New Delhi:How about a Twenty20 Test match? Sounds odd but who knows, it could become a reality in future.
As the ICC mulls on ways to save Test cricket from the Twenty20 onslaught, a new format of a two innings Twenty20 match is slowly gaining momentum.
And many former players are not averse to the idea though some of them question whether it would suit the needs of spectators, who have lapped up the slam-bang version for its quick results.
The new format has been mooted by cricket experts and broadly envisages a Twenty20 match in two innings of 20 overs each. In other words, the match will have four innings like in Tests but would be restricted to a total of 80 overs (40 for each team in two innings).
The idea of two innings mainly stems from the fact that it would give an opportunity to top players, who fail in the opening essay to make amends in the second innings.
Moreover, the proposal has innovations like each team would be allowed to make two substitutions in the second innings.
Although the proposal has not been formally submitted to the ICC, many Indian cricketers like former captain Chandu Borde and Syed Kirmani have supported the idea. Others like former captain Ajit Wadekar, Sandeep Patil and Erapalli Prasanna are not sure whether it will work.
"It (proposal) sounds interesting and worth experimenting. Also if one team does not do well in the first innings it has a chance to do well in the second. Not a bad idea, but it would be better if it's tried out at a lower level, at the club or state level, to see how it works, but it definitely looks to be an interesting concept," Borde said.
Sandeep Patil, a former India cricketer and coach, said it was necessary to take the views of the sponsors, teams and players before proposing such a format.
"It's the ICC's take. First of all it has to be seen whether it's logical. A lot of money is involved and it's important to take the views of the sponsors, teams and players.
"There should not be a tendency to rush for fast food all the time. There should also be time to savour a lovely meal," Patil said.
Former India stumper Kirmani wanted his modifications in the format.
"It will become little laborious and spectators will not be able to get the result in quick time. The present T20 format can be played in two innings of four 10-overs-a-side in a match which would mean the team that opts to bat will play the first 10 overs and then the rivals and the same is repeated for the second time," he suggested.
"The present Twenty20 format is good for youngsters to get attracted to the game and thereby reflect in the development of the game," Wadekar said.
The ICC, on its part, said that such proposals are referred to the Cricket Committee, which decides whether they can be sent for further deliberations.
"The process is that the proposal is discussed by the Cricket Committee first. After deliberating on the issue and if it wants the proposal to go ahead, it is moved to the Chief Executive's Committee and ultimately to the Executive Board which is the final decision making authority of the ICC," an ICC spokesman said.