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Wednesday 29 January 2020

Test match duration to be reduced to 4 days, beginning 2023?

If it had been so decided, had the four-day Test match been played in the 2015-2023 season, the game would have spared 335 days, ICC reckons

The International Cricket Council (ICC) is considering making the four-day matches comprising the World Test Championship compulsory from 2023 to save time on a busy schedule. The ICC Cricket Committee will formally consider changing the Test matches to four days instead of five for the 2023-2031 season.

According to ESPNcricinfo, there are several reasons behind this idea, including that the ICC wants to organize more global competitions and the BCCI has also demanded more bilateral matches this season. Apart from this, the T20 League is being spread all over the world and the cost of hosting the five-day match is also included.

Had the four-day Test match been played in the 2015-2023 season, the game would have survived 335 days.

The four-day test is not a new concept. Earlier this year England and Ireland played the four-day Test. Earlier in 2017, South Africa and Zimbabwe played a similar match.

This is an issue on which stakeholders related to sports can have different viewpoints. Cricket Australia chief Kevin Roberts feels the four-day Test should be seriously considered. Roberts told SEN Radio, “This is an issue that we have to seriously consider this week.” One has to rise above emotions on this matter, but it should be seen according to the facts. We need to see in terms of time and over what the average length of Test matches has been in the last five-ten years. ‘

Australia captain Tim Paine is not too excited about the idea. He said after the 247-run win against New Zealand in Melbourne, “If it were, we would not have got the results we got in the Ashes series.” I think every match went on till the fifth day. ‘

Penn said, “This is what makes Test cricket different, it is five days and difficult mentally and physically. It tests players more than a four-day match in the first class. I think perhaps it has been kept in this way, hope that it will remain intact.”

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