SYDNEY (Agencies): Australia batting great Ricky Ponting on Sunday opposed ICC’s idea to make Test cricket a four-day affair, saying he is not keen on changing “something’s that’s not really badly broken”.
The ICC is considering introducing four-day Tests during the next FTP cycle between 2023-2031 in order to get more free days for the commercially lucrative shorter formats, an idea which was supported, among others, by Cricket Australia CEO Kevin Roberts.
“I’m against it but I’d like to hear from the people who are pushing it what the major reason is,” Ponting told cricket.com.au. The former Australian skipper felt that four-day Tests might lead to more draws.
“I know we’ve had a lot of four-day games the last couple of years but what I’ve noticed in the last decade is how many drawn Test matches there have been, and I just wonder if they had have been all four-day Test matches through that period of time would we have had more drawn games.”
“That’s one thing I don’t think anybody wants to see. I understand there is a commercial side to it, saving money and things like that and how they would start on a Thursday to finish on Sunday,” Ponting added. The 45-year-old questioned the need to change something that doesn’t require a radical “fixing”. “I’d like to hear the other reasons behind it. I don’t understand it enough and I’m very much a traditionalist, so if something’s not really badly broken then why do we need to fix it or change it?” Ponting, who is part of the MCC World Cricket Committee, said the idea of four-day Test cricket has been earlier rejected by the panel.
“Let’s wind the clock back two, three years ago, it was being discussed then,” Ponting said. “I know we had a vote at one of the meetings about putting a proposal forward to changing it and the overriding decision there was that we wanted to keep it as five days.” Ponting joins the likes of India skipper Virat Kohli, Sachin Tendulkar, Gautam Gambhir, Australian coach Justin Langar, spinner Nathan Lyon and pace legend Glenn McGrath in disapproving shortening Test matches.