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Miandad, Intikhab express reservations over ICC’s plan of four-day Tests

Miandad, Intikhab express reservations over ICC’s plan of  four-day Tests

LAHORE: Former Pakis­tan captains Javed Miandad and Intikhab Alam gave a mixed reaction over the proposal of reducing Test matches to four days instead of the existing five-day format which is being currently considered by the Inter­national Cricket Council (ICC).

Talking to Dawn both Miandad and Intikhab — who have also served as head coaches of the national teams — said that the ICC should put explain reasons that have forced the governing body to consider such a decision.

However, while Intikhab totally rejected the proposal, saying it does not make any sense, Miandad said it could only be possible if the ICC finds out a logical solution as to how a full quota of 450 overs could be bowled in four days instead of five.

“Currently, 90 overs are mandatory in a day’s play and if this number will increase to 111 overs that may serve some purpose but otherwise, the five-day format is good enough,” Miandad said. “The ICC may be considering such a proposal because it believes the five-day game is becoming quite boring for the spectators and four-day Tests can revive brisk-paced, competitive matches.”

“Though it will not be easy to bowl 111 overs in a day, it is the only way to reduce the number of days of a Test match while ensuring the results,” Miandad added. “When the two teams will have to bowl, field or bat for 111 overs a day, it will make the players tougher, both physically and mentally. But it is not easy due to day-light problems in some countries,” he said.

Meanwhile, Intikhab termed it as an insult to the game of cricket and urged the ICC to shelve such a plan. “Instead of reducing the Tests to four days, the ICC should concentrate on how to maintain a fair standard in making of the pitches all over the world which should help equally to both home and visiting sides.” he argued.

“It is insult of cricket if you reduce it to four days from five as this way you will be harming cricket rather than promoting it,” Intikhab said. “Yes now a day a good number of Test matches are being decided inside four days but this is not good enough a reason to take such a big decision. Some of the Tests have even ended in two days time, so there will be no end to it really. It does not make any sense and I can’t think that you can do that,” he said.

Intikhab, who has been the part of the Pakistan team management which won the World Cup 1992 (One-day) andthe T20 World Cup in 2009 said he did not know what was behind this plan and who have forced the ICC to consider such a proposal.

“Whatsoever is behind the idea, it will be a bad decision for the game of cricket and it should be turned down immediately,” Intikhab said.

He lamented that while T20 is an entertaining form of the game, it has damaged cricket a lot.

Published in Dawn, January 9th, 2020

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