ECB chairman: 'Four-day Tests possible'

Ben Stokes majestically raises his arms into the air on day three of the third Test between South Africa and England on January 16, 2016
© Getty Images
The chairman of the ECB admits that the idea of four-day Test cricket could become a reality after gaining backing from other national boards.

ECB chairman Colin Graves has admitted that he is giving serious consideration to the idea of staging four-day Tests in order to preserve the future of the long form of the game.

Only one of the last 11 senior Tests in England has run for the full five days, resulting in heavy financial costs for hosting venues.

"I spent 14 years at Yorkshire and it always cost money," said Graves. "You get small crowds, and you have to pay for things like security and ground-operating costs. Do people want the fifth day if it's heading for a boring draw?"

Graves first touted the idea of a four-day format last summer and now has the backing of many other national boards, apart from India.

"I love Test cricket, but it's a worry when you look around the world and see diminishing numbers of spectators," he told the Daily Mail.

"It saddens me and we have to do something about it. If it were a business, we'd pull it to bits and re-do it. From what they've said, Australia would look at it, but it's not just about four-day games: it's about revitalising Test cricket. There are lots of questions to consider."

Under Graves's proposals, play would begin half an hour earlier at 10.30am and require players to bowl at 15 overs an hour, while provision could be made for a fifth day of play if required by weather conditions.

England batsman Alastair Cook raises his bat after reaching 10,000 Test runs against Sri Lanka on May 30, 2016
Read Next:
England unchanged for third Test