Demand for switching to Four-day Tests picks momentum


London: The demand for confining Test match to 4 days has again picked up momentum. The recent played matches couldn’t reach the fifth day making the case much stronger for countries in favor. In recent months, board representatives from England, South Africa, Sri Lanka and New Zealand have all spoken in favor of Test cricket switching to four days. The broadcasters are known to be in favor of a move to four-day Tests. Proposals will be discussed at the ICC meeting in September.

According to details, during the annual conference held in Edinburgh in the beginning of current month, proposal for switching to four-day Tests came up by England. Some of the countries objected to this idea and the matter got delayed, but now again this issue has picked up. The reason being, that in both the recent Tests played against Pakistan the game ended on the fourth day. New Zealand, Sri Lanka and South Africa are also in favor of 4-day Tests whereas the broadcasters too consider it in their favor.

In England usually the Tests used to begin on Thursdays but now Wednesday and Friday starts are routine, one Test even started on a Sunday. New Zealand’s Cricket Chief Executive David White has recently suggested all Tests to be played on Thursdays and end on Sundays. He said, normally a single day’s play is of 90-overs however increasing it to 100-overs in a four-day Test will bring the total to 400-overs. Presently a five-day Test has 450-overs, due to DRS and over-rate restrictions the new format of 100-overs per day is being considered a better proposal.

The proposal coming in from England is not new such proposal was earlier given by some ICC officials in 2003 but it was not implemented. The officials favoring four-day Tests format say reducing a day and two division Tests will gain much popularity and will lead to exciting cricket. The proposal needs to be discussed over in the forth coming ICC meeting scheduled in September.