Four day tests - why the push?

Belnakor

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Why is there a push from “company men” like Mark Taylor to talk about moving to 4 day tests?

I don’t think I have spoken to a single legitimate cricket fan who wants 4 day tests instead of 5.

are aca against it because the gate is lower on the 5th day? Save costs on booking the venues?

Thankfully India are solidly in the 5 day test camp but still it worries me.

Thoughts?
 

PhatBoy

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Why is there a push from “company men” like Mark Taylor to talk about moving to 4 day tests?

I don’t think I have spoken to a single legitimate cricket fan who wants 4 day tests instead of 5.

are aca against it because the gate is lower on the 5th day? Save costs on booking the venues?

Thankfully India are solidly in the 5 day test camp but still it worries me.

Thoughts?
I think it’s probably a worthwhile experiment with some of the lesser equipped test nations - the last thing a spectator wants to watch is two mediocre sides play ‘boring’ cricket when a day less to claim a result can at least force them into being more aggressive with bat, ball and captaincy.

But if you put two attacks against one another like Australia, India, SA or even New Zealand, attacks that don’t give the opposition much respite as it is. I want to see batsmen who know they have five days to bunker down and earn runs the hard way, battle to get their side in a good position.
 

Phone

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there doesn't seem to be any great reason for test cricket being 5 days. it was a mixture of 3 days, 4 days, 5 days, 6 days & timeless from the start and into the 1950s. 5 days just seems to be a compromise between the Australian timeless test and the English 3 day test (england were still playing 3 day county matches into the 1980s). First they decided to have Ashes tests in England be 4 days (1930s), then Ashes tests in Australia became 6 days (after ww2) and in the end it ended up at 5 days/30 hours everywhere (which up until the 80s still included a rest day)

obviously the key reason behind a push towards 4 day tests (which is really just a return to the original tradition of each country's board picking the length of a test to suit them) is commercial reasons, but then I'm sure the standardization to 5 day tests would have had similarly commercial reasons behind it too (ie certainly of match time to allow for hotel/travel bookings, ground maintenance, etc). i have no issue with it being looked. plenty of legitimate test cricket has been played over 4 days already.
 

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The Passenger

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there doesn't seem to be any great reason for test cricket being 5 days. it was a mixture of 3 days, 4 days, 5 days, 6 days & timeless from the start and into the 1950s. 5 days just seems to be a compromise between the Australian timeless test and the English 3 day test (england were still playing 3 day county matches into the 1980s). First they decided to have Ashes tests in England be 4 days (1930s), then Ashes tests in Australia became 6 days (after ww2) and in the end it ended up at 5 days/30 hours everywhere (which up until the 80s still included a rest day)
There was at least one rest day i the 90's - Most wouldn't remember, but Shane Warne's famous hat trick test started on Christmas Eve and had a rest day on Christmas.

https://www.espncricinfo.com/series/16324/scorecard/63664/australia-vs-england-2nd-test-england-tour-of-australia-1994-95

Not sure if there are others.

I would love to see the game stay as five day tests, but if nations are struggling for crowds, then the economic reality is we may have to look at four day tests.

If they do go to four day tests then the ICC simply has to crack down on over rates. They should crack down on this regardless, but it would be imperative if tests get shortened. I would like to see a days play extend by 30 minutes in four-day tests (98 over days), but that is unlikely to happen. Would actually prefer days to extend by an hour (105-over days) but the chances of that are virtually nil.
 

Sammo360

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There was at least one rest day i the 90's - Most wouldn't remember, but Shane Warne's famous hat trick test started on Christmas Eve and had a rest day on Christmas.

https://www.espncricinfo.com/series/16324/scorecard/63664/australia-vs-england-2nd-test-england-tour-of-australia-1994-95

Not sure if there are others.

I would love to see the game stay as five day tests, but if nations are struggling for crowds, then the economic reality is we may have to look at four day tests.

If they do go to four day tests then the ICC simply has to crack down on over rates. They should crack down on this regardless, but it would be imperative if tests get shortened. I would like to see a days play extend by 30 minutes in four-day tests (98 over days), but that is unlikely to happen. Would actually prefer days to extend by an hour (105-over days) but the chances of that are virtually nil.
100% agree with crackdown on over rates. More needs to be done there.

Good thing is 4-day Tests are minimum 98 overs each day.

