BCCI President Sourav Ganguly said it’s “too early” to comment on the ICC’s proposal to make four-day Tests mandatory as part of the World Test Championship from 2023. On Monday, some of the reports have suggested that the International Cricket Council’s (ICC) cricket committee will formally consider trimming Tests to four days from five for the 2023-2031 cycle.
When asked about his views on four-day Tests, Ganguly said, “First we will have to see the proposal, let it come and then we will see. It’s too early to say. Can’t comment just like this.”
The ICC wanting to stage more global events, the BCCI’s demands for an expanded bilateral calendar, the proliferation of T20 leagues around the world and the cost of hosting a five-day Tests are some of the factors contributing to the need for four-day matches. 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 of the game’s stakeholders. Cricket Australia chief Kevin Roberts feels four-day Tests should be definitely considered.
Talking to SEN radio, Roberts said, “It is something that we have got to seriously consider this week. 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 five-ten years in terms of time and overs.”
However, the Australian skipper, Tim Paine was not enthused by the idea following his team’s 247-run win over New Zealand in the Boxing Day Test in Melbourne.
Expressing his thoughts, Paine said, “We might not have got a result if we’d done that in the Ashes, I think every game went to a fifth day. 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.”