Melbourne, December 31: In order to free up the crowded calendar, the International Cricket Council (ICC) could make four-day Tests mandatory from 2023 as part of the World Test Championship. Moreover, the attraction among the people to love short forms of cricket is also said to be one of the reasons behind the move.
The ICC’s Cricket Committee will formally consider trimming Tests to four days from five for the 2023-2031 cycles. ICC wanting to stage more global events, the BCCI’s demands for an expanded bilateral calendar, proliferation of T20 leagues around the world and cost of hosting a five-day game are some of the factors contributing to the need for a four-day game.
If four-day Tests were held during the 2015-2023 cycle, it would have freed up 335 days of scheduled cricket. A four-day Test is not a new concept with the last one played between England and Ireland earlier this year. South Africa and Zimbabwe too played one in 2017. It is an issue that is likely to attract a contrasting view from the game’s stakeholders.
Cricket Australia Chief Kevin Roberts feels four-day Tests should be definitely considered.
However, Australian captain Tim Paine was not enthused by the idea. “We might not have got a result if we’d done that in the Ashes, I think every game went to a fifth day,” said Paine. “That’s the point of difference with Test cricket, it is 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, so I hope it stays that way.”