Innings break time in Test cricket: The duration of an innings break varies with respect to different formats in cricket.
Unlike the case in ODIs and T20Is, the duration of breaks in Test cricket varies from situation to situation. A regular day of Test cricket comprises of scheduled breaks such as lunch, tea and a minimum of three drink breaks which are mostly taken after an hour of play in each session.
In the general run of things, lunch and tea breaks last for 40 and 20 minutes respectively. For more on these two breaks, refer to our detailed breakout of a normal Test match day which also comprises of a breakout for day-night Test matches.
Innings break time in Test cricket
As far as an innings break in Test cricket is concerned, it is a 10-minute break on most occasions. According to MCC’s Law 11.2.2, “An interval between innings shall be 10 minutes, commencing from the close of an innings until the call of Play for the start of the next innings”.
Having said that, some innings breaks are as long as a lunch or tea break depending on when a team gets all out or when a particular captain announces declaration in Test cricket.
When an innings break lasts for 40 minutes
If the last wicket falls or a captain declares an innings with 10 or less than 10 minutes remaining for lunch, the innings break will get included in the lunch break. Therefore, players will resume playing after a 40-minute break which will include both lunch and innings break.
When an innings break lasts for 20 minutes
If the last wicket falls or a captain declares an innings with 30 or less than 30 minutes remaining for tea, the innings break will get included in the tea break. Therefore, players will resume playing after a 20-minute break which will include both tea and innings break.
Other cases (According to different situation under MCC’s Law 11.3)
If the last wicket falls or a captain declares an innings with 10 or less than 10 minutes remaining for day’s play to get over (Stumps), no further play will be conducted on the given day. The next innings of the Test match will begin from the following day in such a case.
If a captain declares an innings during an already existing interruption of play, provided that at least 10 minutes remains of the interruption, no adjustment shall be made and the subsequent innings will begin as and when the play resumes after the interruption.
If less than 10 minutes remains of the interruption when the captain declares the innings closed, or forfeits an innings, the next innings shall commence 10 minutes after the declaration or forfeiture is made.