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Time for ICC to Make Test Matches Four-day Affairs: Mark Taylor

Former Australia captain Mark Taylor believes the time is right for ICC to reduce the length of Tests from five days to four.

Cricketnext Staff |November 29, 2019, 1:32 PM IST
Time for ICC to Make Test Matches Four-day Affairs: Mark Taylor

Mark Taylor, who was one of Australia’s most successful captains and played in 104 Tests, believes the time is right for ICC to reduce the length of Tests from five days to four, saying it was the “right length for Test matches in this era”.

In his column for the Sydney Morning Herald, Taylor said that while introducing day-night Tests was a great step in keeping the game’s traditional format alive, four-day Tests is the next thing that should be introduced.

“Cricket took a major step forward in keeping its traditional format relevant with the introduction of day-night Tests.

“The next move should be a reduction in length from five days to four. It is the right length for Test matches in this era.

“As much as I am a traditionalist, it's time world cricket authorities gave serious thought to four-day Tests. Thursday to Sunday is the perfect timeframe to stage red- and pink-ball games.”

Taylor gave the example of the recent Test match between Australia and Pakistan, saying that it would make more sense for matches to finish on the weekend when children would be likelier to watch.

“Using this series as an example, this would have allowed three days off between games and the day-night Test to finish on a Sunday instead of a school day when kids are less likely to be watching at home or at the ground.

“With the faster scoring rates in modern cricket, scoring 300 in a day is far more common than 30 years ago so you do not need as much time for a result.”

As for any changes to be made in the length of sessions, Taylor suggested that allowing 100 overs per day in a four-day match wouldn’t be an issue since that would ensure the day would last for 6-6.5 hours, the length most days now go on for given slow over-rates.

“When the International Cricket Council decided in 2017 to trial four-day Tests, they implemented 98-over days.

“In other words, four-day games would be 58 overs shorter - the equivalent of about two sessions - than the traditional Test. I believe a minimum of 100 overs a day, or a 400-over game, would make for the ideal length.

“The standard day would be increased from six hours to six and a half hours, which is how long sides are playing for today, given the slow over-rates.”

So far, two four-day Test matches have been played since 2017: a Boxing Day Test between South Africa and Zimbabwe in the same year as well as a one-off Test between England and Ireland in 2019 before the Ashes.

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