The broadcasting of Test cricket will see a change in the upcoming Test series between India and Australia with in-game interviews set to be introduced for the first time in the longest format. According to a report in ESPNcricinfo, the free-to-air broadcaster Seven has acquired the permission to do interviews with Australian players and coaches in the middle of the play during the four-match Test series.
AS per the report, the network received permission from the ICC, Cricket Australia and the national team on Wednesday afternoon, after a long off-season discussion with Australia skipper Tim Paine and coach Justin Langer.
The report further adds that the new concept is likely to be tried out in the first session of the first Test which will begin from Thursday in Adelaide.
While on-field interviews have become a common sight in limited overs cricket, with the teams open to sticking microphones on players while fielding, bowling or batting, or allowing the access to pitch-side interview during the match, it will be the first time the concept will take place in Test format.
Seven’s executive producer of cricket, Chris Jones, in an interview to the cricketing website said,”We would love the opportunity should Nathan Lyon take five-for in the first innings and we know he’s not batting until late and we need to bat for a final session, we’d love the opportunity, if he’s not doing anything, for him to come and sit on the couch and have a chat with Ricky Ponting about what’s happened. If we’re 2 for 200 and Usman Khawaja’s made a hundred, and he goes and cools down and we’re going ok, then absolutely we’d love for him to come across.”
Jones further said he would love to have Australia coach Justin Langer to have a chat with Ponting in the middle of the match. “Justin Langer’s the other one, we’d love to get access to Justin to come across, sit on that couch with one of his very good friends Ricky Ponting to talk about the state of the game. There’s a whole lot of things we need to do, it’s not just up to the cricketers whether we can do that, there’s ICC regulations and all those sorts of things, but we’ve been working really hard to try to get as much of that access as we can, and we’ll be pushing really hard to try to make sure it happens,” he said.
“I think this space we’ve got and the ability to call the cricket from that position as well, could give viewers further insight and understanding into what’s happening. We don’t want to be talking at the viewers, tell them what’s happening, they can see what’s happening. Our goal is to tell them why it’s happening. Access to the cricketers and the coaching staff would help a lot with that,” he added.
Jones further added that he respects the access given to them by the team and he would listen if they became uncomfortable with something.
“We are very respectful of the players, the access they’re granting us and what they’re giving us.If they’re really uncomfortable with something then we’ll listen to them. We also want to bring the viewers as close to the game as you can, but if it does get feisty in the middle from either team, we don’t want to be capturing any obscenities or anything like that,” he said.
“We can only work as we go – wouldn’t have a hard and fast rule other than to say we very much respect the players’ views. They have gone a long way out of their way to give us access and take us into places we haven’t been before, to let them spend time with their families, we’ll definitely listen to them and work with the players association on that,” he added.