New Delhi:The International Cricket Council is considering cutting Tests from five days to four.
ICC president David Morgan says the sport's governing body is considering the change to boost interest in cricket's traditional format, which is dropping in popularity relative to one-day games and particularly the recently introduced Twenty20 game.
"We are examining is whether Test match cricket can be played over four days rather than five," Morgan said in an interview to a leading Indian magazine.
"The board of the ICC is determined to ensure that Test match cricket is seen as the pinnacle of our great game.
"I would be very surprised if within a year you haven't seen some significant changes in Test match cricket."
Morgan said Tests also needed better over rates, plus better pitches that provide an even conTest between batsmen and bowlers. The ICC is also pushing ahead with plans toward introducing day-night Tests.
"The issue is the color of the ball and the quality of the ball," he said. "It would be a pity if day-night Test match cricket had to be played with a white ball and, therefore, colored clothing."
While a traditional red ball can not be used at night, the ICC is hoping to develop a ball in a bright color like orange.
Cricket Australia (CA) spokesman Peter Young said chief executive James Sutherland was not keen on four-day Tests.
"James is more in favor of night Test cricket and we are in discussions on the color of the ball and whether it would affect the dimensions of the ball," Young said.
David Gilbert, chief cricket administrator in New South Wales state, said four-day Tests would hurt venues and hosts while aiding telecasters.
"If there was a determination by the ICC to change it to four days, it wouldn't have a major impact on our bottom line," Gilbert was quoted to say by Australian Associated Press.
"I would imagine the broadcaster was very much to the fore with the suggestion.
"It would be sad to see it happen because a five-day game of Test cricket, it really sorts the men out from the boys."