‘Cricket’ Building 18: Traditional Pongal Test match, a historic event
India is a country united in diversity. Cricket is a game that unites Indian states that are different in culture, tradition, customs and language. This game is loved and enjoyed by Indians of all ages without any distinction. The traditional ‘Pongal Test’ cricket match of such Indian cricket has been held in Chennai. At present it remains only in the memory of history.
The Pongal Test Board of India has been conducting the Boxing Day Test every year in Australia. In the course of time it has dissolved. Let us re-record the memories of the history of the special Pongal Test match.
History of ‘Pongal Test’!
The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has a tradition of holding the ‘Pongal Test’ every year at the Chepauk – MA Chidambaram Cricket Ground and then the Nehru Stadium (then the Corporation Ground) in Chennai, the capital of Tamil Nadu, similar to the Boxing Day Test in Melbourne, Australia.
The cricket match is held in the second week of January every year. Let the Pongal festival celebrations, the harvest festival, weed out the Tamil soil at that time. That is why the Test match is called the ‘Pongal Test’.
The Australian cricket team continued to tour India from 1959 – 60. The fourth Test of the series was played at the Corporation Stadium, Chennai. The Indian team was led by Kulabrai Ramchand and the Australian team was led by Richie Benad. In that match, the Indian team followed on and lost by an innings. It is said that before the start of the match it was customary to stand the cane near the stumps and throw the toss. This arrangement is not meant to symbolize the Pongal Test match.
The Pongal Test match continued until 1988. Australia, England, West Indies and Pakistan have been playing Pongal Tests in rotation.
Thirteen Pongal Test matches were played at these two venues: 1960, 1961, 1962, 1964, 1967, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1979, 1980, 1982, 1985, 1988. The first four matches were played at the Corporation Ground. India have won six Pongal Tests. Four matches ended in a draw and three matches ended in defeat. England have played 6 times, West Indies 4 times, Pakistan 2 times and Australia 1 time.
The last Pongal Test of the 1988 season was held in Chennai. Since then, 14 Tests have been played at the Chepauk Stadium in Chennai alone. Not a single match was held in the second week of January.
What is the reason for non-conduct of Pongal Test match?
The Cricket Board of India introduced the policy of rotating cricket grounds. The board hoped that this would enable cricket matches to be played at other cricket grounds in the country. So in the second week of January after 1988 no Test match was played in Chennai.
Pongal Test Again!
Chepauk Cricket Ground is one of the historic cricket grounds of India. India has been playing international Test cricket at this ground since 1934. That is why cricket enthusiasts say that the Pongal Test should be held again in the second week of January at Chepauk, one of the main venues of Indian cricket.
Because the second week is a statewide holiday. So the spectators will come more to watch the match live. At the same time, the advent of T20 and ODI cricket is said to have given a new lease of life to Test cricket, the original form of cricket. We hope the Indian Cricket Board will consider it for sure. This cannot be done immediately. Because the schedules for international cricket are planned a few years in advance. So if the board plans to hold the Pongal Test match and prepares the schedule for it now, let the Pongal Tests start again in the next few years.
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Source : WWW.PUTHIYATHALAIMURAI.COM
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