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ICC ponder four-day Tests

The ICC is considering four-day Tests as part of a series of innovations to keep the oldest form of the sport exciting to spectators in the wake of Twenty20's growing popularity.

CHENNAI // The International Cricket Council (ICC) is considering four-day Tests as part of a series of innovations to keep the oldest form of the sport exciting to spectators in the wake of Twenty20's growing popularity. "The board of the ICC is determined to ensure that Test match cricket is seen as the pinnacle of our great game," the ICC president David Morgan told India Today magazine while elaborating on changes needed.

"We need better over-rates, better pitches that give a good balance between bat and ball and we need to consider day-night Test match cricket... the issue is the colour 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, coloured clothing. "Another thought that many people have, that we are examining is whether Test match cricket can be played over four days rather than five."

Morgan expected some of the innovations to be introduced within a year. "The mental shift has been made, it has been talked about and examined. I would be very surprised if within a year you haven't seen some significant changes in Test cricket," he said. "Over rates, pitches, day-night Tests... in a year's time you will see for yourself changes that have occurred in Test cricket." The ICC has been investigating alternatives to the traditional red ball which would not be suitable under lights for day-night Tests.

The sport's governing body last week announced tougher measures on boards providing "poor" pitches and also doubled fines for slow over-rates. *Reuters