Should Test Matches Have a Reserved 6th Day? What Can Be Done To Stop Wash Outs?

With Australia 214-5 and trailing by a first-innings deficit of 61 at Tea on Day 4, England was in with a chance of possibly squaring the Series 2-2, to keep their hopes alive of regaining the Ashes after eight years.

But sadly the weather gods had other ideas and washed out the final day’s play.

Hence the question now is should Test matches have a reserved day, in case the fifth and final day gets washed out due to the weather?

This rule is already in place for the WTC (World Test Championship Final, but is it time to use it for all tests?

Nobody likes to see boring old draws in Tests, they would much rather see both teams going at each other for a win, and if a game is on a knife edge with either one or both teams in with a chance of winning the match, and there is rain on the fifth day, surely there should be a reserved day to see if a result can be eked out by either team.

Just imagine your team is 2-1 down with a chance to stay alive in a five-match series, and when you are in with a chance of forcing a result in the fourth test, surely both teams should have the maximum chance to do so.

But I suppose that they would be some barriers such as the packed international schedule, which also include the domestic season of each test-playing nation.

The World Test Championship launched in 2019, included nine teams i.e Australia, Bangladesh, England, India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, and West Indies, was a two-year Cycle, where the top two sides at the end of a two-year cycle, would battle it out in a one-off test at the end of the cycle, would battle against each other to become World Test Champions and keep the ICC Test Championship Mace.

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New Zealand was the inaugural champions of 2017-21, where they defeated India in the Final, by eight wickets.

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While Australia currently holds the Mace for the 2021-23 edition, after defeating India in this summer’s Final by 2010 runs.


While including a reserved 6th day could be an option for bringing the match to a natural conclusion, there are some barriers that may prevent this from happening.

The first and most important barrier is time. With all eight nations expected to face each other both home and away, there is simply not enough time to play two, three, four, or five lots of six-day games in a month due to reasons such as travelling.

Another very important factor is that it costs the home nation a lot of money to provide hospitality, and the longer they stay in one place, the more expensive it gets.

It also keeps the players away from their families as they have less time to spend with them.

Sometimes when you travel, it’s also not good to stay in one country for more than a month, as you start to get a little bored and uncomfortable with life.

Former Australian wrist spinner Brad Hogg believes that including a reserve day in Test matches would help save lost time by the weather would ensure that the matches have a natural conclusion to them, rather than the weather taking over.

“You can have a reserve day. I think they should have said ‘There’s a chance of rain here at Old Trafford. A huge chance [of rain], so we may put a rest day here and push the next Test match just another day later,”

Hogg: Cricket Addictor

But what if the reserve day also gets washed out due to the weather or bad light? Should they carry on playing?

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Perhaps if you are playing in poor light, you could switch to the pink ball, which is used for Day/Night Tests, and if it rains heavily then you can go off.

But whatever they do, there has to be a way that you can somehow get the game going without any needless interruptions occurring.

Test cricket is the oldest format of the sport, and we need to make sure that it is in a good space and encourage people to pay interest in it, can that can only be done by avoiding any needless interruptions.

What do you think?

Can you think of any ways in which Test Matches can be rescued from the weather?

Send us your ideas on World in Sport.

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