Cricket Australia CEO James Sutherland will be campaigning for the introduction of a Test championship and ODI and T20 leagues after the 2019 World cup.
The ideas were brought up at Cricket Australia’s annual general meeting in Melbourne on Friday, and the proposals being developed will be presented to the ICC’s board in February.
‘We certainly believe additional structure, moving towards a Test championship of one form or another, probably on a two-year cycle would be a real positive,’ Sutherland said.
‘I think there’s some real merit in that. I don’t think it significantly undermines some of the traditional series that are played, and I think all in all its very positive where every match, and every series would count.
‘With one-day and T20 cricket, we are contemplating a 13-team league where everyone plays each other, home or away, in a three-match series over the course of a three-year period.
‘That means you play six one-day matches away and six at home every year with a similar structure for T20.
‘That’s something that would be really beneficial for world cricket, not just for putting those limits in place but making sure there’s real context and relevance to every match.’
The scheduling of international cricket has found itself under the spotlight more frequently in recent times. The latest issue centres around the fact that India scheduled their Test series against Australia to start a day after the Aussies finish their T20 series at home to Sri Lanka, resulting in two different lineups.
Sutherland believes these issues could be avoided by setting up leagues and championships for each format, which would give each format more relevance and context.
‘For those countries that at times find it difficult to find places to tour, or countries to tour them, the positive in this is that the structure means countries have to play them and they’ll play more cricket,’ Sutherland continued.
With the current Future Tours Programme locked in, the 2019 World Cup in England and Wales presented a ‘line in the sand’ for cricket to move in a new direction.
‘The planning is very heavily focused on a line in the sand around the 2019 World Cup. We see that there is an opportunity to roll into a new structure for the three formats.’
Other highlights to emerge from the AGM include figures that more than 1.7-million Australians attended international cricket, the KFC Big Bash League and the Rebel Women’s Big Bash League during 2015-16, making it the country’s most attended cricket season on record.
Cricket also had more than 1.3-million participants last year, an increase of 8.5 per cent on the previous year to place the game as the No 1 participation sport in Australia. Nearly a quarter of all participants were female.
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