ICC announces plans to reduce meaningless cricket matches

Lynette Rowe
October 15, 2017

Afghanistan and Ireland became full members of the International Cricket Council (ICC) in June, taking the number of countries who play the five-day format of the game from 10 to 12.

The ICC's board, meeting in Auckland, New Zealand on Friday, has also approved a trial of four-day Test matches, beginning with a match this summer between South Africa and Zimbabwe.

"Our priority was to develop (a) structure that gave context and meaning across global cricket and particularly in the Test arena", ICC chief David Richardson said in a statement.

The Test league is set to begin in 2019 and will involve the nine Test-playing nations each playing six series - three home and three away - over the twoyear cycle and culminating in a final.

This move is a bid to address that, with every Test played over the two-year period counting towards the race for the overall title. But squabbling over formats, and fears that some nations will be disadvantaged, have twice stymied efforts to launch a league structure since 2010. "Bringing context to bilateral cricket is not a new challenge, but this is the first time a genuine solution has been agreed on".

How does Cricket Australia feel about this?

"It's a tremendous step forward for worldwide cricket".

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Shashank Manohar, the ICC chairman, said that member countries had moved with the times by accepting the need for greater context for worldwide cricket, responding to the demands of broadcasters, sponsors and fans. But it has been selected that the opening Test championship will be executed after the ICC World Cup 2019.

There was also a reported lack of interest from television companies.

"If we were scheduled to play some different countries or in different circumstances, it might be that we look at it, but given the schedule we've got on the horizon, I don't see in that window that we would be playing four-day Test cricket". Because five days Test match seems boring where people are motivated to T20 competition much.

"Whether we can resurrect the interest in countries where the interest in Test cricket has fallen away is what we're trying to hopefully achieve", ICC chief executive Dave Richardson said.

The first ODI league will commence in 2020/2021 in the lead up to the 2023 ODI World Cup with the details of that tournament to be confirmed soon.

The moves are created to add "context" to all Test and one-day matches during the cycle of the league, answering concerns that test cricket's popularity has been supported exclusively on existing rivalry between nations.

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