ICC plans to start Test league from 2013

Cape Town: In its bid to promote the traditional version of the game in the age of slam bang Twenty20 cricket, the ICC is contemplating of introducing a Test league from where top four teams would qualify for a quadrennial play-off event to begin in 2013.

Apart from the Test play-off, the ICC Chief Executives` Committee (CEC), which assembled here for a two-day meeting that concluded today, also recommended an ODI league from next year.

"The Future Tours Programme should consist of a Test league to provide context for all Test matches. The league would determine the top four teams to qualify for an ICC Test play-off. The play-off should be held once every four years to determine the Test champion team with a request to hold the first such play-off in 2013," the ICC said in a statement.

"The FTP should also consist of a One-Day International league, the first to run from April 2011 until April 2014, culminating in the crowning of an ODI league champion. This would run separate to the ICC Cricket World Cup," it said.

The CEC also recommended that the game`s governing body should consider a 10-team format for ICC`s flagship event, the Cricket World Cup, from 2015 and 16-team format for the men`s World Twenty20 from 2012.

The committee also recommended the introduction of Twenty20 International rankings.

"I am really excited by what the CEC has proposed. Restructuring international cricket is a significant strategic challenge and one that must be dealt with. I am grateful to the CEC and its working group for making such far-reaching proposals to tackle this important issue," ICC CEO Haroon Lorgat said.

"Achieving balance and unanimous agreement is not easy but it is a very important piece of work that requires a strategic response," he said.

"Protecting and promoting all three formats at international level is viable and I believe the CEC has shown itself to be forward thinking in tackling the challenges," Lorgat added.

During the two-day meeting, the CEC also discussed the need to ensure a fair balance between bat and ball in a Test match and approved a revised guideline to the ICC Pitch and Outfield Monitoring Process.

"In recent years there have been many more results in Test matches but there are still a few instances where the pitches do not provide a fair balance between bat and ball.

This must be addressed to ensure that the enduring charm and attraction of Test match cricket is not endangered by pitches which do not produce a true contest," Lorgat said.

The CEC also said that it continues to support the promotion of Test cricket by promoting initiatives to enhance play.

In this regard, the CEC also received a clarification from ICC General Manager Cricket, David Richardson on the question of when players should leave the field due to bad light.

"There is a clear instruction to match officials that the players should only go off the field when conditions are considered dangerous or unreasonable. In addition, players should not go off the field when the ground floodlights are switched on and these were deemed before the series to be adequate," Richardson said.

The CEC also received a detailed progress report on the preparation of next year`s World Cup.


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