January 05, 2020
Nothing compares with five-dayers as the sport’s ultimate battle, so why shorten them?
Lopping a day off Test matches – just how insecure does cricket now feel? | Emma John
Are some sports just crisis junkies? Less than a week into a new decade cricket already needs rescuing again. So forget all you can of the past six months – a World Cup final that stood alone in history, one of the greatest ever Test comebacks, the good-news expansion of top-tier nations – and concentrate, if you will, on the negatives. Test cricket just isn’t popular enough. And that, the combined wisdom of the international cricket authorities has decided, means it’s too long. Apparently we should all start getting used to the idea that in future, Test matches will be played over four, not five, days.
To be fair, we’re all feeling a little bloated. It’s the week after the week after Christmas, a time of the year when our bodies are constituted of 70% mincemeat. No one feels at their best right now. This is the moment we take a long, hard look at ourselves and wonder if we could do with trimming a bit of fat. Does this five-day fixture really suit me any more? Wouldn’t a little nip/tuck make for an altogether more attractive prospect?
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