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ICC approves four-day Test match. Do you support it?

Ritam Dutta
26 Dec 2017
Read Time : 10 minutes
ICC approves four-day Test match. Do you support it?

India’s most popular sport - Cricket is changing its flavor through evolution. Starting with unlimited overs (Test Match of 5 days) first played between Australia vs England on March 15-19, 1877 at Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG). Where as India first ever played Test against mighty England on June 25, 1932 at London.

With time the unlimited overs got reduced from 5 days to 1 day match of maximum 60 overs each team. However, in ODIs, each team bats for a fixed number of overs. In the early days of ODI cricket, the number of overs was generally 60 overs per side, and matches were also played with 40, 45 or 55 overs per side, but now it has been uniformly fixed at 50 overs. The first ODI was played on January 5, 1971 between Australia and England at the Melbourne Cricket Ground.

To add more excitement and thrill, the 50 over full day cricket match is further reduced to twenty – twenty (T20I format). The shortest format of cricket first played between New Zealand vs Australia on February 17, 2005 at Auckland.

The red ball played for Test further changed to white ball for ODI, then further changed to pink ball for Day/Night 5 day Test match. The first Day/Night five day Test match took place between Australia vs New Zealand at the Adelaide Oval, Adelaide on November 27, 2015, 36 years to the day from the first ICC sanctioned day night match.

Today on December 26, 2017 it is South Africa who will host Zimbabwe in first ever 4 day Test match, got the approval with the decision at the ICC meeting in Auckland early this year.

ICC board meeting in Auckland this year permitted playing of four-day Test matches between Test playing nations by bilateral agreement. This is not the first time four-day Tests will be played with the early days of the sport seeing matches played over three or four days. The decision comes at a time when the sport tries to keep Test matches relevant and draw crowds to the stadiums. ICC approved the trial of four-day Test matches to run through until 2019 World Cup following which a Test Championship, also agreed at the ICC board meeting, would kick in.

“Our priority was to develop an international cricket structure that gave context and meaning across international cricket and particularly in the Test arena. This has been delivered and every Test in the new League will be a five-day Test format,” said ICC Chief Executive David Richardson.

“Four-day Tests will also provide the new Test playing countries with more opportunities to play the longer version of the game against more experienced opponents, which, in turn, will help them to hone their skills and close the gap with the top nine ranked teams.”

This could pave way for Ireland who play Pakistan in May 2018 to be played over the course of four days. Ireland and Afghanistan had attained Test status earlier this year. They had previously played four-day Test matches in the lower tier. Further, South Africa’s plans to host Zimbabwe in a four-day Boxing Day Test got the approval with the decision. However, Dean Elgar and Faf du Plessis had opposed the decision taken by the country’s cricket board. “I’m a five-day Test specialist and it must stay that way in my opinion” said Elgar.

“I am a fan of five-day Test cricket” du Plessis had said. “I believe the great Test matches have gone to the last hour of the last day on day five. That’s what is so special about Test cricket. In four-day cricket or first-class cricket, it does feel easier because there are only four days”.

However BCCI wants to stick to traditional format as has been recommended by the Anil Kumble-led ICC Cricket Committee, which was against this experimental move. "India will not play any four-day Test matches, at-least in the near future. The other reason for BCCI not warming up to four-day Test is because there are no points awarded for the proposed Test league.
"Only five-day Tests will have points that will be counted for the World Test Championship. What's the point in playing matches that won't count for anything. In any case, if we play Ireland or Afghanistan also, it will be five-day affairs," the official said.

However this curtail of 5 days play to 4 days affair becomes a debatable topic for every cricket lovers. Do you support the new 4 days play of the most classic format of cricket?

The new rules for Four Day Test are as follows:

- Play will start at 13:30 and end at 21:00.
- 1st session: 13:30 - 15:45
- Tea: 15:45 - 16:05
- 2nd session: 16:05 - 18:20
- Supper: 18:20 - 19:00
- 3rd session: 19:00 - 21:00

Further changes:

- 6 ½ hours of play / minimum 98 overs per day
- Usual 30 minutes overtime available to complete the minimum overs
- 2 intervals, spanning a combined 60 minutes (this is the current provision we have in place for day/night Tests and provides flexibility for scheduling over 4 days)
- Maximum scheduled session length is 2 ½ hours, with the minimum 2 hours
- 30 minutes available to make-up for lost time on the day
- No make-up time carried over to subsequent days.
- Follow-on becomes 150 runs (rather than 200 runs) as per the Laws of Cricket

Authored By Ritam Dutta

Ritam Dutta is an dedicated author of "Day On My Plate". He is an entrepreneur in mind and passionate blogger by heart. Moreover, he is also an academician, author, public speaker, investor, and internet personality.


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