Sydney: Australia star off-spinner Nathan Lyon has put his weight behind five-day Tests as the recent discussions around four-day matches have now become a talking point in the cricketing world.
The debate around four-day Test cricket has reignited after it came to the fore that the International Cricket Council (ICC) cricket committee is likely to consider four-day Test matches as being part of the World Test Championship from 2023.
According to an ESPNcricinfo report, the parent body's increasing demand for event windows, the proliferation of domestic T20 leagues, the BCCI's demands for its own sizeable share of bilateral calendar space, and the costs of staging Test series are all factors contributing to the move.
"You look at all the big games around the world and some of the best Test matches I've been part of, they go down to the last day," Lyon was quoted as saying by cricket.com.au.
Lyon also said that scrapping five-day Tests would be a 'ridiculous' idea.
"You look at (Australia) against India at Adelaide in 2014, that went down to the last half-an-hour on day five. Then you look at Cape Town in 2014 as well, you look at that Test match where Ryan Harris bowled Morne Morkel with two overs to go, so that's gone down to the last 10 minutes on day five. I'm not a fan of four-day Test matches," he expressed.
"I believe you'll get so many more draws and day five is crucial. One, there's the weather element. But (also) the wickets these days are probably a lot flatter than they have been in the past, so it allows teams to bat longer and to put pressure on sides... and you need that time for the pitch to deteriorate and bring spinners in more on day five as well. I'm totally against it and I hope ICC aren't even considering it," Lyon added.
Four-day Tests are comprised of four 98-over days (as opposed to five 90-over days) and 38 of the 43 result Test matches in Australia in the past 10 years have been completed inside the 392 overs of a four-day Test.
Earlier, the England and Wales Cricket Board was open to the idea of having four-day World Test Championship matches from 2023 but is "cautious" about backing it wholeheartedly.
"We believe it could provide a sustainable solution to the complex scheduling needs and player workloads we face as a global sport," an ECB spokesperson told London''s Daily Telegraph newspaper.
"We're definite proponents of the four-day test concept, but cautiously so, as we understand it's an emotive topic for players, fans and others who have concerns about challenging the heritage of test cricket."