Teams should play Tests or lose status: ICC Cricket Committee
Dubai: Concerned about Test matches being "postponed" to accommodate other formats, the ICC Cricket Committee has recommended that a team`s failure to play a minimum number of five-day games over a four-year period should lead to the withdrawal of its Test status.
Chaired for the first time by former India captain Anil Kumble, who has taken over from former West Indies captain Clive Lloyd, the committee met here yesterday.
"Noting the examples during the year where Test matches had been postponed to make room for other formats of the game, the committee recommended that all Test playing Members should be required to play a minimum number of Test matches over a four-year period in order to maintain their Test status," the ICC said in a statement.
The committee reiterated its support for the strategy of ensuring an "optimum balance and a clear differentiation between the three formats of the game".
It also noted the need to ensure that Test cricket, in particular, was protected.
"The Committee also supported the concept of a Test play-off event as the climax to a qualification period of bilateral FTP matches with the ICC Reliance Test Rankings being used to determine the qualifiers for this event," the release stated.
Among other issues, the committee discussed the impact of changes made to the one-day playing conditions.
"The committee reviewed the impact of the recent changes to the Standard ODI playing conditions, namely the restriction of four fieldsmen being allowed outside the circle during non-powerplay overs, the introduction of two bouncers per over, the abolishment of the bowling powerplay and the introduction of two new balls."
"Whilst noting the positive impact that the changes appeared to be making in producing a more attacking game (more boundaries and more wickets), the committee noted some concerns regarding the impact of using two new balls in conditions that are more favourable to seam bowling and the possible detrimental impact on spin bowling," the ICC said.
"Whilst recognising the need to settle on the playing conditions well in advance of the next ICC Cricket World Cup in 2015, the committee felt that further data on the impact of the changes was still needed and that any decision on this matter should be delayed to later in the year," it added.
The committee also felt that the controversial switch hit/reverse sweep should remain a part of the game.
"The Committee received a report from the MCC on the switch hit/reserve sweep that included feedback from current and former players as well as international umpires, and accepted a recommendation from the MCC that as the shot was exciting, required a lot of skill and, therefore, that it should remain a legitimate part of the game.
"As is currently the case in international limited overs cricket, the provision of some leeway to the bowling side for wides when the switch-hit/reverse sweep is attempted will be continued," it said.
Besides, the committee discussed papers relating to over-rates, progress made with the development of new DRS technology, women`s cricket, umpire performances, pink ball trials, illegal bowling actions and helmet safety research.
"The Committee`s recommendation will now be taken forward to the ICC Chief Executives` Committee and the ICC Board as required and then we will seek to roll out the agreed decisions from October 2013," said ICC Chief Executive David Richardson.