“Sack ECB and save Test cricket” – Plane flies over Headingley with this message during Day 3 of third Test

It is no secret that many English cricket fans and experts have criticized ECB in recent times for not paying enough attention to Test cricket.

Rohan Gulaty Author

Updated - 28 August 2021 1:06 pm

The Day 3 of the third Test between India and England has been quite an exciting watch for the fans with India trying to show grit and fight after conceding a huge first-innings lead of 354 runs at Headingley. From Pujara's attacking intent to Rohit Sharma running out of luck, there were quite a few exciting events that occurred during the match on Friday. However, something that happened off the field, actually over the field, caught everyone's attention.

It was the second session of the game and the Indian batsmen were playing some solid cricket in the middle. Despite that, England were on top and were just a wicket away from getting themselves back into a very commanding position in the match. This is when a plane was seen flying over the stadium with a banner which said, "Sack ECB and save Test cricket".

Why are English people against ECB?

It is no secret that many English cricket fans and experts have criticized ECB in recent times for not paying enough attention to Test cricket. The cricket board had shifted their focus on white-ball cricket especially after the disappointment in 2015 ODI World Cup. The move did reap substantial benefits as England reached the finals of T20 World Cup a year later before finally clinching the ODI World Cup in 2019 in front of home fans.

However, many local people and some former cricketers have expressed their concern regarding the performance of the team in red-ball cricket. The recently-concluded tournament 'The Hundred' also came under a lot of scrutiny with ECB getting under the radar for giving too much attention on developing new format for white-ball cricket. It was also considered as one of the reasons which impacted the 2021 season of County Championship, with many big players being unavailable for England's premier domestic red-ball tournament.

England are currently ranked 4th in ICC Test rankings

England finished 4th in the inaugural edition of the World Test Championship cycle (2019-21). Ranked 4th in ICC Test rankings, the criticism against ECB started to increase after their dismal performance at Lord's which saw India getting 1-0 up in the series. However, Joe Root's side have bounced back well at Headingley and are on the way to equalize the series.

With ECB coming under so much flak, the ongoing 5-match Test series against India becomes way too important to win back the trust of English fans.

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