Cape Town – The International Cricket Council are keeping
relatively mum over the intention of Cricket South Africa to host the first
modern-era four-day Test under floodlights in Port Elizabeth from Boxing Day.
But it may also get an official nod next month.
CSA chief executive Haroon Lorgat revealed on Wednesday their
plan to fill the post-Christmas gap – caused by India’s later arrival for their
headline multi-format series, now cut from four Tests to three – with a
once-off Test against neighbours Zimbabwe at St George’s Park with its new,
The move will probably have surprised many traditionalists,
appearing almost arbitrary and unilateral as there is no official global green
light yet for any tampering with the current, decades-long principle of Tests
being contested over five days.
But the culling of a day’s play and increasing – at least to
an extent - the overs on the other four instead has been a topic of discussion
among administrators, pundits and past players for several years, as one method
of safeguarding Tests against the increasingly intrusive threat of white-ball
Signs do seem to point to SA and Zimbabwe earning the
go-ahead to be used as “guinea pigs” in the Friendly City from Boxing Day, even
as questions will inevitably arise over the minnows’ likelihood of stretching a
Test against the No 2-ranked Proteas to - or beyond - four days anyway.
Asked for a reaction to Lorgat’s plans on Thursday, the
ICC’s general manager (strategic communications) Claire Furlong said: “As you
know this has been an ongoing conversation and as background for you there is
growing support for four-day Tests to be trialled, as opposed to unilateral
“This is on the agenda to be discussed at the ICC Board
(meeting) next month.
“So nothing (at this point) in terms of comment from us but
this has all been part of ongoing conversations.”
*Follow our chief
writer on Twitter: @RobHouwing