The International Cricket Council (ICC) has expressed genuine concerns regarding the quality of warm-up games provided to the touring teams by the home boards and is intent on ensuring that the alarming situation gets better.
Recently, Pakistan A played the visiting Australian side with a team that featured no spinner and five fast bowlers, so as to deliberately make sure that the Tim Paine led team isn't able to get the ripe preparation before the first Test. It serves as a fine example of what's been going on wrong in world cricket, for a while.
Home teams are looking to gain excessive home advantage through the pitches and fielding poor teams in whatever little warm-up games teams indulge in.
Virat Kohli recently spoke about the warm-up games not mattering as much as they did before because of the lack of competitive teams provided by the home boards. India reduced their only three-day warm-up game in England before the Test series by a day for an extra day of practice at the nets.
Good thing is that issue hasn't gone unnoticed by the game's governing body and according to ICC general manager Geoff Allardice, administrative discussions have already taken place on the matter.
Allardice was quoted saying, "All of the countries have spoken about trying to make sure that the teams get a fair opportunity to prepare and that's about net bowlers, warm-up matches, opposition quality, the composition of the warm-up match and the pitch conditions,"
He further said, "It's an issue. South Africa made similar comments in Sri Lanka. I think the idea should be about giving the opposition the sort of preparation that they would really desire. We should be strict on that area. But it really comes down to how the two teams treat each other and how all the countries treat each other."
"That's what we have been talking about in the last couple of ICC meetings. It is about offering each other the sort of opportunity that helps stage Test cricket in the best possible way. We don't want Test matches where the home team dominate all the time," and signed off.
(Inputs from Khaleej Times)