Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 4 December 2020

Australian cricket board to 'seriously consider' four-day Test matches

CA chief Kevin Roberts will look for consensus with other major nations

David Warner and Joe Burns of Australia walk out to bat in the second innings of the Melbourne Test against New Zealand. Getty Images
David Warner and Joe Burns of Australia walk out to bat in the second innings of the Melbourne Test against New Zealand. Getty Images

The Australian cricket board will "seriously consider" playing four-day Tests, joining a global push to condense the game's oldest format.

Cricket Australia chief executive Kevin Roberts said the governing body was looking at match durations and is likely 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 have faced competition for crowds and interest amid the rise of Twenty20 cricket.

Roberts said Australia will look for consensus on four-day matches from the other major countries.

"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 holistically."

Meanwhile, Australia captain Tim Paine said he’s frustrated over the video review system following his controversial dismissal during the second Test against New Zealand.

Paine said he was “angry” that the original decision of not out had been overturned after third umpire Aleem Dar ruled following a video review that the ball had struck the pad in line with the stumps.

The decision on day two of the second Test in Melbourne ended Paine’s innings on 79.

“I thought from the length it pitched and a bloke bowling around the wicket (left-arm seamer Neil Wagner), it’s pretty difficult for it to hit you in line and hit the stumps,” Paine said.

Paine said he had “a few doubts” about the decision-review system.

“I’m just seeing time and time again, what I see to the naked eye, or watching it on television in real time, and then when it comes up it is sometimes a little bit off the mark,” Paine said.

Updated: December 28, 2019 05:29 PM

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