Changes to Tests must be in line with new struc­ture: FICA chief

Kuwait Times - - SPORTS -

AUCK­LAND: Any changes to Test cricket must be in line with in with the sport’s new global struc­ture, the head of the in­ter­na­tional cricket play­ers union (FICA) Tony Ir­ish has said. The In­ter­na­tional Cricket Coun­cil (ICC) will meet in Auck­land this week, where an­nounce­ments on sep­a­rate league struc­tures for tests and 50-over cricket are ex­pected to be made.

Ir­ish, the chief ex­ec­u­tive of the Fed­er­a­tion of In­ter­na­tional Crick­eters’ As­so­ci­a­tions urged stake­hold­ers of the game not to look at ad hoc so­lu­tions to Test cricket. “Any pro­posed change needs to fit into what­ever the new over­all global struc­ture is go­ing to be,” he said in quotes pub­lished by the Tele­graph news­pa­per.

“If one looks at the con­cept in iso­la­tion... then it’s pretty ob­vi­ous that tra­di­tion­al­ists, which in­cludes many play­ers who con­sider Test cricket as the pin­na­cle of the game, are not go­ing to be in favour of a change to four days.”

Test matches have wit­nessed a de­cline in at­ten­dances in re­cent years, throw­ing the door open to a num­ber of means to en­gage fans, in­clud­ing the in­tro­duc­tion of day-night Tests.

South Africa an­nounced plans to play Zim­babwe in the first four-day test start­ing on Box­ing Day in Port El­iz­a­beth, as part of their home sum­mer cal­en­dar for the 2017-18 sea­son. Cricket South Africa (CSA) are await­ing ap­proval for the four-day, day/night fix­ture, which would also be their first home ‘pink ball’ test.

How­ever, Ir­ish was con­cerned that coun­tries tri­al­ing four-day tests on a ran­dom ba­sis may lead to con­fu­sion and un­cer­tainty around the for­mat. “If the ICC for ex­am­ple is com­ing up with a new league struc­ture for test cricket then how does play­ing four-day tests fit into that and what are the ad­van­tages and dis­ad­van­tages of four days, as op­posed to five days, in that struc­ture,” he added.

“If there are not sig­nif­i­cant ad­van­tages in mak­ing the struc­ture and sched­ule bet­ter then why change? “If there are sig­nif­i­cant ad­van­tages then these need to be un­der­stood be­fore de­ci­sions are sim­ply made to change the for­mat.” —Reuters

Tony Ir­ish

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