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Lower prices, smaller venues will save Test cricket: Buchanan

Australia’s most successful cricket coach John Buchanan says the longer form of the game needs to be saved from financial oblivion.

In response to a warning from the England and Wales Cricket Board that Test cricket may no longer be financially viable, Buchanan has called for the ICC to take immediate action to prevent shorter forms like One Day or T20 cricket killing off the traditional format.

“What’s happening in cricket these days is that cricket is somewhat guided by marketers and bean-counters who simply look at bottom lines, and if the numbers don’t add up then [they] get rid of something. In this case, the numbers are suggesting that they don’t add up for Test cricket,” Buchanan told Macquarie Sports Radio‘s Cam Reddin.

Buchanan says it would be a “massive error” should the ICC allowing Test cricket to decline further in the public eye.

Rather than allowing junior and club cricket to become focused on T20 matchplay, Buchanan says players should be increasingly exposed to the long-form game as the next step in player development. He has also called for a reduction in money spent on players and cricket’s “bureaucracy” in favour of spending on the grassroots.

“Why don’t we look at reducing admission prices and all the food and beverage prices that really are taking cricket and other sports out of reach of families and the ordinary person,” Buchanan said.

Buchanan would like to see a greater number of Tests played at boutique venues, rather than large grounds like the GABBA or Adelaide Oval.

Other ideas include a membership or subscription model to get fans through the gates.

Click below for the full interview and listen to the Weekend Warm-Up with Cam Reddin 4.00am-6.00am Saturday and Sunday mornings

Cam Reddin