Former India cricketer Anil Kumble on Friday opened up on the proposed four-day Tests and made it clear that he is not supportive of the idea to trim a day from Test matches. The idea to make four-day Test cricket mandatory was proposed by ICC last year from the 2023 cycle of the World Test Championships, which might reignite interest in the longest format and free up space in the cricket calendar.
Speaking to ESPNCricinfo, Kumble said: “The sense of what I think about it is the players have given that. I mean, they don’t want a four-day Test. Five-day Test is what it is. And a Test it is because it is five days. If it was four days, it wouldn’t be a Test. I am very clear on that.”
Kumble, who is the chairman of ICC’s Cricket Committee further revealed that the idea was first discussed two years ago but not much discussions have taken place on the subject since then. “It was discussed a couple of years ago, but I don’t think there’s any progress made on taking a decision of a mandatory four-day Test. I don’t think it has ever been done. There was an experiment done with South Africa and Zimbabwe, where they played a four-day Test match. England played Ireland. I mean when you play Afghanistan, Ireland, Zimbabwe, maybe the boards have the wherewithal to go ahead and play a four-day Test,” he said.
He added that the idea to make it mandatory is not being discussed at the moment. “But the [ICC Cricket] Committee and even within the ICC, I don’t think there’s any, at least in the immediate, thinking of having a four-day Test competition, which is mandatory. I don’t think there’s anything of that (nature), but I am really glad that the players believe that it is a five-day competition that they want,” he said.
The proposal of four-day Test, which has been floated by the ICC for the 2023-2031 cycle has also seen objections from several former and current cricketers including India skipper Virat Kohli, Sachin Tendulkar, Gautam Gambhir, Glenn McGrath and Ricky Ponting.
The ICC’s cricket committee is set to discuss the four-day Test proposal in the next round of the ICC meetings, to be held in Dubai from March 27-31.