There have been a quite a lot of debate over the performances of the Bangladesh players not matching the facilities and contracts handed to them by the Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB). While the players called for a strike just recently before their demands were met, the poor performance in the first Test against India saw the argument over the performances brought up once again despite the facilities provided.
India have been immensely successful in the longest format of the game and their captain Virat Kohli talked about his country and the cricket boards measure about how to push Test cricket forward. He talked about ‘total commitment’ from the players but also reiterated the importance of matching that demand with improved contract for Test players in the country.
“You could say that,” he pondered before answering when asked if one half of teams are getting stronger and one half is getting weaker? “I can't speak for another team or another board on how they look at Test cricket and how they want to manage it. But from our point of view and BCCI point of view, the only discussion we've had over the last two-three years is how we can keep Test cricket right up there, and that takes the commitment of the board. And secondly the total commitment of the players wanting to do everything that's required to keep the standards of Test cricket high,” Virat said.
“If you look at our contracts system as well, a lot of importance has been given to Test cricketers. I think all things have to coincide and I think every cricket nation that has done that are invariably the ones that are playing strong Test cricket. Their hearts and minds are totally in sync with keeping Test cricket on top. You can't tell the players you have to be committed to playing Test cricket but contractually we won't do anything for you,” he added.
Test is said to be the hardest format as it really tests the skills and abilities of a player. In Bangladesh, Test is often a format where timid focus is put on both by the cricketers and the board. Virat said that in this format, the best players are difficult to find. In his opinion, the first class structure should provide the players who thrive in the longest form of the game.
“I think because we're professional players, we earn a living as well... as long as Test cricket is displayed or said to be the more important format,everything around that has to happen in the same manner. From our team's point of view, that was our main goal - how can we tell the Test players you guys are the most important, because the other formats are taking care of themselves anyway. You have so many people coming up and playing white ball cricket but Test specialists are very difficult to find. Only someone who has gone through the grind for five-six years in first class cricket and is still continuing to do so are the ones. So yeah, I think the players need to be taken care of but at the same time the players need to respond in a manner that they're giving 120 percent every Test match. I think as long as teams are willing to do that, and cricket boards are willing to do that, Test cricket will always be on top.”