South Africa Port Elizabeth Four-day Test ICC Playing Conditions
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SA v Zim: Know what’s in the store for the four-day Test in Port Elizabeth?

ICC, South Africa, Zimbabwe, Four-day Test, Port Elizabeth,
South Africa to host first of its four-day Test after ICC's nod. Photo Credit: Getty Images.

With South Africa scheduled to host the historic four-day Test match against Zimbabwe in Port Elizabeth on December 26 (Boxing Day), the world cricket body International Cricket Council has made some pertinent changes according to its playing conditions.

“Teams visiting, for example, South Africa, might be more likely to [take a detour to] play Zimbabwe in a four-day Test than they would in a five-day Test. So I think it has a number of advantages,” the chief executive for ICC, Richardson was quoted as saying by ESPNcricinfo.

Setting up couple changes according to the ICC’s playing condition; the administration at the helm is expecting a paradigm shift owing to balance out the procedure which could be a gateway for the new Test format after drawing a flak.

ICC, South Africa, Zimbabwe, Four-day Test, Port Elizabeth,
South Africa to set a history to host the first four-day Test game in Port Elizabeth. Photo Credit: Web.

(Read Also: South Africa v India Test series 2018: The Proteas Probable Squad)

The laws of the game have seen massive overhauling in the recent past and the follow-on procedure has been further taken into the consideration like the laws have been inducted in the first-class cricket of domestic fold.
On the other side, as the mark to enforce the follow-on was set as 200 owing to the lead which further saw the total was reduced to 150 in four-day cricket.

It’s bound to set a stepping stone for the longer version of the game after the ICC has approved the four-day Test match between the Proteas led by Faf du Plessis against tour Zimbabwean which is led from the front by Graeme Creamer.

Moreover, the traditional series like Ashes has witnessed the massive crowd in the past; the world board is mulling to involve the spectators – to generate more interest in them like they are having for the limited-overs cricket and in particular the short-paced Twenty 20 International Cricket.

ICC, South Africa, Zimbabwe, Four-day Test, Port Elizabeth,
The Test fixture of four-day competition in South Africa was given status by ICC in its recent meeting which is slated between December 26 and 29 in Port Elizabeth. Photo Credit: Getty Images.

Interestingly, each four-day of the all-important game would witness 98 overs until the stumps which mean the fielding side is supposed to bowl eight overs extra which they used to send down during the traditional five-day fixture.

The three different sessions would be separated in six and a half hours, in a bid to send down extra 48 balls then the scheduled format.

Interestingly, it would also be the first-ever day-and-night four-day Test fixture which is expected to witness the minimum of 98 overs each day.

ICC, South Africa, Zimbabwe, Four-day Test, Port Elizabeth,
David Richarson has given a green signal to the solitary four-day Test in South Africa. Photo Credit: Getty Images.

(Read Further: Zimbabwe Includes Two Uncapped Players for their Tour to South Africa)

In New Zealand, the ICC’s meeting held in October early this year, the chief executive for the Dubai-based organization David Richardson made it clear by saying that the trial would run through 2019, before the World Cup will be held in the England and Wales.

However, the move has been taken to provide a healthy support to the less-experienced teams in such longer version of the game.

“The real value is [for] teams like Ireland and Afghanistan, even Zimbabwe who have not been at their best,” Richardson asserted.

The Board has further made it clear by saying it is a general trial which can’t be imposed on the teams by terming it as the ‘mandatory option.

“Whoever wants to play it can play it,” Richardson concluded.

The two different teams would witness two hours and 15 minutes each session between the tea and dinner break, as the final session would be of 120 minutes.

ICC, South Africa, Zimbabwe, Four-day Test, Port Elizabeth,
Graeme Cremer’s team is delighted to feature in the historic game in South Africa. Photo Credit: Getty Images.

In order to accommodate the extra overs, the playing conditions have had added an extra half-hour in spite of six hours in five-day competition.

For the fielding side the extra half an hour would witness as many overs they could bowl as the side would also not be available to go behind the extra time other than the rain-affected fixture.

The major point to be discussed that the last 60 minutes come into the play when 75 overs were bowled in the five-day cricket, but in the four-day fixture, the rule would be applied after 83 overs.

However, if the above-mentioned overs were bowled ahead of the mentioned time then the clock is supposed to come into the play.

Here’s is the detailed timing of the historic fixture to be held in Port Elizabeth:

1:30 PM-3: 45 PM – First session

3:45 PM-4: 05 PM – Tea break

4:05PM-6:20 PM – Second session

6:20PM-7:00 PM – Dinner break

7:00PM-9:00 PM – Third session

Tahir Ibn Manzoor

Tahir Ibn Manzoor is a staffer at Cricket Addictor, who follows cricket like food and he has a great affection for the long-form journalism. He Tweets @TahirIbnManzoor