Four day first likely to get ICC approval

Test status has not been granted to a four-day match in 43 years but the International Cricket Council are believed to be receptive to trial the concept.

South Africa and Zimbabwe have tentatively scheduled a four-day day/night Test starting on Boxing day at St George’s Park in Port Elizabeth.

It would be the first match of its kind and could allow the ICC to soothe their scheduling headaches should it catch on.

The idea has been welcomed by some while others stand strongly opposed to any change in the status quo in the game’s ultimate format which is pretty much par for the course with this sort of thing mirroring what we have seen with pink ball Tests and DRS.

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 CSA’s chief executive officer Haroon Lorgat told ESPN Cricinfo:  “We recognise that there is a place for higher-ranked teams to play the lower-ranked teams, or even the lower-ranked teams among themselves, in four-day Test match cricket.

“I hope that apart from being a trial, we could have it as a permanent arrangement.”

Zimbabwe are set to be the first to benefit from a little flexibility from the ICC making their first Test appearance on their neighbours soil in over twelve years and bigger nations could choose to accommodate minnows Afghanistan and Ireland in this way.

The ICC’s Cricket Committee, who advise the body on matters relating to how the game is played, have been reluctant to sign off on shortening Tests from five days to four fearing a backlash from traditionalists.

South Africa had originally planned to play a five day match against India starting on Boxing day but India were compelled to visit Sri Lanka again late in the year having not made the trip for eight years prior to their visit from July to September this year.

India will arrive on December 28th and play three Tests with the first getting underway on January 5th at Newlands in Cape Town.