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Four-day Test: ICC proposal elicits mixed response from member nations, players

Four-day Test: Mixed response to the ICC proposal

London, January 1: The International Cricket Council (ICC) is seriously considering the introduction of four-day Tests from 2023 during the World Test Championship cycle. And the move has elicited different responses from cricketing nations and players.

MyKhel takes a look at the voices emerged so far with regard to the four-day Tests that is expected to free 335 days in global cricket calendar. The ICC will discuss the feasibility of four-day Test cricket this year.

1. England support trimming

1. England support trimming

The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) announced that they are backing the move to prune Test cricket to four days. "We believe it could provide a sustainable solution to the complex scheduling needs and player workloads we face as a global sport," an ECB spokesperson was quoted as saying by Daily Telegraph. "We're definite proponents of the four-day Test concept, but cautiously so, as we understand it's an emotive topic for players, fans and others who have concerns about challenging the heritage of Test cricket."

2. India guarded

2. India guarded

Board of Control for Cricket in India president Sourav Ganguly reacted cautiously to the call for four-day Tests. "It is too early to make a comment. It is still a proposal and we need to study it first before making a comment. Comments cannot be made just like that," said Ganguly. However, Ganguly's innovative mindset is anything to go by, the BCCI is certain to consider the proposal earnestly.

3. Australia cautious

3. Australia cautious

Cricket Australia CEO Kevin Roberts gave a serious thought to the idea. "It is something that we have got to seriously consider. It is something that can't be driven by emotion, but it needs to be driven by fact. We need to look at what's the average length of Test matches over the past 5-10years in terms of time and overs. "We need to look at it very carefully and perhaps it is more likely than not in the mid-term future. What we absolutely will do is that over the next 12 to 18 months, is make sure the cricket calendar is nailed down for the years 2023 to 2031," Roberts was quoted as saying by the SEN Radio.

4. Initial response from players, pundits

4. Initial response from players, pundits

Australian Test team captain Tim Paine was one of the first players to express his opinion on four-day Tests openly and it was not really in favour. "We might not have got a result in the Ashes had we of done that," Paine said. "I think that's the point of difference with Test cricket. It's five days, it's harder mentally, it's harder physically and it Tests players more than the four-day first-class fixtures do. I think that's what it's designed to do. I hope it stays that way."

But former England skipper Michael Vaughan said the change must be made to save Test cricket. "We always have to remember that cricket is an entertainment business. At the minute the white-ball game has overtaken Test cricket. Apart from those of us who already love Test cricket, I don't think Test cricket has done enough to reach a new audience. So, we need to make it more relevant and more appealing. It might just bring a little more relevance if it gets shortened," said Vaughan.

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Story first published: Wednesday, January 1, 2020, 10:14 [IST]
Other articles published on Jan 1, 2020
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