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Taufel seconds Ganguly’s belief, says Day-Night Test is the future



Kolkata, Nov 2: Former international umpire Simon Taufel has backed India's decision to finally set aside their apprehensions and take to Day-Night Tests, saying high performance sport is all about taking educated risks in order to develop the cause and keep it running.

"High performance modern business is about pushing the envelope. It's about going places where we haven't been before and taking educated risks. We take that based on research and what the customers want," Taufel told IANS in an interview here on Saturday.

The five-time ICC Umpire of the Year is in the city to launch his book titled "Finding The Gaps".

"We know if we don't do anything about Test cricket, it's under threat. It is facing some challenges. We could be doing a lot more to promote Test cricket. We need to explore pink ball in that aspect," Taufel said.

"Sometimes you need to try things to know whether they work or they don't. Pink ball cricket is something that needs to be explored before we take it off the table," said the 48-year old Australian, widely regarded as one of cricket's best-ever umpires.

Taufel was present when the first pink ball Test was played in 2015 between Australia and New Zealand in Adelaide.

"It works in some countries and some environments. In Adelaide for example it's been a tremendous success. Drawing people to Test cricket that may not have already come," he said.

India had refused to play a D/N Test at the same venue in 2018 and has since not been very keen on the idea until new-elected BCCI President Sourav Ganguly pitched for the need to play Test cricket under lights to pull crowds.

India will take on Bangladesh under lights in the second Test of the two-match series from November 22-26 at Eden Gardens.

Taufel, who was the ICC Umpire Performance & Training Manager till 2015, also backed the World Test Championship, saying it has brought context and relevance to the every game in the five-day format.

"I don't expect it to be perfect like nothing is in cricket or life," Taufel said on the much-debated points system. "But what is important with the Test Championship is that we have context and relevance. Every game means something. We have to be playing for something," said Taufel who has umpired in 74 Tests between 2000 and 2012 in a career that overlapped with the first use of DRS in a Test, in 2008.

Asked about the dwindling crowds in Test cricket, he said: "The quality of television coverage is fantastic these days. People don't want to come to the stands. Possibly one of the ways (to revive Test cricket) is pink ball. People these days work a lot and don't have time to watch sport. They need to be enticed in some way."

On whether quality of teams have gone down, he stressed on the need to have good domestic structure in every country.

"It is important to work on the nursery. We are seeing more leagues and the game broaden very quickly. That is putting a pressure on everyone concerned as it is growing so fast. We need to make sure we have strong domestic cricket in all of the home boards and all associates, then, we will have good quality."

Talking about his book, Taufel said the first chapter talks about "the hardest call he had to make" and that being not on the cricketing field.

"I have put the hardest call I have had to make as the first chapter. I am not talking about an LBW decision or a caught behind, I am talking about the phone call I had to make after the Lahore terrorist attack in 2009 to my wife," said Taufel who, along with fellow umpire Steve Davis, was caught up in the 2009 terrorist attack of the Sri Lankan bus as it made its way into the Gaddafi Stadium in Lahore for the second Test against Pakistan.

"To be able to let her know that unfortunately something serious had happened and that people had died in our vehicle and I was okay. That there was no need to worry," he added.

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