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Timeless Test

Timeless Test

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A timeless Test is a match of Test cricket
Test cricket
Test cricket is the longest form of the sport of cricket. Test matches are played between national representative teams with "Test status", as determined by the International Cricket Council , with four innings played between two teams of 11 players over a period of up to a maximum five days...

 played under no limitation of time, which means the match is played until one side wins or the match is tied, with theoretically no possibility of a draw. The format means that it is not possible to play defensively for a draw when the allotted time runs out, and delays due to bad weather will not prevent the match ending with a positive result. It also means that there is far less reason for a side to declare
Declaration and forfeiture
In the sport of cricket a declaration occurs when a captain declares his team's innings closed and a forfeiture is when a captain chooses to forfeit an innings. Declaration and forfeiture are covered in Law 14 of the Laws of cricket...

 an innings, since time pressure should not affect the chances of winning the game.

Although the format should guarantee a result, it was ultimately abandoned as it was impossible to predict with any certainty when a match would be finished, making scheduling and commercial aspects difficult. In the modern era teams often play back-to-back tests in consecutive weeks, something that would be impossible without the five day limit.

The last ever timeless Test was the fifth Test between England
English cricket team
The England and Wales cricket team is a cricket team which represents England and Wales. Until 1992 it also represented Scotland. Since 1 January 1997 it has been governed by the England and Wales Cricket Board , having been previously governed by Marylebone Cricket Club from 1903 until the end...

 and South Africa
South African cricket team
The South African national cricket team represent South Africa in international cricket. They are administrated by Cricket South Africa.South Africa is a full member of the International Cricket Council, also known as ICC, with Test and One Day International, or ODI, status...

 at Durban
Durban is the largest city in the South African province of KwaZulu-Natal and the third largest city in South Africa. It forms part of the eThekwini metropolitan municipality. Durban is famous for being the busiest port in South Africa. It is also seen as one of the major centres of tourism...

 in 1939, which was abandoned as a draw after nine days of play spread over twelve days, otherwise the England team would have missed the boat for home. This match had started on 3 March. South Africa had set a target of 696 for England to win. By the time England had to leave to catch their boat home, on 14 March, England had reached 654 for 5 (the highest ever first-class
First-class cricket
First-class cricket is a class of cricket that consists of matches of three or more days' scheduled duration, that are between two sides of eleven players and are officially adjudged first-class by virtue of the standard of the competing teams...

 fourth innings score). This is the longest Test cricket match on record.

International Cricket Council
The International Cricket Council is the international governing body of cricket. It was founded as the Imperial Cricket Conference in 1909 by representatives from England, Australia and South Africa, renamed the International Cricket Conference in 1965, and took up its current name in 1989.The...

 is considering implementing a timeless test for the final of the inaugural Test Championship, which is scheduled for 2013.

External links

  • England v South Africa, 5th Test 1939 - The last timeless Test from CricInfo
    ESPNcricinfo is believed to be the largest cricket-related website on the World Wide Web. Content includes news,articles, live scorecards,live text commentary and a comprehensive and searchable database called 'StatsGuru', of historical matches and players from the 18th century to the present...