ICC shelves two-tier Test system; shifts focus to bilateral ties

Dubai, Sep 7 (IANS) Under pressure from the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) and a few other boards, the International Cricket Council (ICC) has on Wednesday decided to shelve the proposed two-tier system for Test cricket.

The ICC in its two-day Chief Executives Committee (CEC) meeting here has decided not to go ahead with the idea of two-tier Test until 2019, and instead, zeroed down on a Test Champion play-off every two years.

The workshop where the representatives of the 10-Test playing nations met, explored on ways to improve the quality of bilateral cricket contests and to bring in increased spectator interest across all formats of the game.

Speaking of the discussions, ICC Chief Executive Officer (CEO) David Richardson said: “The focus has been on solutions that will grow fan interest and engagement by delivering high quality cricket, with the best players playing in an environment where every match counts.

“Encouragingly there is an appetite from the ten full members for more context around all three formats of the game and we have consensus on a range of areas.”

“This includes the details of One Day International (ODI) and T20 structures and principles around Test cricket schedules, which include the concept of a Test Champion play off every two years, and the opportunity for more nations to be involved,” he added.

Richardson further stated that the ICC will contemplate a few changes after the current cycle of Future Tours Program (FTP) ends in 2019-20.

“There are some complexities, not least because of scheduling and existing structures, but we envisage the changes being implemented for 2019,” the former South African stumper said.

The ICC also reiterated its stance on creating a structure that will keep all the three formats healthy.

“Work will continue to develop a clear structure and position for each format over the coming months as the ICC collectively focuses on improving bi-lateral cricket for fans and players in the long run,” Richardson said.



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