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Ireland willing to play four-day Tests following the footsteps of South Africa

South Africa has proposed a four-day Test match on Boxing Day against Zimbabwe.

Ireland
Ireland. (Photo by Morne de Klerk/Getty Images)

Ireland, the new entrant in Test cricket, are willing to play the four-day Test matches after South Africa proposed to play one against Zimbabwe. Cricket South Africa (CSA) is intending to host a 4-day Test match on the traditional Boxing Day on December 26 later this year. Originally they had planned to begin the series against the touring Indian team on the day but things didn’t go their way and they had to reschedule.

CSA has not received the approval from International Cricket Council (ICC) yet to hold the first ever four-day Test match. Though it seems that there will not be much opposition from the members of the ICC to be given the Test status to the match. Moreover, it would pave way for many such matches in the future given that Australia and England are already in favour of the move. The Proteas board is also planning to hold the four-day game under lights which would be the first ever for them.

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Four-day matches will suit us

Ireland was granted Test status earlier this year along with Afghanistan following their immense improvements in the other formats of cricket. The chief executive of Cricket Ireland, Warren Deutrom, has confirmed to Cricbuzz that Ireland will be in favour of playing four-day Test matches. He also cleared that they are keen to play the traditional format of 5-day Test matches but didn’t deny the possibility of 4-day games either.

“I think our answer might reasonably be defined as more pragmatic and less purist than, perhaps, some of the longer-established Test nations. After all, we can hardly complain about compromising the traditional rhythms of Test cricket when Ireland hasn’t played one yet. In fact, one might even argue that the four-day experiment is more likely to suit us given our familiarity with the Intercontinental Cup,” Deutrom said.

“Our chasing of Test status was driven by the desire to play the sport’s pinnacle format, to give our players the option of realising that dream for Ireland rather than having to resort to England, not to mention the sheer status, opportunity for visibility and commercial potential that comes with being a recognised member of the front rank of cricket’s nations. If that prestige and those benefits can accrue by virtue of a four-day game rather than five then I suggest it is an experiment in which Ireland would be happy to participate,” he continued.

In case, the match between Zimbabwe and South Africa reaps rewards irrelevant of its international status, fans might witness the change in the longest format of the game soon.

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