Dubai: The International Cricket Council’s (ICC) plans of having four-day Test matches from it’s 2023 cycle received another thumbs down from former stars V.V.S.Laxman and Nasser Hussain, former England captain.
While the ‘Very Very Special’ Laxman felt that reducing the length of the game will actually reduce the possibilities of yielding results, Hussain felt quality of pitches and spectator experience - and not its duration - is the key to preserving Test cricket.
Speaking on a Star Sports Talk show, the Indian great said: “I am not really a fan of this four-day Test cricket, five days fits perfect because it gets more results and reducing it the four days will not achieve the desired results according to me.”
Laxman, whose epic effort of 281 against Steve Waugh’s Australians at the Eden Gardens, Kolkata in 2001 is regarded as one of the finest Test match innings ever by Wisden, said: “Another aspect is the toss, especially during the overseas tour the captain from the visiting side gets to decide what he wants to choose because we want to see teams travelling and winning matches on away turf which makes it more interesting for spectators,” he added.
Test cricket, Test cricket, Test cricket, Test cricket, Test cricket, I have said it five times. For me, it is the representation of life. It has made me a better person
The ICC cricket committee is considering having four-day Tests a part of the World Test Championship from 2023. The ICC’s increasing demand for event windows, the proliferation of domestic T20 leagues, BCCI’s demands for its own sizeable share of bilateral calendar space, and the costs of staging Test series are all said to be the factors contributing to the move.
Looking at the possible ways of giving Test cricket a makeover, Hussain said: “The keys areas I can pinpoint to one’s pitches is that if they are flat, like one in Cambridge which years ago when Jimmy Anderson got 90 odd runs from 600 balls. The games on these pitches are boring and old school. Those days have got to go in Test match cricket, 300+ score in first innings where the ball slightly dominates back making it great for viewing and crowd experience. The match gives a value add to the tickets bought and England Test match ticket are not cheap.”
Earlier, the concept of four-day Tests were further shot down by Master Blaster Sachin Tendulkar, India skipper Virat Kohli, former opener Gautam Gambhir and current Sri Lanka coach Mickey Arthur.
India’s head coach Ravi Shastri had, in fact, termed the idea as ‘nonsense’ and said if the world body wants to trim the current format, the top six Test playing nations shouldn’t be included in the experiment.
Earlier, speaking at an interactive session with Kevin Pietersen on instagram, Kohli had also made it clear that for him Tests are the real deal and the whole value of the oldest format comes with playing it over five days.
“Test cricket, Test cricket, Test cricket, Test cricket, Test cricket, I have said it five times. For me, it is the representation of life. You got to keep going when u don’t score runs, you go back in your hotel room and again get ready the next day. It is life. It has made me a better person,” Kohli, arguably the greatest batsman in contemporary cricket, had pointed out.