Evolution of Test cricket: Rule changes through the years

Since 1972/73, Test matches have been standardised as five-day games, but the ICC gave permission to Cricket South Africa to stage a four-day Test against Zimbabwe. We look at iconic moments that changed the dynamics of Test cricket.

On November 27, 2015, after 138 years, a Test match was played under lights and with a pink ball.   -  REUTERS

2017

The first Test between South Africa and Zimbabwe will be maiden four-day Test since 1973. Among the other rule changes that will be in effect at Port Elizabeth - venue for the Test match - are,  each day of the inaugural four-day Test will see a  minimum of 98 overs per day, which is eight more than the stipulated number of overs in five-day cricket and a lead of 150 will be enough to enforce follow-on.

2015

On November 27, 2015, after 138 years, a Test match was played under lights and with a pink ball. The third Test between Australia and New Zealand played at the Adelaide Oval ushered in an era of Test cricket hitherto unknown to players and fans alike.

2008

The rest day was normally staged between the third and fourth day's play in a Test. It has now been nearly a decade since a rest day was taken in between a Test match. 

Day four of the Dhaka Test between Sri Lanka and Bangladesh had no cricket taking place since it coincided with the national elections. 

This was also the first Test in seven years to have a rest day. Before that in December of 2001, Sri Lanka was involved in yet another rest day, this time in a Test against Zimbabwe at SSC, Colombo. The play was halted for Buddhist full-moon celebration. That said, the West-Indies - India Test played in Bridgetown in 1997 marked the beginning of extinction of rest day.

Sachin Tendulkar is being run out by Andrew Hudson during the first cricket Test match between India and South Africa at Kingsmead in Durban, South Africa on November 14, 1992.   -  V.V. Krishnan

 

1992

India's Sachin Tendulkar became the first batsman to be adjudged run-out by a television umpire in Test cricket. Karl Liebenberg sent Tendulkar on his way on the second day of the first Test - in 20 years - on the South African soil.

1835

The MCC rewrites the laws to allow round-arm deliveries in cricket.

The popular story goes that when Christina Willes, sister of Kent cricketer John Willes, was bowling at him in their backyard, her voluminous skirt got in the way of bowling an underarm ball, hence prompting her to raise her arm higher than usual. That said, it wasn't before the 1864 season, that the bowlers were permitted to do anything other than throw the ball.