Hadlee’s four-day Test tweak

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By PHILIP CHANDLER

Kiwi cricketing legend Sir Richard Hadlee’s putting his spin on the ‘mind over matter’ theme for Queenstown Chamber of Commerce’s (COC) annual Banter’ forum this Thursday.

In the run-up to the event, at Gibbston’s The Winehouse, Mountain Scene asked him for his stance on the controversial proposal to reduce Tests from five days to four, which the International Cricket Council’s cricket committee’s debating in Dubai this month.

While supporting five-dayers, as a traditionalist, Hadlee says he understands Tests are under pressure, and therefore sees merit in shortening them.

“It means you can play a Test every week simple terms, start on a Thursday, finish on a Sunday, have a few days’ rest and start again.

“So it could shorten tours, but probably load the players a little bit more.”

Hadlee says four-day Tests would encourage declarations, “so that’s good”.

“It will avoid teams going on to score 600 runs – if you’re playing for championship points, you get a 350-400 as quickly as you can, declare and get the game progressing.”

His only proviso would be to increase overs from a maximum 90 a day to 100.

“Of course, in some countries you don’t have the light available, but all you do is switch the lights on and play day/night cricket.”

Ahead of the New Zealand-Australia one-day series across the ditch for the Chappell-Hadlee Trophy, half-named in his honour, Hadlee’s was sure a full-strength NZ side would go well, following their 3-0 home win over India and recent World Cup record.

He accepts their last excursion to Oz, where they were wiped 3-0 in the Tests, was “a big disappointment” for “a wonderful side”.

However, he says mitigating factors were the lack of a warm-up game, the oppressive heat and injuries to key players.

“Really, we struggled, but when we came home, we fought magnificently well against India, the top-ranked team in the world.

“But that’s sport, it’s so fickle, it can change anywhere and at any time.”

Queenstown COC’s Catherine Fallon, who’s organising ‘Business & Banter’, says: “Our theme, ‘mind over matter’, covers a spectrum of thinking, and we’re looking forward to hearing Sir Richard’s experience on how he’s overcome adversity to become the best of the best.”

Tickets for the Deloitte-sponsored event, running 10am till 5pm, are available via catherine@queenstownchamber.org.nz

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