Four-day Test matches to be played as a trial until the 2019 ICC Cricket World Cup. However, the Test league matches will be of five-dayers.
After a crucial board meeting in Auckland, International Cricket Council has decided to approve four-day Tests as a trial. The first four-day Test is set to be played on Boxing Day this year between South Africa and Zimbabwe in Port Elizabeth.
ICC CEO Dave Richardson has said that four-day Tests will be helpful for newcomers Ireland and Afghanistan to decrease gap with top nations.
“Our priority was to develop an international cricket structure that gave context and meaning across international cricket and particularly in the Test arena. This has been delivered and every Test in the new League will be a five-day Test format,” he said.
“However 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.
“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.”
Cricket South Africa had proposed Zimbabwe for a day-night four-day Test fixture this year. As ICC has approved four-dayers, the match will appear as official Test. Besides, Ireland are willing to play four-day Tests.
-Ruffin, Correspondent, bdcrictime.com