ICC news October 11, 2011

Test Championship could be delayed until 2017

  shares 41

A long-awaited ICC Test Championship is in severe danger of being delayed until at least 2017 because the ICC member nations are not prepared to accept a short-term financial hit to accommodate it.

The championship had been scheduled for 2013 in England, and Test teams around the world had begun plotting their best strategies for claiming a place in the top four that would play-off for the title. Instead, the ICC executive board has now admitted to considering the scheduling of another 50-over Champions Trophy, last played in 2009, because it would bring in more money.

The prospect of a significant cut in the multi-million-dollar broadcast rights fee that would be on the table for another edition of the Champions Trophy has caused the ICC to hesitate about replacing it with the Test playoffs and it now appears likely that the Champions Trophy will be given another edition in 2013. The rights to all ICC events are with ESPN STAR Sports*, who had no comment.

"The ICC Executive Board confirmed their preference to host an ICC Test Championship in 2013 but recognised the significant commercial challenge in trying to replace the Champions Trophy," the board said in a statement. "Without the support and consent of the ICC's broadcast partner, ESPN STAR Sports, the financial implications on the Members and the development of the game would be significant."

Given how much the ICC has stressed the importance of context for Test cricket in recent years, the prospect of an about-turn is difficult to contemplate. "It would be unfortunate if the Test Championship is delayed to 2017 but the board needs to balance several objectives," Haroon Lorgat, the ICC chief executive, said. "We've got existing commitments in terms of our rights agreement, which is a one day format in the Champions Trophy and we need to convert that to a Test format.

"That has got implications for the broadcast partner and the board's challenge is to balance all of its objectives, key of which is the development of the game and the revenue we source from these events go to developing the game, and that's the decision that needs to be made."

Lorgat also conceded that a championship format in which India might miss out on taking part was also a consideration for the executive board.

"Not in the depth you might be thinking, but certainly it is a consideration," he said. "If anyone of the top teams so to speak, in particularly India, are in the top four it does generate a lot more interest from a commercial partners perspective."

The push for greater context in international cricket had started with the players. Paul Marsh, chief executive of the Australian Cricketers Association, said the ICC had to show it valued Test cricket and its potential worth beyond the context of a single rights fee.

"We've been championing the importance of context for a decade or more now and the ICC have recently been championing it also," Marsh told ESPNcricinfo. "Now is not the time to abandon what we think is best for the game, for the sake of a short-term financial gain in a one-off event such as the Champions Trophy.

"I think the ICC need to weigh up what increased value may be delivered to all Test cricket as qualifying matches for the Test championship play-off, that's not just the ICC, what all individual boards my get from increased returns from Test cricket, versus this one-off Champions Trophy."

Marsh also raised the prospect of the ICC facing a similar dilemma even if the event was re-scheduled for 2017, as the financial value of Test cricket would not be helped by the delay.

"If they don't do it in 2013 and push it back to 2017, what's going to change, is it going to be basically the same issue again, that we're going to have a Champions Trophy that's of greater value than a Test Championship playoff? Their planning was the drop the Champions Trophy and replace it with the Test Championship playoff."

*ESPN STAR Sports is a 50:50 joint venture between Walt Disney (ESPN, Inc.), the parent company of ESPNcricinfo, and News Corporation Limited (STAR)

Daniel Brettig is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • POSTED BY me54321 on | October 12, 2011, 6:38 GMT

    I would love to blame the bcci for this, but sadly can't, haha. The icc have really performed poorly this time around. Who cares about the champions trophy? don't think I've ever seen a single game. wouldn't it be nice if the top 3 teams just got together and arranged an unofficial tournament.

  • POSTED BY kuchiki on | October 12, 2011, 6:32 GMT

    BCCI is a big joke.ICC test championsip should be held in 2013 regardless of whether India plays or not. For the first time I actually felt we'll have a great tournament but they scrapped it off. ICC Please Reconsider your decision and we can have a test world cup in place of champions trophy. I really don't care about ODIs anymore. I want tests.

  • POSTED BY on | October 12, 2011, 4:55 GMT

    i am really worried that all accusations are directed towards BCCI. If the Test championship takes place, and there is some revenue loss , BCCI are not the people to suffer. BCCI has helped Srilankan cricket board, West indies cric board, & Banladesh too. If BCCI says no another time...how these boards will develop cricket in their countries. So stop pointin out BCCI for everyting.

