Legendary all-rounder Ian Botham has urged the ICC cricket committee led by Anil Kumble to leave Test cricket “alone” after England registered a thrilling win against South Africa in the final hour of the fifth day.
The apex world body on Monday (December 6) said that it will take a call on the proposal of having four day Tests instead of the traditional five-day format in the next round of the ICC meetings, to held in Dubai from March 27-31.
Five-day matches have been in place for the past 143 years since 1877 but could be altered from 2023 to free up the crowded calendar and introduce more global events.
Even after growing criticism from an illustrious bandwagon of cricketers led by current India captain Virat Kohli, the iconic Sachin Tendulkar and Australian master batsman Ricky Ponting who have spoken against the proposed change for the 2023-2031 cycle, the ICC is set to discuss the idea.
“Since I am part of the committee, I can’t tell what I am thinking about it (proposal) at the moment. We will discuss it in the meeting and let you know,” Kumble told PTI, adding that he is fine with past and current cricketers have expressed their views about four-day Tests.
Botham is now one among the majority of cricketers including Pakistan pace legend Shoaib Akhtar who are strongly opposing the four-day Tests proposal.
“Well played England…Such a good idea to end 5day test cricket….full house watching cricket at its best !! Leave the flagship of cricket alone it’s a real test of character, skill, guts, stamina & ability…its real cricket for real players !!! Leave it Alone !!!!!!,” Botham tweeted after Ben Stokes’s three-wicket burst on the final evening ensured a series-leveling 189-run win for visitors.
Well played England…Such a good idea to end 5day test cricket….full house watching cricket at its best !! Leave the flag ship of cricket alone it’s a real test of character, skill,guts,stamina & ability…it’s real cricket for real players !!! Leave it Alone !!!!!!
— Ian Botham (@BeefyBotham) January 7, 2020
Earlier, Kohli has spoken about how he is completely against any tinkering in games traditional format and Tendulkar also spoke in the same vein.
(With inputs from agencies)