The cricket fraternity has been divided int two-halves on the International Cricket Council’s (ICC) new proposal of four-day Test matches. To revive the traditional form and reduce the cost, the apex body is pondering to bring in the change. Former Pakistan speedster Shoaib Akhtar has joined the long list of cricketers who have opposed the idea and urging ICC to leave Test cricket in its original form.
ICC is seriously considering to trim the fifth day and make Test matches a four-day encounter. ICC’s cricket committee plans to bring this change from the 2023-2031 World Test Championship cycle. The speculations got reignited after Cricket Australia (CA) chief Kevin Roberts said they would seriously look at the concept. They are also planning to play a four-day Test match when they host Afghanistan in the next summer.
However, it has received strong oppositions from the cricket fraternity, and Shoaib Akhtar is an addition to the bandwagon. He urged more cricketers from India and Pakistan to come up and speak on this issue so that ICC cannot implement the change. He also stated that BCCI should play a more central role as the apex body cannot trim down Test matches without Indian cricket board’s permission.
“ICC cannot implement this rule without the permission of BCCI. BCCI along with all the smart cricketers are standing against this idea, specially spinners from Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Bangladesh who dominate and thrive in a series will not let this happen,” Akhtar said.
“Sourav Ganguly is a smart, intelligent person. He will never want to see Test cricket getting damaged. He would want it to survive and see India excel in the format,” he added.
Furthermore, Shoaib Akhtar also heaped praise on Sachin Tendulkar and Virat Kohli for coming out with a strong response against the proposal. Tendulkar pointed out that trimming the fifth day will rule out spinners from the game, which is not ideal.
“Sachin is spot on in his criticism. What will the spinners do? Danesh Kaneria, Mushtaq Ahmed, Ravichandran Ashwin, Harbhajan Singh, Anil Kumble have taken 400-500 wickets. What will happen to them?” Akhtar questioned.