Diana Edulji, Rangaswamy fine with ‘four-day Tests’ but urge BCCI to restart first-class cricket

Shanta Rangaswamy

The Indian women’s team has now played two Tests in the year 2021. This is a welcome change, considering that they didn’t play any Test cricket between 2014 and 2021. However, both the matches now have sparked a new debate around women’s Test cricket. Australian coach Matthew Mott, after the game, said that he would want to see five-day Tests.

When the Test in England was drawn, similar discussions had happened with a demand for an extra day. Now, that seems fair after how rain played a spoilsport in the Test between Australia and India. Almost 100 overs were lost in the first two days of the Test, which was of four days. However, former Indian captains, Diana Edulji and Shantha Rangaswamy have said they both are fine with four-day Tests, but it is time that there is the resumption of first-class cricket.

The final day of the Test between Australia and India was closely fought but fans were robbed of what could’ve been a great Test match finish, due to the four-day Tests rule. After the match, Mott said, “It’s five days for me. The last couple of Tests we’ve lost a full day, so you are essentially playing a three-day game on a surface that doesn’t have any wear and tear so it is difficult.

Diana Edulji, Shantha Rangaswamy urge for first-class women’s cricket

Mott further made a point, “Had this game gone another day, I think we’d have seen a very good Test. A little more time in the game would certainly help everyone. If you are going to devote that time, I don’t think it’s a lot to ask for one extra day.

However, in an interaction, Edulji said that she is absolutely fine with four-day Tests as the format is slowly coming back. She noted only Australia, India and England are playing it, and India have just started playing again. She also made a valid point regarding the overs. As women’s cricket is a four-day affair, it sees 98 or 100 overs in a day instead of 90 overs, like in men’s Tests. That makes 400 overs in a Test, which is only 50 overs less than that of men’s.

Shantha also echoed the same comments and added something more. “Whenever a Test happens in India, I would want it to be in a smaller center which can draw more crowds. Also, it would be ideal if red-ball cricket is restarted for the players to get used to the multi-day format,” she added.