For India, the 2016-17 Season would be the greatest cricketing season in the country's history. Taking the ground breaking step, BCCI has put upfront fixtures and venues scheduled for the season three months in advance. As programmed, India will be playing 13 Test series at home over a span of seven months. The number of fixtures along with ODIs and T20s has made the year the most compact season in last 37 years. The announcement by BCCI has broken the previous backlogs for India of being the murkiest country to search for cricket venues in advanced. It was usual in the cricketing fraternity throughout the globe to be in suspense about India's fixtures. However, this time it seems to change drastically.
BCCI will release the complete lists of itineraries within two weeks. The extent, to which BCCI has scaled up its decision just after hosting the big T20 games and IPL, is laudable. The Test series for India are with New Zealand, England, Bangladesh and Australia. The year will be dominated by long form cricket and it will naturally be a rejuvenation of the format. In present times when Test Cricket is almost put into a backdrop with the rise of shorter matches, the nation with the top T20 squad and specialists backing up the genre is exemplary.
So far, India's tract record on hosting Test matches as well as playing the game has been scarce. Since September 2005, more than a decade back, India hosted 46 home Test matches. In the last four year it has hosted only 14 Test schedules. BCCI Chief Anurag Thakur rightly pointed out that although India is known as the power house of Cricket, the scale at which it hosts the game is highly underrated. The home season of the country is named "India Cricket"for the second term and the campaign is to promote it as a brand. The BCCI chief further added that the brand will promote both domestic and international cricket emphasizing on the fact that every country has their own home seasons. This means that there would be more tours to India from other countries.
It can be contemplated that BCCI would give its cricketers the bonus to be at home during festivals. As for India, occasions like Diwali is important, the fixtures for the team in the months are in nation on the likes of South Africa or Australia that centers their home seasons surrounding Christmas and New Year. England plays seven home Test series every summer and Australia plays about six, for India, it would be a step ahead with eight home Test series. This would be the cornerstone to hone new players into international cricketing and offer them intense exposure to the global standard.
The decision to scale up cricket in the country is being taken after a good research and logical deductions. The decision is taken after cross examination of facts from a number of viewpoints. Every technical and managerial aspect has been considered right from ground conditions, logistics and allocation to others formats with reasonable gaps. The vastness of the nation and cricket grounds spread over diverse climatic zones is a great advantage to host matches undisrupted throughout the year. It is expected that the drive will also bring up many new world class cricket grounds in the nation while developing a classy infrastructure for sports.
The current fixtures would be also an experiment over cricket fanfare in India. The response of India's audience in the Test Venues would not only be an appraisal for viability of cricket, but also of Test format in contrast to T20. It will also up bring some crucial elements of the industry like financial compensations of long format players. It would be interesting to note the progress of India's cricket administration and its impact on betterment of global cricket in future as it is now.
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