What is tradition?
The dictionary defines tradition as a belief, custom or way of doing something that has existed for a long time among a particular group of people.
How long must something be around for it to become a tradition?
You might say it is traditional for you to do something with friends from school. That tradition is at most a few decades old. Others like wishing each other “good morning” or saying “namaste” are centuries old. Time honoured traditions are a relative concept.
Is something intrinsically valuable merely because it is traditional?
No. Traditions at some point may become outdated, even barbaric. Slavery, binding feet, Sati.
You get my drift.
When traditions don’t work, they need to change.
For 138 years, test cricket has been played during the day in white clothing with a red ball.
That changes tonight at Adelaide.
Players in white clothes. Under lights. With a pink cricket ball.
Traditionalists may say pink ball cricket is not a real test match. Why? Just because a thing has been done a certain way for a while doesn’t make it right.
Attendance at test matches are at an all time low. People cannot sit and watch test cricket all day, every day for five days.
This is a move that might just save test cricket. People might now come back from work and tune in in the evenings to catch the post-dinner session. Test cricket on prime time television might help it regain the primacy it once enjoyed.
Tradition has its place. But not when its threatens the survival of test cricket itself.
Test cricket is dead. Long live test cricket.