International Cricket Council is meeting in Auckland, New Zealand, on Friday. Realignment of the Test and one-day international games for the next few years is one of the key items on the agenda with the proposals tipped to be signed off at a subsequent ICC board meeting on Friday.
If all goes on expected lines, cricket history will be created. The long-awaited and much talked about World Test Championship may see the light of the day. The meeting will be discussing a new league structure for Test Cricket that would culminate into the World Test Championship.
According to a source in the ICC, a nine-nation, two-year Test championship from 2019 and a 13-nation, three-year ODI league are being considered seriously. The ODI format would also serve as a the World Cup qualifier.
With India losing out on its hold in the ICC, the board finds it to be the opportune moment to press changes required to implement the proposed leagues. “India would never support such a move in the past. In the interest of its commercial monopoly and strong support from other member nations it had managed over the years,” the source added.
“Even now there are concerns about the propose league. The biggest of them being bilateral cricket between India and Pakistan. How, do you complete a World Test Championship without India and Pakistan playing each other. How do you sustain and make economically viable ‘home Tests’ for Pakistan on neutral venues,” asks the ICC official.
Meanwhile, a Sydney Morning Herald report has stated that the first edition of the competition would run over a two-year cycle beginning in 2019, culminating in a final between the top two teams at Lord’s.
Cricket Australia chief executive James Sutherland has said that the league competition would give Test series a broader international “context”, making them more than stand-alone bilateral contests. “You’re also creating structure in such a way that you no longer have games without meaning. They are all part of a league championship,” Sutherland is quoted as saying.