While the International Cricket Council’s decision to introduce a Test Championship and ODI League has been hailed by many, as they feel it will bring more context to the bilateral series, the governing body’s decision to give the go-ahead to the four-day Test on a trial-basis has not gone down well with many.
The debate over the four-day Test has resurfaced after Cricket South Africa announced its plans of holding a Boxing Day Test with Zimbabwe.
Their decision, however, was not very warmly received by the cricket fraternity including two of their biggest stars – Faf du Plessis and Dean Elgar. But despite vehement reservations expressed by many, ICC, on Friday (October 13), gave the nod to trial four-day Tests by bilateral agreement till ICC World Cup 2019.
And now batting legend Gundappa Viswanath has slammed the governing body for their decision.
“I don’t know how it (four-day Tests) works. Now they are trying to shorten the duration of Tests and tours of countries. By doing this, you are bringing down the status of Test cricket.
“It is like trying to degrade the longer format. I don’t think it is correct according to me. I am not happy about this.You have to boost Test cricket rather than bring it down,” Viswanath was told International Business Times.
Viswanath further said he never expected to see a day where the tradition and oldest format of the game would get tampered.
“Certainly not. Nobody expected this (four-day Tests). In England we have seen 40-over one-dayers instead of 50 overs, that is fine. Now, maybe due to Twenty20s the status of Test cricket is going down.
“I am not totally happy with T20 cricket. However, it is more popular now. At the same time, you don’t fiddle with Test cricket. Players say they would like to play Tests than T20s. I never expected that Test cricket would come to this level,” he said.
Meanwhile, ICC Chief Executive David Richardson, on Friday, while making it clear that all the games of the Test Championship will be of five days, said four-day Tests were trialled to support the future of Test cricket.
“Throughout the discussions about the future of Test cricket it became clear that whilst context is crucial we must also consider alternatives and trial initiatives that may support the future viability of Test cricket. The trial is exactly that, a trial, just in the same way day-night Tests and technology have been trialled by Members,” he said.
“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,” he added.
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