ICC looking to reduce the number of Tests being played every year

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ICC looking to reduce the number of Tests being played every year

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SportsCafe Desk


ICC chief executive David Richardson has stated that they are keen to decrease the number of matches being played and add more context to them. Richardson said that the general consensus is that cricket needs proper structuring, although, they are yet to agree on what the structure would be.

The ICC had previously proposed separating the teams into two divisions with relegation and promotion, but that idea was strongly opposed by a lot of nations including India, Bangladesh, and Sri Lanka. However, Richardson believes that the game is in need of restructuring.

"I think we're at a stage now where, come February at least, at the chief executives level we'll have consensus as to the structures we can implement, particularly in respect to ODIs and T20s. There's not yet a consensus about the Tests, but certainly, there's a recognized need that cricket needs context and league structure, we just haven't agreed at this point in time on the actual structure.

"We want to make sure we're not playing too much Test cricket, bearing in mind in some countries its not financially viable so we don't want to overload or play too much unnecessary Test cricket. The current average in total we're talking about around 45-50 Test matches a year.

"We don't want to suddenly put in place a structure that will see 70 Test matches a year played, so we want to make sure it is around 35-40, because we've also got ODIs and T20s we've got to schedule into the program and part of the problem is there is often too much cricket. We'd rather have less cricket, better quality, and more context," Richardson said while speaking in Adelaide during the day-night match between Australia and South Africa, reported ESPNcricinfo.

The members are yet to agree on a single format of structuring, however, the ICC is confident of reaching a consensus at the ICC Annual Conference in London in June next year. Along with the structure of the league, the members will also discuss the possibility of pooling revenues from the bilateral series, something which the BCCI has opposed.

"At the moment the commercial rights around bilateral cricket belong to the members, not the ICC. So if they agree to give that up or share that or exploit it on a collective basis they have to agree on it themselves. We're still facilitating any discussions the members want to have, but they're driving it."

"The working group has only got recommendatory powers, so it can't make a final decision. Any proposals it comes up with will have to go to the full board and be discussed with India at some point. I'm as confident as we can be that we'll eventually get some consensus among Full Members, bearing in mind to pass a resolution you need seven Full Members to vote in favor," Richardson added.

The governing body is also keen to find a solution to the growing number of cricket leagues around the world and how to include them in the international calendar. Richardson said, "I wish there was an easy solution, but the fact is that more and more each country is wanting to develop their own domestic T20 league and make it valuable in its own right. If each member is going to take the approach that we want to play our domestic T20 competition at a time when we can attract other players there's never going to be any time for anything else really.

"The option of creating windows for domestic T20 cricket only and international windows is not as easy as doing that. They don't want to compete with the IPL or each other, so they want to find their own little windows. It's not going to be easy, FICA raise a good point, but finding the solution, FICA doesn't have a solution as yet and nor do we."

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