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Many cricket fans are not happy about ICC considering four-day Tests

Many cricket fans are not happy about ICC considering four-day Tests.

England's Ben Stokes celebrates the wicket of South Africa's Quinton de Kock on January 7, 2020© Reuters
The recent cricket match between England and South Africa has been really intense and dramatic. They had to finish the whole five days of a Test to complete the game and this is why many have once again brought up the issue that the International Cricket Council (ICC) has regarding four-day Tests.

The ICC has been talking about this for quite a while now but never really got into it just yet. There are many reported reasons as to why the ICC seems to be aiming to do this, but fans and even the cricketers themselves are not very pleased about it.

One of the reasons why there is a push for four-day Tests is to lessen the struggles with being able to broadcast simultaneous Tests worldwide. Since a Test could last up to five days, the cricket calendar is usually tough to manage. Not having a fifth day is something that they see as a solution to this.

Five days for a cricket match is indeed very long and some people just don't have the time for it. There are some who believe that this is the reason why cricket isn't gaining much following. However, this isn't really the case as cricket is now the second most popular sport worldwide next to football. It's even one of the favourites of many punters to wager on. Numerous cricket prediction websites are up to help punters make better bets and chances of winning.

People who are backing the four-day Tests movement are saying that lessening the length of a cricket match can help spread cricket's popularity to other generations. In particular, they are saying that the Snapchat generation may finally want to take a look at cricket and be fans themselves. Apparently, this generation is known to have a shorter attention span and so shorter matches can be the solution to this.

Another reason why there is a push for four-day Tests is the fact that there are now more leagues that are now Test participants and it will be simply easier to manage. Many Tests also end without having to reach the fifth day and that's why for them, it just makes sense to just shorten the length of a Test. While all those appear to be valid reasons as to why four-day Tests may be cricket's future, many are still going against it. Cricket purists simply want the ICC to leave five-day Tests alone and focus on other things.

Many fans are simply seeing this as a move that would benefit businesses involved in the cricket industry. They see it as a ploy for businessmen to make more money and lessen spending by ditching a fifth-day match.

Even cricketers are expressing how they are against this - Ian Botham, a popular cricketer, wants the ICC to leave the flagship of cricket alone.

After recent England and South Africa match, Botham tweeted: "Well played England...Such a good idea to end 5day test cricket....full house watching cricket at its best!!! Leave the flagship of cricket alone it's a real test of character, skill, guts, stamina & ability...it's real cricket for real players!!! Leave it alone".

Ashley Giles, England's director of men's cricket also shared his opposition to this movement from the ICC. He said: "If we played four-day cricket, I fear we would miss out on a lot of matches like yesterday [England VS South Africa]. I know a lot of Test matches now don't go to the fifth day - but you know it is precious to me, and I know it is to the players."

While many are expressing that they are against four-day Tests, there are still some who are backing it. England captain Joe Root seems to be curious about its implementation. He said: "I think there's a place for it in the game - I do, whether that's across the board or can it be flexible? We obviously played one against Ireland. I do think it's worth trialling. It might not always make sense for England to play it, especially if it's against Australia or some of the bigger sides."

He added: "But it might draw a bit more interest to some of the sides who struggle to get people into the grounds."

Cricket South Africa (the CSA) also recently released its official statement about this. They wanted to make it clear that they are also backing it up, which is contrary to the report that the Daily Mail released claiming that it is against it.

There's really no formal discussion yet regarding the implementation of four-day Tests. According to the ICC, this proposal will be discussed in March of this year during their meeting in Dubai.

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