LONDON (Reuters): Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC), the custodians of the game’s laws, says it wants tests to continue being played over five days amid calls for matches to be reduced to four days to ease a crammed international calendar and reduce player workload.
The International Cricket Council (ICC) is set to discuss in the coming months the idea of mandatory four-day tests.
“MCC has noted the recent discussion regarding the future of test cricket and the ICC’s desire to debate the introduction of four-day test cricket to replace the current five-day format in the World Test Championship from 2023,” MCC said. “The MCC Cricket committee and MCC World Cricket committee have recently discussed the issue and although they can see some benefits that four-day Test cricket could bring, both committees believe that test cricket should continue to be played over five days.”
The idea has polarised the cricket world with several leading players, including India captain Virat Kohli, England counterpart Joe Root and South Africa skipper Faf du Plessis, opposing any move to truncate the game’s longest format.
Four-day matches were given the green light by the governing ICC in 2017 when South Africa hosted Zimbabwe, and England have since played one against Ireland.
The English and South African cricket boards favour the concept, while the Federation of International Cricketers’ Associations remains sceptical of any such move.