Monday, 30th October 2017

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BCCI for 5-day Tests

Virat Kohli has strongly opposed the idea of four-day Tests earlier, so has Sachin Tendulkar

By Indranil Majumdar in Mumbai
  • Published 14.01.20, 2:35 AM
  • Updated 14.01.20, 2:35 AM
  • 2 mins read
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Sourav Ganguly, the BCCI president File picture

The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has made it clear that it will stick to the game’s traditional format and not back a proposal for four-day Tests when the matter comes up for discussion during an International Cricket Council (ICC) meeting in Dubai in March.

The Telegraph learns that the message was delivered during an informal meeting with representatives from Cricket Australia (CA), England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB), Cricket South Africa (CSA) and New Zealand Cricket (NZC) at The Taj Mahal Palace Hotel on Tuesday.

The BCCI was among others represented by president Sourav Ganguly and secretary Jay Shah. There were reports that former ICC chairman and Board president N. Srinivasan was also present during the meeting with ECB and CA representatives.

Kevin Roberts, CA chief executive, came up with the proposal last month, saying four-day Tests “is something that we have got to seriously consider… It is something that can’t be driven by emotion, but it needs to be driven by fact.”

The ECB is “cautiously” backing the proposal while CSA has voiced its “support”.

Virat Kohli has strongly opposed the idea of four-day Tests, so has Sachin Tendulkar.

It was also decided unanimously that any move by the ICC to reappoint Shashank Manohar for a third two-year term as chairman will be opposed. Manohar, whose second term ends in May, though has indicated that he may not continue any further.

The ICC’s proposed ‘one flagship tournament every year’ during next eight-year FTP cycle (2023-2031) will also be opposed unilaterally at the meeting. The cricket Boards are not ready to compromise on bilateral Test series for the proposed ICC tournament every year.

However, the proposed four-nation tournament involving India, Australia, England and another nation may be a non-starter because of a lack of window for the tournament.

Discussions were held on clearly demarcating windows for the various Boards’ respective leagues such as the IPL, Big Bash and the upcoming Hundred. The Indian team’s itinerary also came up for discussion during the meeting with CA officials.

It was learnt that India have agreed to play a Day-Night Test in Adelaide during their tour in December-January. The other two Tests will be held in Melbourne and Sydney.

There seems to be some uncertainty over the venue for the opening Test of the series with CA insisting on playing at their stronghold Brisbane. The BCCI, it is learnt, aren’t too keen and prefer Perth.

Virat, on Monday, reiterated that India are “open” to playing a Day-Night Test in Australia. “We played the Day-Night Test here, we’re pretty happy with how it went and it’s become a very exciting feature of any Test series. So we’re absolutely open to play a Day-Night Test,” the India captain said on Monday.

“We’re ready enough for the challenge and whether it’s Gabba or Perth, doesn’t matter to us, we do have the skill sets as a team to compete against anyone in the world, anywhere, in any format of the game — whether it’s white ball, red ball or pink ball. We’re ready to play anything.” 

Watch out Tim Paine.