South Africa and Zimbabwe will play the four-day Test after ICC's approval for a trial

South Africa and Zimbabwe will play the four-day Test after ICC’s approval for a trial

"Four-day Tests will also provide the new Test playing countries with more opportunities to play the longer version," ICC CEO said.

Andile Phehlukwayo of the Proteas celebrates the wicket of Liton Das
Proteas. (Photo by Lee Warren/Gallo Images/Getty Images)

The International Cricket Council (ICC) took some important decisions in the governing body’s meeting in Auckland. The council approved the Test Championship and the One-Day International League. The ICC also announced that the teams are free to play the four-day Test matches on a trial basis, which is part of an experiment before the 2019 World Cup.

As a result of this announcement, the Boxing Day Test between the home side South Africa and the visiting Zimbabwe team a four-day affair will be played from 26 December to 29 December. The fixture will be played under lights and it would be the first ever four-day international game played with the pink ball. ICC further stated that it is their priority to develop an international cricket structure that carries some meaning and context.

“Our priority was to develop an international cricket structure that gave context and meaning across international cricket and particularly in the Test arena. This has been delivered and every Test in the new League will be a five-day Test format,” said ICC chief executive Dave Richardson, when asked about the Test Championship.

It will provide more opportunities

Richardson also stated that the four-day Tests would give the team more opportunities to play the longer format of the game and this trial is exactly the proper way to it. “Four-day Tests will also provide the new Test playing countries with more opportunities to play the longer version of the game against more experienced opponents, which, in turn, will help them to hone their skills and close the gap with the top nine ranked teams,” he added.

“However throughout the discussions about the future of Test cricket it became clear that whilst context is crucial we must also consider alternatives and trial initiatives that may support the future viability of Test cricket. The trial is exactly that, a trial, just in the same way day-night Tests and technology have been trialled by Members,” he concluded.

I am a big fan of the five-day game

The Proteas skipper Faf du Plessis also spoke about the recent development and also revealed that he personally likes the five-day Test matches. “I am a fan of five-day Test cricket. I believe the great Test matches have gone to the last hour of the last day on day five. That’s what is so special about Test cricket. In four-day cricket or first-class cricket, it does feel easier because there are only four days,” he said.