Has the time come to reduce the duration of Test matches to four days? 

The England cricket team’s first Test match of 2020 starts against South Africa in Cape Town tomorrow, with the visitors eager to level the series after last week’s opener at Centurion. That ended in victory for the home side on the fourth day of a match scheduled to last five.

Over the past two years more than half of Tests have been completed inside four days. With so much international cricket being played nowadays in various formats, has the time come to reduce the duration of Test matches to four days from five?

Most Tests have been official five-day affairs for decades and in 1979 it was decreed that all should be played to this format. But the rule is being eroded. Last summer, England…

The Government needs to change the rules on train strikes

Pity the poor commuter: an increase in rail fares has been announced just days after talks between management and unions collapsed, triggering what is expected to be the longest rail strike in history. Ticket prices will rise by an average of 2.7 per cent from January 2; the strike is on South Western Railway. Hundreds of thousands of people will endure a restricted timetable between the capital and the Home Counties, lasting for 27 days and potentially spoiling the Christmas period.

Labour might try to exploit this, but its nationalisation plans are based upon a false prospectus. Starved of funds, history suggests that the service would actually get worse – and nationalised trains run by a Labour…