12.7.1.1 On days other than the last day, play shall continue on each day until the completion of a minimum target of 98 overs (or a minimum of 15 overs per hour) or the completion of the scheduled or rescheduled cessation time, whichever is the later but provided that play shall not continue for more than 30 minutes beyond the scheduled or rescheduled cessation time (permitted overtime). For the sake of clarity, if any of the minimum target number of overs have not been bowled at the completion of the permitted overtime, play shall cease upon completion of the over in progress. The overs not bowled shall not be made up on any subsequent day.
 

Howard Littlejohn

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Why is there a push from “company men” like Mark Taylor to talk about moving to 4 day tests?

I don’t think I have spoken to a single legitimate cricket fan who wants 4 day tests instead of 5.

are aca against it because the gate is lower on the 5th day? Save costs on booking the venues?

Thankfully India are solidly in the 5 day test camp but still it worries me.

Thoughts?
Partly to save costs on the venues, but also because of the three day break betwen Tests. With four day Tests (which I'm against), there would have been no need to start the Gabba Test on Thursday. Which may have meant the game wasn't decided before the weekend, surely the game being effectively over drove down interest (at the gate and on TV) by the time people had a day off to watch.
 

Belnakor

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I think it’s probably a worthwhile experiment with some of the lesser equipped test nations - the last thing a spectator wants to watch is two mediocre sides play ‘boring’ cricket when a day less to claim a result can at least force them into being more aggressive with bat, ball and captaincy.

But if you put two attacks against one another like Australia, India, SA or even New Zealand, attacks that don’t give the opposition much respite as it is. I want to see batsmen who know they have five days to bunker down and earn runs the hard way, battle to get their side in a good position.

good point and maybe i am biased due to how little cricket we play against the minnows.

your last point is exactly why we need 5 days. Its about the story of the test, seeing someone play a great innings on the 5th day is far superior to watching someone like "Davey" Warner smashing 150 on a road on the 2nd day.
 

demon21

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Maybe with a 4 day test would force them to put some grass on the Aus wickets. Our pitches a very boring and flat then people complain when go overseas and they cant score against the moving ball.
 

to1994

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Maybe with a 4 day test would force them to put some grass on the Aus wickets. Our pitches a very boring and flat then people complain when go overseas and they cant score against the moving ball.
It's dull but it does suit us. Our batsmen have previously been rubbish so it made sense not to shoot ourselves in the foot (look at Hobart against South Africa last time).

Then you have our bowlers who are easily the best in the world on a flat wicket, they can still produce something on tough wickets while most other teams turn into cannon fodder so to change the approach would be handing the opposition an advantage.

I maintain that Test Cricket in Australia right now is pretty boring compared to most parts of the world but we're simply sticking to what gives us the best chance of winning.
 

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Howard Littlejohn

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Two decent sides play a 4 day test in Australia on the roads we produce as pitches and every match will be a draw.
Playing conditions for four day Tests are 98 overs in a day (slightly more on day four) with an extra half hour built in, as well as still having the ability to extend by an hour. How many Tests actually go past lunch on day five, more or less the equivalent? I'm not sure there would be that many extra draws, although with less time to bat out maybe the team behind would have more chance of playing for one.

Of course, the pitch may be different early on day five compared to late on day four. depending on the venue it may dry out more, cracks open up, and so forth overnight. That would be lost without a day five.
And given we often don't get 90 with the extra half hour, getting 98 is also unlikely.

I'm not a fan of four day Tests. I don't think it will bring more people through the gate which is what its being sold as. If 7.5 hours is too long for people to commit to, then 8 hours isn't going to help that. But the additional draws might not be as big an issue as it first seems.

I've said before the first thing I would be doing is 30 overs per session, not 90 overs per day, when there are no weather delays etc. And with points deductions in the WTC now a thing, actually ask umpires/match referees to enforce the penalties. (I think they are unbalanced, in that playing a long series means more chance of deductions, but its a tool there and ready to use.)

edit: Oh, and an emergency day could be added to make up for weather delays; but that would negate the possible scheduling advantages.
 

Blue1980

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It's dull but it does suit us. Our batsmen have previously been rubbish so it made sense not to shoot ourselves in the foot (look at Hobart against South Africa last time).

Then you have our bowlers who are easily the best in the world on a flat wicket, they can still produce something on tough wickets while most other teams turn into cannon fodder so to change the approach would be handing the opposition an advantage.

