CEO of Cricket West Indies (CWI) Johnny Grave said the regional board is open minded about the proposal by the International Cricket Council (ICC) to make Test cricket four-day matches instead of five-day matches. Grave said ICC may however have to tweak cricket’s laws and regulations for four-day Test matches.
The main reason the ICC is thinking of making Test cricket four-day matches is to clear up some space in the hectic cricket calender.
Grave said, “West Indies’ position is until we here the views of the ICC cricket committee and the views of the chief executive committee and the board of directors we remain open minded and look forward to participating in the debate.”
Grave said, when possible, match referees must ensure four full days of cricket are played. The CWI CEO believes flood lights must be utilised to get the allotted number of overs completed if time is lost due to rain or bad light.
“We need to look very clearly at the regulations around Test cricket. If you are playing four-day Test match cricket, you could have, for example, bad light stop play at a venue where there is flood lights. In my personal opinion that does not make a lot of sense (stopping play for bad light when flood lights are available) and it is one of the rules that I think now needs to be re-looked at because if you are going to play over a shorter period of time you are always going to have the odd rain delay...do you have so many drinks breaks? Is the lunch break as long as is? All those things need to be looked at.”
Grave said if the new proposed four-day Test matches start on a Thursday and ends on Sunday it will encourage more crowd support. “I think really from a fan perspective I think if your Test matches, broadly speaking, finish on a Sunday afternoon when people are off work or at home watching (will be great). Hopefully then more people would be interested and you are going to get a result on a day where people can attend the matches, watch or follow online or on tv. So from a spectator point of view there are big advantages.”
Grave said even if the changes are made, Test cricket will still be seen as the number one format.
“Whenever you start this debate everyone recognizes that Test cricket is still the pinnacle of our sport, it is still the ultimate test in the view of the players of technique and temperament.”