Leave Test cricket alone, says Ian Botham

Legendary all-rounder Sir Ian Botham has urged the ICC to leave Test cricket “alone” after England’s thrilling win against South Africa on the fifth day.

Ian Botham, one of the outstanding all-rounders of his generation, has thrown his weight behind the five-day format.   -  AFP

Legendary all-rounder Sir Ian Botham has urged the ICC to leave Test cricket “alone” after England’s thrilling win against South Africa in the final hour of the fifth day.

The ICC Cricket Committee will take a call on the "four-day Tests" proposal at its meeting in Dubai in March. Botham is the latest among the illustrious bandwagon of cricketers led by current India captain Virat Kohli, the iconic Sachin Tendulkar and Australian master batsman Ricky Ponting who have spoken against the proposed change for the 2023-2031 cycle.

READ| Tendulkar: Four-day Tests would be disadvantageous to spinners

“Well played England...Such a good idea to end 5day test cricket....full house watching cricket at its best !! Leave the flag ship of cricket alone it’s a real test of character, skill,guts,stamina & ability...it’s real cricket for real players !!! Leave it Alone !!!!!!,” Botham tweeted after Ben Stokes’ three-wicket burst on the final evening ensured a series levelling 189-run win for visitor.

 

Earlier, cricket great Sachin Tendulkar had vehemently opposed the proposed “four-day Test”, urging the governing body to refrain from “tinkering” with a format in which the spinners come into play on the final day. Tendulkar's comments came close on the heels of India captain Virat Kohli stating that "day-night cricket is the most that needs to be changed about Test cricket."

"Four-day Tests? Look, I'm not a fan of [it]," Kohli had said on the eve of the T20I series opener between India and Sri Lanka in Guwahati. "I think the intent will not be right then because then you will speak of three-day Tests, where do you end? Then you speak of Test cricket disappearing. I don't endorse that at all.

READ| Kohli, Root, Paine: what the players said about four-day Test cricket

Meanwhile, Mark Taylor, Michael Vaughan and Shane Warne are among former players who have supported the shake up. The ICC approved a trial of the concept in 2017, with South Africa, Zimbabwe, England and Ireland taking part in four-day games since then.

  Dugout videos