Kevin Pietersen has called for an end to the fifth day and the introduction of four-day Test matches.
“Get rid of the fifth day,” Pietersen told AOC. “Sessions one and two of the fourth day are just people meandering along, blocking, nothing happening. Get rid of that fifth day.
“It hardly ever goes to the fifth day anyway, no one wants to come to watch on a Monday. Make Tests four days and bring back that excitement, that intensity.”
The idea of four-day Test matches has been around for some time and even been endorsed by ECB chairman Colin Graves as a way both of saving money (for venues, who often waste money on staff for unfulfilled final days) and adding intensity.
Pietersen’s comments come on the back of renewed calls for the introduction of a two-division system in Test cricket. KP’s former captain Michael Vaughan wrote in the Telegraph: “Test cricket desperately needs two divisions and this series against West Indies is proving that change has to happen now.
“Promotion and relegation are normal aspects of most sports but at the moment Test cricket survives on an arcane system of bilateral series with no ordered fixture list and a rankings system that cannot be understood easily and so really does not matter.
“Fans want to see a winner every two years,” Vaughan said. “A final with something riding on it. We also want to know who is relegated, who is promoted and which countries have shown some progress.
“Just imagine if at the end of two years England have to win a series against Pakistan, for example, 3-0 to reach the final. Or they have to draw the last Test of a series to avoid relegation. It would add tremendous pressure on the players, give the broadcasters something to sell and market to the public and might get a few more people in the ground.”