MELBOURNE (Reuters) - Australia’s cricket board will “seriously consider” playing four-day tests, joining a global push to condense the game’s longest format.
Cricket Australia chief executive Kevin Roberts said the governing body was crunching the numbers on match durations and would look to make a decision in the “medium term”.
“I think it is something we’ve got to seriously consider. It is something that can’t be driven by emotion, it has got to be driven by fact,” Roberts told Australian radio station SEN on Saturday.
“We’re really looking forward to digging into the facts of that.
“(It’s) something we’ve got to look at very, very carefully and perhaps it’s more likely than not in the mid-term future.”
Tests have been played over five days through most of their 140-year history but four-day matches were given the green light by the International Cricket Council (ICC) in 2017.
South Africa played the first four-day test since 1973 when they hosted Zimbabwe at Port Elizabeth in December 2017.
England, whose board has endorsed the reduced format, played a four-day test against Ireland in July.
Tests are widely regarded as the pinnacle of the game but have faced competition for crowds and interest amid the rise of Twenty20, cricket’s shortest popular format, over the past 15 years.
Roberts said Australia would look for consensus on four-day tests from the other main countries that play the game.
“What we absolutely are committed to doing is working with the ICC and all of the ICC members to get a healthy balance between all those dimensions,” he said.
“No-one is saying it’s easy, what we are saying is it’s really important to look at it holisticaly.”
Reporting by Ian Ransom; Editing by Robert Birsel