Twenty20 [ Images ] will surpass all other formats of the game and Test cricket will simply disappear if it doesn't go day-night, predicted Indian Premier League [ Images ] commissioner Lalit Modi [ Images ].
Modi, the mastermind behind the cash-awash IPL and a relentless champion of the Twenty20 format, has no doubt whatsoever that cricket's shortest format will rule the roost, overshadowing both Test and ODI cricket.
"Twenty20 will become the dominant format, without doubt," Modi predicted.
"It lasts only three hours and people don't have time any more to sit all day watching cricket. We're competing with football and other sports and I think three hours is a good time limit to help us expand the market. We are definitely bringing new consumers to cricket," the IPL chief told The Guardian.
According to him, Test cricket's biggest problem is its duration and the only way out is a flood-lit culture.
"I am a great supporter of Test cricket. People say I'm not but I also run the marketing department of the BCCI and Test cricket is extremely important to us. All I am trying to do is remind people that we live in a modern age and Test cricket has a big problem: it is played in the daytime when most people are working," Modi explained.
"We should be embracing every opportunity for getting viewers into watching Tests and the most effective way is making it a day-night game. If you take it to day-night, then people can watch it on TV when they get home from work -- or they can go to the stadium," he elaborated.
Asked if that means it would be either floodlight or death for Test cricket, Modi said, "Yes, because the broadcaster won't be interested. Whether we like it or not, broadcasting determines whether a game survives. Without broadcasters you don't have money to pay players or keep the sport alive.
"The five-day game should still be the pinnacle and the ultimate test of skills. You don't need to fiddle with the format at this stage. All you need do is change the timing. If we went day-night then we would see a real resurgence in the ratings. Look at Twenty20. It has gone to night cricket and the viewership has exploded," Modi argued.