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Pietersen speaks at MAK Pataudi Memorial Lecture

Kevin Pietersen calls for innovation in Test cricket






Former England skipper Kevin Pietersen has praised Test cricket as the ultimate format of the game in his speech at the sixth MAK Pataudi Memorial Lecture, where he became the first non-Indian player to give a lecture.

The former right-handed batsman, who played in all formats of the game, believes that Test cricket is the best form of the game, amid concerns of it dying out an eventual death slowly.

"Having played every form of cricket in every corner of the cricketing globe, I remain 100 percent convinced that the five-day Test remains the supreme form of the game," Pietersen said.

Pietersen is of the opinion that some changes are required to make Test cricket great again. He called for the spectacle to be filled with colours and showed complete support to the idea of playing red-ball cricket under floodlights and bring in unique broadcasting elements to increase the viewership of the format.

"Let's make Test cricket a spectacle. Garnish it with colour and fireworks. Fill the grounds. Play in the evenings. Give the umpires microphones to broadcast to the spectators.

"Allow sledging -- as long as it remains the right side of the line. Communicate better with the fans," he added.

The South Africa superstar was also a competitive T20 batsman during his time as a cricketer, helping England win the 2010 World T20 with his supreme elegance. Speaking about the shortest international format of the game, Pietersen had only words of praise for it as he admitted that T20 gives the thrill while also improving the fielding and batting standards.

"20-20 provides the thrill, the noise, the speed and no little genius. It has taken fielding to a new level and has redefined batting."

Finally, he called for the boards to provide Test cricketers with financial security as a means to encourage them to keep playing red-ball cricket.

"Ensure that they (cricketers) are paid as well over five days as they are over five hours of 20-20 cricket. You can't blame a player for seeking financial security through his or her sporting talent."

Pietersen featured in 104 Tests for England and scored 8181 runs at an average of 47.29 and was one of the greatest talents to ever grace the pitch.


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