ICC announces plans to reduce meaningless cricket matches

Benjamin Conkey Editor

By Benjamin Conkey, Benjamin Conkey is a Roar Editor

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    The International Cricket Council (ICC) has announced a radical makeover of men’s professional cricket – for the top teams at least.

    From July 2019, the top nine Test playing nations will play for a new ICC Test Championship with a home and away series.

    The Championship will run over two years, culminating in a World Test final in 2021 which is expected to be played at Lord’s in England.

    Afghanistan, Zimbabwe, and Ireland are the three nations to miss out on the Championship but they will be free to conduct four-day Tests with each other and against the top sides.

    The ICC has also confirmed a new ODI competition to run from 2021 which will include all Test playing, ICC member nations and the Cricket League Championship winner.

    Each of the sides will play four home and four away series of three ODIs which will double as qualification for the 2023 World Cup.

    The ICC is still ironing out the full details for both the Test Championship and the ODI League but it’s clear the cricketing body is keen to make each match count.

    “Throughout the discussions about the future of Test cricket it became clear that whilst context is crucial we must also consider alternatives and trial initiatives that may support the future viability of Test cricket,” ICC CEO Dave Richardson said.

    “This has been delivered and every Test in the new league will be a five-day Test format.”

    To further reduce potentially meaningless cricket matches, the ICC will mandate that no ODI series can be played outside the new structure.

    It’s not the first time the ICC has tried to implement a proper Test Championship and it’s also tried other ways of spicing up the long format of the game.

    In 2005, an ICC Super Series was played between Australia and a Rest of the World team.

    The Test was scheduled to run over six days but was over in four and suffered from a disappointing performance from the World side, which was bowled out for under 200 in both innings.

    An ICC Test Championship has been running since 2003 but is currently simply based on who is leading the Test rankings in April each year.

    Current ICC Test Rankings

    1. India
    2. South Africa
    3. England
    4. New Zealand
    5. Australia
    6. Sri Lanka
    7. Pakistan
    8. West Indies
    9. Bangladesh
    10. Zimbabwe

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    The Crowd Says (4)

    • Roar Guru

      October 13th 2017 @ 8:51pm
      Rellum said | October 13th 2017 @ 8:51pm | ! Report

      So it is great they are finally moving forward with a Test league. Not a fan of the format they have chosen. Would rather 7 teams in two divisions playing or all Test teams in a two pools randomly draw every two years. There also needs to be some sort of league in the level below so that Test teams who drop the ball can miss out on the Test championship and some other country can move up.

      Small steps I guess.

      • October 14th 2017 @ 6:38pm
        DavSA said | October 14th 2017 @ 6:38pm | ! Report

        What took them so long ?

        • Roar Guru

          October 15th 2017 @ 9:02am
          Rellum said | October 15th 2017 @ 9:02am | ! Report

          It’s the ICC, they are slower and less decisive than the U.N. It has what, taken 20 years to get to this point and as I said above I think this model will probably do as much harm as good. The 10-12 ranked teams are really going to struggle to get games, meaningful games, with this model.

    • October 15th 2017 @ 6:57pm
      Mark said | October 15th 2017 @ 6:57pm | ! Report

      Time to ditch one day cricket and develop 20 20 which brings in the crowds and continue test cricket for the elite 100 club – the total left of die hard supports who watch every minute of test cricket!

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