Cape Town - The Federation of International Cricketers Association (FICA) has responded to the media hype generated around the possibility of the ICC making four-day Test cricket mandatory from 2023.
The conversation has gathered momentum in recent weeks, with the vast majority of Test cricketers coming out in defence of the game in its current five-day format.
In a statement released on Wednesday, FICA executive chairman Tony Irish made the following comments:
"We continue to follow this issue closely and understand that discussions are taking place at various levels on this," it read.
"From our discussions with players around the world, and our global survey data, it is clear that there is currently a lot of negative sentiment, within the global collective of players, towards such a significant change to the game’s most traditional format.
"Given the obvious cricketing implications, if the ICC and/or Boards do want to make a broader case for 4-day Test cricket, we would need to clearly understand what both the economic and scheduling benefits would be, so we can discuss that with players and gauge genuine collective feedback. It is particularly important for us, and the players, to understand how any additional calendar space in the playing schedule would be used. Making a fundamental change simply in order to provide calendar space to fill with additional or meaningless cricket is clearly not something we can support. Cricket’s global structure desperately needs clarity, rather than further confusion.
"Until such a time as we and the players are provided with the full picture and compelling reasons for change, we remain supportive of 5-day Test cricket, and would expect significant player resistance if a shift to that is imposed on players by the ICC and/or Boards. Test cricket is a cherished format of the game and it needs player support and buy in to survive. We urge those making decisions to understand that."
- FICA media