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Saturday, 31 March, 2001, 10:13 GMT
Call for four-day Tests
Former Australian captain Mark Taylor
Mark Taylor: In favour of shortening Test matches
Australia are considering backing proposals to reduce Test matches from five days to four.

Former Australian captain Mark Taylor is a backer of the idea and it has its supporters among the Australian Cricket Board.

The ICC are to consider changes to the one-day game and if they are accepted their attention could move to Test cricket.

Just because a Test match has always been five days doesn't mean you can't change it
  Mark Taylor

ACB chief executive Malcolm Speed, who is soon to take over a similar role at the ICC, can see the appeal of the idea.

"It's rare that a Test goes for the full five days and often when they go four or five days, they fizzle out anyway," said Speed.

The concept is still at its early stages, but, according to Speed, was 'gaining a bit of momentum.' He added that the ACB would at 'some stage' take the idea to the ICC.

ACB chairman Denis Rogers, who has discussed the idea with Taylor, said the board would consult Test players before deciding whether to back it.

Tests have been played over five days since 1946, but Taylor told an Australian newspaper that tradition should not be a barrier to change.

Malcolm Speed
ACB chief executive Malcolm Speed

"Just because a Test match has always been five days doesn't mean you can't change it," Taylor told The Australian.

"Every game has to look at making itself better, keeping up with the times. Tradition holds true but up to a point."

England captain Nasser Hussain is opposed to the idea.

"People are too drugged up on quick-fix cricket so I don't think it's one of the best ideas I've heard," said Hussain.

"If Test cricket has survived this long there can't be much wrong with it and if it ain't broken don't fix it."

The proposal would see playing time extended by to seven hours a day over four days, rather than the current six over five.

The ICC are considering several changes to the one-day game.

These will include loosening fielding restrictions and bonus runs for scoring boundaries during the 15th and 40th overs when the game often slows down.

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See also:

20 Mar 01 |  Cricket
ICC comes up to Speed
20 Mar 01 |  Cricket
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23 Mar 01 |  India v Australia
Australia set to reduce Ashes squad
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