One of the biggest talking points in cricket- apart from the proliferation of T20 and T10 Leagues- has been around the possible future of cricket. Every passing day, pundits and purists moan over the ‘possible death’ of the purest format of the game in the future.
Obituaries are prophesied and new ideas are floated almost every other day to ‘revive’ the dwindling fortunes of the traditional format of the game. The latest proposal that has drawn the ire of the purists and Test cricket lovers, is ICC’s decision to consider the viability of playing four-day Tests from the second cycle of the Test championship which commences from 2023.
According to a report in ESPN Cricinfo, the ICC is considering to reduce the traditional format to four days in a bid to cut down on the playing days in the wake of the proliferation of T20 Leagues and the cost of staging a Test series.
Ever since the news has broken, current and former cricketers have had contrasting views on the concept. While the likes of Joe Root, Jos Buttler have advocated for a change. Australian captain Tim Paine has strongly backed the five-day concept.
Glenn McGrath backs traditional five-day Tests over ICC’s four-day proposal
And, now former Australian fast bowler, Glenn McGrath has echoed Paine’s words. Speaking to the media, ahead of the Sydney Test between Australia and New Zealand, McGrath, a 124-Test veteran said: “I’m very much a traditionalist. I like the game the way it is. To me, five days are very special and I’d hate to see it get any shorter.”
The introduction of pink Tests, day-night Tests is a great way to continue keeping our game fresh and moving forward. In respects to changing how many days its played, I’m actually against it. I like the way it is,” he added.
Earlier, Australia’s most-successful off-spinner Nathan Lyon had come out in favour of five-day Tests. Lyon had said, “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 also said that scrapping five-day Tests would be a ‘ridiculous’ idea.
Lyon added: “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.”
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