I maintain that Test Cricket in Australia right now is pretty boring compared to most parts of the world but we're simply sticking to what gives us the best chance of winning.
Agree that it’s more boring to watch test cricket here than anywhere in the world, but does seem to suit us
 

cricketnut14

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i've heard all sorts of suggestions re: 4 day test matches.

lots of pro's and cons.

first of all you wouldnt want to lose time to rain (lets put rooves on all grounds :) ) it would be a struggle to make up for lost time.
 

Topkent

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good point and maybe i am biased due to how little cricket we play against the minnows.

your last point is exactly why we need 5 days. Its about the story of the test, seeing someone play a great innings on the 5th day is far superior to watching someone like "Davey" Warner smashing 150 on a road on the 2nd day.
Thinking about it the wrong way, rather than wait until day 5 for batting conditions just force countries to spice up the wickets so that they are more inclined to see a result in 4 days. Get rid of 500+ scores. Thicken up the seams on the balls so the bowlers have more to work with etc.
 

Blue1980

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Thinking about it the wrong way, rather than wait until day 5 for batting conditions just force countries to spice up the wickets so that they are more inclined to see a result in 4 days. Get rid of 500+ scores. Thicken up the seams on the balls so the bowlers have more to work with etc.
100 overs a day for 4 days should do it, and yes just have wickets which provide interest from the beginning for bowlers, like England.
 

frankrizzo

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We had plenty of great day 5 finishes the last few years, we have had games that would have been boring draws because of rain if not for that extra day there is only one reason for the push for four days tests and that is for the boards and tv companies to save money it won't bring new people to the game(they hate 5 days tests but will love 4 day games really?) and it won't be better for existing test fans.

Fans thinking board yes men like taylor actually give a shit about the quality of the sport are sheep voting for the wolf.
 

frankrizzo

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100 overs a day for 4 days should do it, and yes just have wickets which provide interest from the beginning for bowlers, like England.
Why can't we just have better wickets now and keep the 5th day to cover for early bad weather or an unexpected fightback from a side behind in the match?

It's a win/win for the fans if they spice up the decks but still allow for teams to slowly grind their way back into a game and even win on day 5 if they are good enough.
 

Caesar

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I suspect a lot of it is scheduling. 4 day Tests are much better from that perspective.

As Phone says, the length of Tests has varied wildly over the history of the game. As long as it makes sense, I don't have a massive issue with the reduction.

Two decent sides play a 4 day test in Australia on the roads we produce as pitches and every match will be a draw.
That's unlikely. The Shield is currently played over 4 days, and with the extra overs each day you basically only lose a session and a half of cricket. How many Tests are currently decided in the last session and a half of the match? The main concern is weather delays, but they're not a major issue in Australia.

I think regardless of what happens, we are going to see far fewer draws in Test cricket going forward due to the way the Test Championship is scored (with a win being worth 3x a draw).

If they do go to four day tests then the ICC simply has to crack down on over rates. They should crack down on this regardless, but it would be imperative if tests get shortened.
What do you mean by 'crack down' on over rates? Because the reality is that the incidence of over rate violations is actually pretty low. Last year we lost 8 overs spread over 48 Test matches - not a large number, you'd have to agree.

I don't see that increasing under the Test championship, which docks a team 2 points for every over they fail to bowl. Given that you only get 24 points for winning a match in a 5-Test series, that's a substantial penalty. I know it frustrates people that most teams use at least some of the extra time each day to bowl their overs - but realistically, the whole reason that time exists is because there are things outside the control of the fielding team that delay the game.

If people are frustrated that Test cricket is played too slowly, then maybe we just need to reduce the playing time or increase the daily required overs.

The other alternative is something akin to the serve clock in tennis, but I doubt that would go down too well.
 
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Tyberious Funk

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I'm not against it... against second tier teams.

It's not going to change the standard of cricket, but it might give weaker teams a better chance to play out for a draw, and/or force stronger teams to push harder for a win (and maybe take a few risks). That's better than watching, say, Australia pile on 600 runs in the first two days and then pummel a team like the Bangers. More often than not, the game ends well within 4 days anyway.

But not for games against top tier teams.
 

cricketnut14

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I'm not against it... against second tier teams.

It's not going to change the standard of cricket, but it might give weaker teams a better chance to play out for a draw, and/or force stronger teams to push harder for a win (and maybe take a few risks). That's better than watching, say, Australia pile on 600 runs in the first two days and then pummel a team like the Bangers. More often than not, the game ends well within 4 days anyway.

But not for games against top tier teams.
is that like saying gold coast suns games should only be 3 quarters :)
 

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