The lower-ranked Test teams have expressed reservations about the ICC’s proposed changes to Test cricket.
The ICC are currently meeting in Edinburgh and top of the agenda are plans to open up Test cricket to more nations by creating two divisions of Test cricket. But while the shake-up would guarantee cricket’s leading nations play each other every other year, the other sides would be starved of matches which draw in crowds and lucrative broadcast deals.
This is the concern from the smaller, Full-member nations, because as things currently stand it means that the two latest arrivals at cricket’s top table — Bangladesh and Zimbabwe — would almost be certain to play in the second tier and would be joined by Sri Lanka.
‘This will spell the death of international cricket as we’ve known it,’ said Ahmed Sazzadul Alam, a Bangladesh Cricket Board director.’The more we play against competitive sides, the better we’ll get,’
Former Zimbabwean Cricket Board director and Test cricketer Alistair Campbell feels the proposed changes would deplete the smaller Full-member nations’ player resources even more.
‘It’s going to be a tragedy if you are growing up in a country like Zimbabwe or Bangladesh,’ he told AFP. ‘It means you might never get the opportunity to play with top tier sides. That might drive players to go and seek greener pastures.’
‘It’s okay to make some tweaks but what is proposed is going to be a disaster in every sense of the word,’ he said.
And Sri Lankan sports minister Dayasiri Jayasekera said the changes would mean financial ruin for countries like his – as they are hugely dependent on TV money and ticket revenue from tours against the bigger nations – which would be greatly diminished in games featuring the lowly ranked teams.
‘If you club the weakest teams in one league, who’ll be interested in watching those games? This will lead to financial ruin,’ Jayasekera told AFP.
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