ICC dismisses calls for review June 30, 2005

Bangladesh's Test status safe

Cricinfo staff

Ehsan Mani addresses the media at Lord's © Getty Images
The ICC has dismissed calls for Bangladesh to be stripped of their Test status, despite increasing concern that substandard performances by them (and Zimbabwe) are devaluing the game.

"Clearly, the ICC does not wish to see gaps in standards resulting in mismatches on the field, but it also does not believe that punishing teams for performing poorly provides necessary incentive to allow them to improve", Ehsan Mani, the ICC's president, told reporters at the end of the annual meeting in London.

He added that the performances of Bangladesh's Under-19 side were indicative of a bright future. "The current Bangladesh Test team is not exposed to that type of experience," he added, "and it will pick up."

Mani said that the ICC was conscious of the issue and it would look at ways of helping underperforming sides . "What was never contemplated was that any country would be punished for its playing performance by being stripped of its Test status."

But he hinted that the current Future Tours Programme, which has been blamed by some for putting too much pressure on the lower-ranked countries, might be altered. "Such a change, if adopted, would ease the playing commitments on all nations, allowing them to choose how they wish to address the key issues that confront them," he explained. "For some, this might be dealing with player workload but for others, particularly those at the bottom of the rankings, such an opportunity would allow them to identify the most effective way to improve their on-field performance. The board will consider the issue again in October in Dubai."