Cricket: Australians' one-day experiment

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AUSTRALIA are to experiment with a new format for limited- overs cricket, which splits the game into four innings instead of two. In a 50-overs match under the experimental rules, the side batting first will face half their allotted overs before effectively being forced to declare. The opposition will then take their turn in the middle for 25 overs, before both sides bat again for the remainder of their overs.

'It's an experiment only, but the board are interested in and supportive of anything where there is an aim to improve the game,' the Australian Cricket Board chairman, Alan Crompton, said.

'There's a suggestion that some matches lose their interest early on, particularly if the team batting first are about 70 for 6 after 25 overs. In this experiment, even if the team batting second take a lead, there's always a possibility for the other team to recover in their last 25 overs.'

Tasmania's Sheffield Shield side will play two matches under the new rules, including a friendly against Queensland on 6 October.