Mumbai: The first official denial (for making four-day Tests mandatory as part of the World Test Championship 2023 onwards) from Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) has come from none other than their head coach, Mickey Arthur.
Speaking exclusively at the team hotel in Pune, Arthur said, "I don't favour this idea. This longest format of the game should not be tampered with. The 5-day Tests are being played for years now and just 3-4 days ago we saw the interest generated in the Test on the fifth day."
Arthur was obviously referring to the Cape Town Test (January 3-7). The match not only saw the last day but South Africa gave fight till the last hour and ultimately England won it by 189 runs but not before Faf du Plessis team batted for more than 130 overs.
"Yes, there have been drawing also on the fifth day but have we not witnessed many thrills and exciting play on a no-result day ?." "We see a lot of excitement in the Tests on the fifth day when wicket gets deteriorated and bowlers get the upper hand." "It is my own personal view that we should persist with the five-day Test," Arthur signed off.
Interestingly, Sri Lankan head coach Arthur also sits on the ICC cricket committee. Mahela Jayawardene, the other member of the ICC cricket committee is also not in favour of this change....