Test cricket should be reinvigorated by shortening matches to four days, according to new England and Wales Cricket Board chairman Colin Graves. Test matches have lasted for five days now since 1979. He also wants play to start at 10:30am and to last 105 overs in order to boost attendances and revenue.
The proposal forms part of an ECB strategy document suggesting a number of changes to the English game. However, any change to the structure of Test cricket would need to be ratified and implemented by the International Cricket Council.
Graves said: “Personally, I think we should look at four-day Test cricket and play 105 overs a day starting at 10.30 in the morning, and finish when you finish as all the grounds now have lights. Every Test match would start on a Thursday, with Thursday and Friday being corporate days and then Saturday and Sunday the family days.
“From a cost point of view you’d lose that fifth day, which would save a lot of money from the ground’s point of view and the broadcasters … I would look at that.”
South Africa is current ranked number one in the world for Test cricket but has been as yet unable to win the top cricket trophies, such as the recent ICC World Cup.