England cricket chief 'not a champion' of 4-day Tests

ECB (File)
ECB (File)

London - ECB chief executive Tom Harrison says there are no plans to introduce four-day Test matches in England as debate swirls over the future of the longest form of the game.

The International Cricket Council (ICC) is next month set to discuss a proposal to reduce matches in the World Test Championship by a day from 2023.

The ICC allowed four-day Tests in 2017 and they have been tried in one-off games between South Africa and Zimbabwe and England against Ireland.

But they are not allowed in the Test world championship, which is led by Virat Kohli's India, where matches take place over the traditional five days.

The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) said in December that it was "cautiously" supportive of the move towards shorter Tests as a way of reducing players' workloads.

But in an interview with The Cricketer magazine, Harrison said he had been incorrectly "positioned as the champion of four-day Tests".

"There are no plans over the next few years to introduce four-day Tests in England...certainly not in the World Test Championship...the Ashes," he said.

But he added: "I'm cautiously supportive of four-day Tests, in certain geographies, in certain times of the year, against certain opposition.

"In a cluttered calendar, when we're facing enormous pressure on schedules, four-day Test cricket does answer some questions, some of the time.

"It's not the answer to all of our problems and our own problems."

Asked if the ICC could impose four-day Tests on its members, Harrison was firm in his response.

"There's no support for that - India, Australia and us - and that's quite a powerful lobby," he said.

The influential Marylebone Cricket Club last month threw its weight behind five-day Tests.

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