A Test Championship playoff, along with ODI and T20 league structures, are just a few of the changes to be considered at the ICC Board meeting in October.
The news follows this week’s decision to scrap the two-tier Test system, with the main focus centering around alternate plans to keep bilateral cricket going. The proposed changes, listed below, were discussed at a two-day workshop in Dubai:
According to CSA CEO Haroon Lorgat, the boards are putting in their best efforts to develop context for international cricket. ‘That was the belief of many bearing in mind that everyone supports the primacy of international cricket,’ Lorgat told ESPNcricinfo.
Lorgat said discussions will continue with the next round of ICC meetings in Cape Town in October. ‘What is clear is that a few members do not support the two-tier system, so we will need to find another way to develop a Test champion using the existing rankings table.’
Lorgat, a firm supporter of a World Test Championship in the past, believes it is needed. ‘The best we might be able to do now is to build a championship model using the existing Test-rankings table to play a final between the top two teams, say every two years. Although not a perfect outcome, it could find support among all members. Doing nothing is not an option.’
For the two-tier model to be implemented, it was necessary that at least seven out of the 10 members back the proposal. Despite six member boards (Australia, England, South Africa, New Zealand, Pakistan and West Indies) being in its favour, the two-tier model was shelved. Although no formal voting process took place, four members – India, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Zimbabwe – were against it.
But it is difficult to understand why the smaller countries would not support the two-tier structure considering it would allow them guaranteed matches and more exposure. In the end, emotion, history and culture, and the status hit that comes with losing a position in the top tier, rather than logic, were the reasons behind the proposed two-tier concept in Test cricket failing to take off.
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