Test Cricket is doing all the noise in the sports news in recent times. The topic of debate is whether to bring in 4-day test matches or not. Many legendary cricketers have dismissed and rubbished the idea of 4-day test matches and some are in favour of the idea of cutting down the test matches to 4 days. Before even expressing my opinion let us understand why the ICC is planning to bring this new change.
ICC is in a desperate hurry to make Cricket a commercial sport and to involve as many countries as possible. ICC conducts Intercontinental Cup, World League and other tournaments where the associate nations play in both the Test and ODI formats. ICC manages the budget for those matches. ICC by reducing the number of days for test matches wants to increase more bilateral series. That will bring in more income to ICC. Maybe this is why ICC wants to shorten the test matches.
The likes of Virat Kohli, Sachin, McGrath, Philander, Lyon, Gambhir and many legends of the game have rejected the idea. But the young players in the game like Paine, Butler, Root and even Irfan Pathan have voiced their opinion in support of 4-day test matches.
Historically there were days when we had 7 days test matches, 6 days test matches and then finally we have the 5-day test matches as the most famous ones. But according to me, this new change of making it 4 days isn’t the right thing.
Why so? There are multiple reasons why this change will be more damaging than good for cricket.
- Shorter test matches will mean that the cricket gets more commercialised. This makes the Test Cricket a sport of mad entertainment and not class entertainment.
- A day shorter will change the mindset of the players. May it be Batsman or Bowlers. Players would play with an aggressive intent which is not the right way to play test cricket.
- The class of test match and the glamour of test matches would all be lost. This will bring imbalance in the team’s section. We will see more all-rounders.
- The role of spinners will diminish as the 5th day will be out of the equation. The rough patches won’t be part of the game and that’s the nature of the test cricket. All in all the pitches won’t deteriorate enough.
- The shorter test matches will take away the excitement of the final day. All the charm that the final of the day test matches has provided till date will be forgotten.
All that the ICC needs to do is work on creating better pitches, make proper scheduling with 3,4 days falling on the weekends. Bring in some more changes which will make the game more challenging for players and not make it easy by bringing in short test matches. Shorter test matches will make weaker teams shine without even having the required skill. With test championship in place, you wouldn’t want an undeserving team in the finals. Remember the Kenyan team in the Word Cup 2003 semi-finals.
For me a Big No to 4-day test Cricket!