New Delhi: Cricket chiefs are working on plans to make Test matches more attractive and ensure the popular Twenty20 format does not destroy the traditional five-day game, a senior official said on Friday.
Inderjit Bindra, who joins the International Cricket Council (ICC) next month in the newly-created post of principal advisor, said the governing body was concerned at the dwindling attendances at Test matches.
"We need to learn from our experiences and move forward," Bindra was quoted as saying in the latest issue of the Indian news magazine The Week.
"We in the ICC have had very serious discussions for the last six to eight months on how to repackage Test cricket, make it more exciting and introduce an element of competition.
"It does not mean tinkering with the form but we are looking to bringing in more audience in Test matches," he said.
Bindra, a former president of the Indian cricket board, declined to reveal the measures being considered but said the "the ICC was looking at ways to increase scoring rates (and) have a world championship of Test cricket."
Plans to jazz up the five-day game could be unveiled as early as next month when the ICC holds annual meetings at its headquarters in Dubai, he said.
Twenty20 matches, which last just three hours as compared to five days of Test cricket or eight hours of the 50-overs-a-side game, have become hugely popular across the world.
Bindra sidestepped suggestions that the shortest version of the sport will spell more trouble for the 50-over format than Test cricket.
"The future of 50-overs cricket is something that one has to look at in the long term," the 'Week' quoted Bindra as saying.
"For now, the ICC has laid a stipulation that all Test nations must play a minimum of 30 one-day internationals and 12 Tests each year as part of the existing Future Tours Programme (FTP) that runs till 2012."
The showpiece World Cup every four years is played in the 50-over format, but the last edition in the Caribbean in 2007 failed to generate the same excitement as the inaugural Twenty20 Worlds in South Africa later in the year.