MCC wants tests to remain five-day affairs

Sourav Ganguly the BCCI president

However players claim it would cheapen the Test format, run the risk of having more draws and largely dent the impact of spinners on wearing pitches. So did the Australian captain Tim Paine and the test stars Nathan Lyon and Josh Hazlewood.

THE MCC is backing five-day Tests in the wake of recent talk of the format being shortened to four.

The International Cricket Council has been under the scanner since it has been announced that the it is contemplating to include four-day Test matches from the 2023 Test Championship.

Globally, Sachin Tendulkar has also warned against the move, as has powerful India captain Virat Kohli, England counterpart Joe Root and the global players' union.

Cricket Australia has not formalized a position, but is open to discussion about change.

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But the latest proposal, part of an effort to tackle the crowded worldwide cricket schedule and save on costs, has divided players and fans, many of whom consider Tests the gold standard.

"The MCC Cricket committee and MCC World Cricket committee have actually recently discussed the issue and though they are able to see some advantages that four-day Test cricket could deliver, both committees think that Test cricket should continue being played over five times". So I'm glad I can have the same old five-day test game. However, in the past two years, approximately on 40 per cent of matches have reached into a fifth day.

The ICC allowed four-day Tests in 2017 and they have been tried in one-off games between South Africa and Zimbabwe and England against Ireland.

Among other things, Australian players have stated that this is different from first-class games at the national level. In the trials - which have only been played in matches involving minnow - days have been expanded to 98 overs per day.

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