Pakistan head coach and chief selector Misbah-ul-Haq thinks fast bowlers run a greater risk of suffering injuries if Tests are reduced to four days, joining cricket greats who have voiced their opposition to International Cricket Council’s proposal to tweak the five-day format.

“A fast bowler now routinely has to bowl 17 to 18 overs in an innings but if the duration is four days his workload will increase to 20 to 25 overs,” Misbah said on a Pakistan Cricket Board podcast.

He added, “That puts him at a greater injury risk, and more importantly, bowling more overs means it will take the zip out of his bowling. People want to come and watch bowlers like Mitchell Starc, Naseem Shah, Pat Cummins and Jasprit Bumrah bowl at full speed. If they have to bowl more overs to make up for increased overs it will mean they will lose pace.”

India skipper Virat Kohli, batting legend Sachin Tendulkar and Australian greats Ricky Ponting and Steve Waugh have all advised against tinkering with the traditional format. Misbah noted that normally teams played with four specialist bowlers in a five-day Tests and four-day games will create more difficulties for the bowlers.

Misbah said: “Will we have 90 overs or 110 overs in a day? And don’t forget, in countries like Pakistan, India or Bangladesh the domestic season is in winter and even 90 overs is not possible in a day sometimes. There is still a lot more clarity needed on how four-day tests will be managed. But, in my personal opinion the duration of Test matches should not be tinkered with.”

Misbah insisted that five-day cricket is the beauty of Test cricket. “This week, the England and South Africa Test was decided in final session of fifth day and there were a lot of thrills for the spectators and viewers. Test matches are decided normally on fifth days when there is more wear and tear on the pitches,” the former Pakistan captain said.