really well, because if the facilities and the standard goes up, then the motivation always stays. You don’t want players to get into that mindset where they’re finding the easy way out”, he added.
Just like a plethora of other orthodox lovers of the game, Kohli said that he believes that Test cricket is the most beautiful format of the game. “I think that if you really understand the sport, if you really love the sport, you understand Test cricket and you understand how exciting it is. It’s the most beautiful format of the game. I don’t think it’s going to go anywhere. I don’t even see it getting compressed to four days. It should not be tinkered with”, he further added.
Speaking about the imminent World Test Championship, Kohli was quoted, “I think the Test Championship is going to give a huge push to Test cricket. It makes every series more competitive, and there’s going to be ups and downs throughout the Championship, which I really look forward to.”
The World Test Championship is a tournament which is likely to add merit to bilateral Test cricket. It will run from July 2019 to April 2021, with the nine top-ranked Test teams contesting each other in a home-and-away basis with the aim of finishing in the top two, and then winning the final.