Colin Graves: New ECB chief suggests four-day Test matches

Lord's Cricket Ground
Test matches have routinely lasted five days since 1979

Test cricket could be reinvigorated by shortening matches to four days, according to incoming England and Wales Cricket Board chairman Colin Graves.

Graves wants every day's play to start at 10:30 BST and last 105 overs in order to boost attendances and revenue.

The proposal forms part of an ECB strategy document suggesting sweeping changes to the English game.

But any change to the structure of Test cricket would need to be implemented by the International Cricket Council.

Graves, whose five-year tenure as chairman does not start until 15 May, is concerned by dwindling Test attendances around the world and believes cutting a day off the duration of a match could be the solution.

The 67-year-old told the MCC website:external-link "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."

Time gentlemen, please...
The last timeless Test was the fifth Test between England and South Africa at Durban in 1939. The match was abandoned as a draw after nine days of play spread over twelve days to ensure the England team did not miss their boat home.

Outgoing Yorkshire chairman Graves has been making headlines ever since his appointment was put forward in January.

He has opened the door to a recall for batting outcast Kevin Pietersen and put forward plans to shake up county cricket with a franchise-based Twenty20 competition.

Last week he told BBC Radio Leeds there would be "some enquiries" if England do not beat a "mediocre" West Indies in their upcoming Test series.

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