Former Pakistan pacer Shoaib Akhtar has panned the concept of four-day Test matches which the International Cricket Council (ICC) plans to roll out from the World Test Championship from 2023. Akhtar believes ICC cannot implement the idea without the nod of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) and as things stand, Sourav Ganguly, the BCCI president, will never give his nod.

Sourav Ganguly and Shoeb Akhatar

“The idea to play the four-day Test match is rubbish and no one should be interested in it. BCCI chief Sourav Ganguly is an intelligent man and he will not let this happen. He will not let Test cricket die,” Akhtar said in a video posted on his YouTube channel.

“The ICC cannot implement a four-day Test without BCCI’s approval.
“I want more people from Pakistan, Sri Lanka and India to come forward and raise their voice against it. I want legendary cricketers from my country to voice their opinion,” he added.

The proposal of a 4-day Test match has not been met with too much optimism as Australia batting great Ricky Ponting on Sunday opposed ICC’s idea. He said he was not too keen on changing “something’s that’s not really badly broken”. The ICC is considering introducing four-day Tests during the next FTP cycle between 2023-2031 in order to get more free days for the commercially lucrative shorter formats, an idea which was supported, among others, by Cricket Australia CEO Kevin Roberts.

“I’m against it but I’d like to hear from the people who are pushing it what the major reason is,” Ponting told cricket.com.au.
India skipper Virat Kohli also didn’t back the idea saying it will be unfair to the “purest format of the game”.

“According to me, it should not be altered. As I said, the day-night is another step towards commercializing Test cricket and you know, creating excitement around it, but it can’t be tinkered with too much. I don’t believe so,” Kohli said before India’s first T20I clash against Sri Lanka.

(With inputs from hindustantimes)