Four-day Tests July 4, 2009

'You've got to sex up Test cricket'

ESPNcricinfo staff
David Morgan recently said the ICC would consider the prospect of four-day Test matches, which set people talking

"I think even Ireland can survive a four-day Test match and can play out a draw against a good Test side […] There will be no difference among mediocre [teams] and an experienced side if we see four-day Test matches."
Javed Miandad isn't too keen on the implications the proposal has for the standard of the game

"I'm not against the idea but it's pretty obvious to me that if you do go ahead with it you have got to get a proper pitch […] You've got to sex up Test match cricket to compare with Twenty20 cricket; if you can get a great pitch for a Twenty20 game, you should be able to get a great pitch for a Test match."
It's more about the playing surfaces, stupid, says David Lloyd

"Five days, when you look at the public support in Australia and England, is probably the right length to get the full theatre of what a proper test of a Test cricketer and a Test cricket side is all about."
Cricket Australia's James Sutherland thinks we're a way away from four-day Tests yet

"If the intention is to force a sense of 'urgency' into 'oh-so-long' Test cricket, is a four-day match significantly less 'relaxed' and 'ah-so-shorter' than a five-day one? If anything, shortening Tests to four days would blur what makes them distinct from domestic-level, first-class matches.
An editorial in the Indian Express questions what exactly lopping a day off Tests would achieve

"I tell you what, why don't we make Tests 20-overs a side with only 10 minutes between innings and play all of them on the sub-continent where the biggest crowds and sponsorship deals are guaranteed? That might work."
Tim Chalmers in the Daily Mail lays the sarcasm on with a trowel

"There is no right or wrong in it. The crowds are simply not coming in for Tests, just for Twenty20. Sadly, Tests are fast becoming unfashionable and tedious for newer generations. If the audience desires change, if broadcasters want change, it is inevitable."
Arun Lal thinks the days are numbered for Tests as we know them

"Scoring rates have gone up anyway and no one wants to bat for three days anymore. But I think draws can be dispensed with … Only about 2% draws are memorable. The public needs results."
Aakash Chopra thinks it's to do with results rather than duration

"Provide proper pitches, pro-active captaincy that honours the spirit of the game and decent over-rates and, mercy, there'll be nothing wrong with Test cricket and, therefore, no need to tamper with it. That, of course, would disappoint the ICC, who like bureaucrats everywhere, need problems to "solve" to help justify their existence and are, therefore, always prone to "tinker" regardless of the need or demand for such interference.
Could it be officiousness that's at the heart of the proposal, Alex Massie wonders in the Spectator