Test home comforts a worry for ICC

LONDON: International Cricket Council chief executive David Richardson believes Tests will be more evenly contested if schedules are changed so that visiting teams have more time to adjust to local conditions.

Sri Lanka’s nine-wicket defeat by England at the Riverside last week gave the hosts an unassailable 2-0 lead in three-match series, after an even more emphatic innings and 88-run win in the first Test at Headingley just days earlier.

Victory meant England had won 15 of their last 21 home series, a success rate of more than 71 percent, and home advantage is becoming increasingly prevalent all around the world.

Figures compiled by the Cricinfo website show that in the 10 years to September 2015, teams have lost more than twice as many matches as they have won when playing overseas, a record far worse than in earlier years.

Overcast early season English conditions, which accentuate the degree of swing generated by the Dukes ball used in England, and where pitches can aid seam movement too, are one of the most challenging environments for any touring side.

Yet Sri Lanka’s preparation for back-to-back Tests involved two three-day games against two Second Division counties fielding under-strength sides.

“It’s not good where the home team seems to have such a huge advantage and I know the record over the last two or so years the home team comes out on top much of the time,” Richardson told AFP in an interview.

“That’s partly down to the fact I think that teams don’t allow enough time to acclimatize.”APP