Four days Tests will add to the appeal of the game: Mark Taylor

Test cricket has seen dwindling numbers in terms of attendance with shorter formats such as T20 and leagues getting more pull.

By: Reuters | Published:November 2, 2016 3:39 pm
Mark Taylor, Taylor, Test cricket, test cricket improve, test improve, cricket improvement, cricket, cricket news, sports, sports news Steve Smith-led Australia take on South Africa in a three Test series. (Source: Reuters)

Former Australian captain Mark Taylor has pitched in to the debate on how to revive spectator interest in Test cricket, calling for the game’s longest format to be shortened by a day to encourage more attacking intent.

Test matches have witnessed a steady decline in attendances in recent years, throwing the door open to a number of novel means to engage fans, including the introduction of day-night Tests.

Taylor said making Tests four-day affairs instead of five would help them become more viewer friendly and envisaged a scenario where matches could begin on Thursday and end on Sunday — in a manner similar to golf tournaments.

“It’ll only add to the appeal of the game, make it a bit shorter and a bit faster,” the former opening batsman told Melbourne’s Sports Entertainment Network (SEN) radio station.

“That’s what people of this generation want to see.”

“You’ve got one less day to win, lose or draw a game, so it does force captains and players to be a little bit more aggressive in their thinking.”

With Test matches coming in for stiff competition from the game’s newer, shorter formats, such as Twenty20 internationals and leagues, Taylor added that holding day-night Tests was not the only option on the table.

“The numbers around the world are dying in some countries,” the Cricket Australia board member said.

“That’s why I think we have got to have the stuff like the day-night Test matches and… start thinking seriously about having four-day games of Test cricket.”