Steven Smith, the Australia captain, and opener David Warner, have said that they have no desire to play four-day Tests. Their announcement will be a serious setback to international cricket chiefs who have put forward the idea.
Earlier this month the International Cricket Council revealed plans for a nine-nation Test championship as part of an attempt to preserve the five-day format’s status following the rapid growth of Twenty20.
The Council also agreed to experiment with four-day Tests and South Africa and Zimbabwe will trial the first in December.
However, Smith and Warner have expressed their dislike of the idea, even if the hours and over requirements of each day were extended to keep the Tests similar to the traditional format.
Speaking to cricket.com.au Smith said, “Personally, I like five so I would like to keep it at five. Just the traditional way that Test cricket has been played, I think it’s great when you get into that fifth day and enter that last hour, I think it’s a really cool part of the game.”
Warner was even more critical of the propositions saying, “I have no interest in four-day cricket. You have so many variables in Test match cricket, you’ve got weather, some games might be only getting three days but it just takes one day to have that weather come in and it can ruin it”.
He went on to say that the “longevity, being out there on your legs” and the “grit” and “determination” needed make him want to keep playing five-day Tests.
James Sutherland, the Cricket Australia chief, has given his support for the idea but he indicated that it is likely that Australia will take part in a four-day Test in the near future, “I don’t foresee us playing any four-day Test cricket [over the next couple of years]. But that’s not to say we don’t support the trial. We’ll certainly be interested observers.”