Cricket Australia chief Kevin Roberts says board is open to idea of four-day Test matches

Australia's new cricket chief says he is open to the idea of trialling four-day Test matches to boost waning popularity of the red-ball game.

Agence France-Presse, Dec 16, 2018 14:01:20 IST

Perth: Australia's new cricket chief says he is open to the idea of trialling four-day Test matches to boost waning popularity of the red-ball game.

The International Cricket Council (ICC) approved the experimental concept last year in a bid to ensure the future viability of Tests in the face of an explosion in the fast-paced Twenty20 format.

South Africa played Zimbabwe in the inaugural four-day Test last December in Port Elizabeth, winning inside two days. A minimum 98 overs had to be bowled each day, as opposed to the regulation 90 in a five-day game.

Cricket Australia chief Kevin Roberts says board is open to idea of four-day Test matches

File image of Cricket Australia CEO Kevin Roberts. AFP

Another match is scheduled for July next year when England take on Ireland at Lord's.

"There's a bit to be said for it," Cricket Australia (CA) chief executive Kevin Roberts told commercial sports radio station SEN late on Saturday.

"It's certainly something we need to be open-minded to down the track."

Roberts assumed the reins at CA in October from James Sutherland, who stood down after 17 years in the wake of the ball-tampering scandal in South Africa.

He pointed out that the average duration of a Test match "is a shade over four days".

"We know there's been timeless Tests over the years, we know there were even three-day Tests. So Test cricket hasn't been five days in duration forever," he said.

"And I think the concept of four days going forward is something we need to be open to, without jumping to conclusions."

Former England captain Michael Vaughan has been a long-time advocate of trialling shorter matches to try and rejuvenate Test cricket.

"Test match cricket has been on the decline for many years, that's been a worldwide problem, although not particularly in the UK, but give it a try and see how it goes," he said earlier this year.

"People said day-night Tests would be ridiculous, that they would finish in two days, but they've been a great spectacle and worked in the right parts of the world."

Australia have been at the forefront of playing Test matches under lights, hailing them as a great success.

They hosted the first ever, against New Zealand in 2015, and have won all four they have played.

Updated Date: Dec 16, 2018 14:01:20 IST






Rank Team Points Rating
1 India 4027 115
2 New Zealand 2829 109
3 South Africa 2917 108
4 England 4366 104
5 Australia 3270 99
6 Sri Lanka 3795 95
Rank Team Points Rating
1 England 6745 125
2 India 7071 122
3 New Zealand 4837 112
4 Australia 5543 111
5 South Africa 5193 110
6 Pakistan 4756 97
Rank Team Points Rating
1 Pakistan 7365 283
2 England 4253 266
3 India 8411 263
4 Australia 5471 261
5 South Africa 4407 259
6 New Zealand 4784 252