England backs ICC plan for four-day Tests, BCCI non-committal

ICC, England Cricket Board, BCCI, BCCI President, Sourav Ganguly, World Test Championship, four-day Tests
As a part of the ongoing World Test Championship, the ICC is likely to make four-day Tests mandatory for the 2023-2031 cycle to ease the player workload in a crowded calendar. Photo: @BCCI/Twitter

While the International Cricket Council has found a backer in England for the sport’s apex body’s plans to scrap five-day Tests from 2023, BCCI President Sourav Ganguly said it’s “too early” to comment on the proposal.

As a part of the ongoing World Test Championship, the ICC is likely to make four-day Tests mandatory for the 2023-2031 cycle to ease the player workload in a crowded calendar.

According to a report in the Daily Telegraph, an ECB spokesperson said, “We believe it could provide a sustainable solution to the complex scheduling needs and player workloads we face as a global sport.”

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Meanwhile, former India captain on Monday (December 30) at Eden Gardens, Kolkata 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.”

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.

Also read: ICC likely to make four-day Test matches mandatory from 2023

However, Test matches that have been played for five days through its 140-year history could be altered so as to establish more global tournaments.

As reported by ESPNcricinfo, the ICC’s cricket committee will formally consider the need for a four-day game so as to stage more global events and accommodate the BCCI’s demands for an expanded bilateral calendar, a proliferation of T20 leagues around the world and cost of hosting a five-day game.

“We’re definite proponents of the four-day Test concept, but cautiously so, as we understand its an emotive topic for players, fans and others who have concerns about challenging the heritage of Test cricket,” a spokesperson from ECB said.

If four-day Tests are held during the 2015-2023 cycle, it would free up 335 days of scheduled cricket.

Last week, Cricket Australia’s chief executive Kevin Roberts said mandatory four-day Tests are “something that we have got to seriously consider”.

Ganguly also gave no update on the formation of the Cricket Advisory Committee, which is supposed to appoint the national selectors.

(With inputs from agencies)

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