Hasnain's thoughts get ICC nod

HARARE – Zimbabwe Cricket managing director Faisal Hasnain’s pronunciation on the impeding four-day Test against South Africa were vindicated after the International Cricket Council (ICC) announced the playing conditions in sync with his mind.

In an exclusive interview with the Daily News late last month Faisal who was very thankful to South Africa for according them the opportunity to feature in the historic pink-ball Test match on Boxing Day had hoped that the Test will be played in a conventional five-day match and treating it as if the first day was washed out.

“I’m aware they (South Africa) were talking to others on the same matter so I’m very thankful to them...I think the cricketing world would be watching this Test very carefully for a number of reasons...we are part of history and we are part of an experiment,” Hasnain told the Daily News in that exclusive interview at the ZC head office in Highlands.

“The world will be watching because this match will have different playing conditions, those playing conditions I’m not sure of as yet and the ICC is working on that.

“I think what will eventually happen is that the playing conditions of the Test will most probably mirror the playing conditions as if the first day has been washed out.

“It makes sense because then that match becomes a four-day Test and they already have the conditions for playing once the first day is washed out; you increase the number of overs, you  increase by half an hour now they are 98 overs instead of 90 etc.”

And as if reading from the former ICC chief finance officer’s handbook, the ICC this week released the playing conditions for the once-off four-day Test series set for Port Elizabeth.

“Each day of the upcoming inaugural four-day Test between South Africa and Zimbabwe in Port Elizabeth will need to have a minimum of 98 overs per day, as per the International Cricket Council (ICC)’s playing conditions,” reports Cricinfo.

“That is, eight overs more must be bowled every day than what is required in five-day cricket. Also, a lead of 150 will be enough to enforce the follow-on; in five-day cricket the mark stands at 200 runs. To accommodate the extra overs, the ICC’s playing conditions state that play will run for six and a half hours in all each day, instead of the usual six hours for five-day Tests. The home board shall determine the hours of play and duration of the sessions, with each session lasting a minimum of two hours and a maximum of two-and-a-half hours. An extra 30 minutes will be available to the fielding team to complete the minimum required overs each day.”

Meanwhile, Zimbabwe cricket coach Heath Streak is confident they will do well against the number one Test-ranked side, the Proteas in their own territory in the day and night Test match.

The team leaves for South Africa today and will play a three-day warm-up match before the match gets underway on Boxing Day.

“We gonna play to win, we not just playing to compete and we hope we not going to embarrass ourselves in this series.

“Our best approach is to play to the best of our ability,” Streak told the Daily News.