  • POSTED BY indiasupbangalore on | October 12, 2011, 4:53 GMT

    I think the reporter has unnecessarily dragged india into this. I live in india, middle class indian tv audience, I love to watch ashes, or in fact if england is playing a test series period, they have such wonderful cricketers, love to watch anderson bowl the swingers, or trott/cook play wonderful cover drives all day. If you read the article clearly there is a conflict of interested with tv boardcasters, who run this website too, people you figure it out, stop lashing out on india.

  • POSTED BY on | October 12, 2011, 4:14 GMT

    If it is not played in 2013 world will miss masters like sachin tendulkar, Rahul dravid and Ricky Ponting

  • POSTED BY Fast_Track_Bully on | October 12, 2011, 4:02 GMT

    It is raining in Lords...lets bash BCCI for that...HA HA HA

  • POSTED BY jmcilhinney on | October 12, 2011, 2:05 GMT

    I think people need to be a little more realistic here. I will be bitterly disappointed if the WTC gets delayed but there are legitimate considerations to take into account. With regards to the comment about India not qualifying for the WTC, I think that that is more in relation to TV revenue than anything else. India probably contains more people than all the other cricketing nations combined. If you remove the majority of that audience because India aren't participating, the financial viability of the competition takes a big hit. I love test cricket but, let's face it, limited-overs cricket is supporting its existence at the moment. The ICC need to boost interest in test cricket and I'm not convinced that delaying the WTC is the way to do that but, if they don't generate sufficient revenue, test cricket will die anyway.

  • POSTED BY gothetaniwha on | October 11, 2011, 22:05 GMT

    No test Champ till 2017 ICC are a joke , Alan Issac is going to be an embarressment to NZ cricket , A puppet for the BCCI .

  • POSTED BY Harvey on | October 11, 2011, 21:30 GMT

    The Champions Trophy is an utterly meaningless competition. I would suggest that if the ICC insists on playing that instead of a World Test Championship that fans ought to stay away in protest. However I've no need to do that, since most fans already do! Last time it was played here, I got a half price ticket off E-Bay to watch England v Australia at Edgbaston. The ground was not even a quarter full.

  • POSTED BY on | October 11, 2011, 21:04 GMT

    Difficult to hold on to a tradition even as great as Test cricket when the tide is against you. Perhaps best to accept and start embracing the 'new' ... at least no one can take away all the wonderful memories of the 'golden' days.

  • POSTED BY me54321 on | October 12, 2011, 6:38 GMT

    I would love to blame the bcci for this, but sadly can't, haha. The icc have really performed poorly this time around. Who cares about the champions trophy? don't think I've ever seen a single game. wouldn't it be nice if the top 3 teams just got together and arranged an unofficial tournament.

  • POSTED BY kuchiki on | October 12, 2011, 6:32 GMT

    BCCI is a big joke.ICC test championsip should be held in 2013 regardless of whether India plays or not. For the first time I actually felt we'll have a great tournament but they scrapped it off. ICC Please Reconsider your decision and we can have a test world cup in place of champions trophy. I really don't care about ODIs anymore. I want tests.

  • POSTED BY on | October 12, 2011, 4:55 GMT

    i am really worried that all accusations are directed towards BCCI. If the Test championship takes place, and there is some revenue loss , BCCI are not the people to suffer. BCCI has helped Srilankan cricket board, West indies cric board, & Banladesh too. If BCCI says no another time...how these boards will develop cricket in their countries. So stop pointin out BCCI for everyting.

  • POSTED BY indiasupbangalore on | October 12, 2011, 4:53 GMT

    I think the reporter has unnecessarily dragged india into this. I live in india, middle class indian tv audience, I love to watch ashes, or in fact if england is playing a test series period, they have such wonderful cricketers, love to watch anderson bowl the swingers, or trott/cook play wonderful cover drives all day. If you read the article clearly there is a conflict of interested with tv boardcasters, who run this website too, people you figure it out, stop lashing out on india.

  • POSTED BY on | October 12, 2011, 4:14 GMT

    If it is not played in 2013 world will miss masters like sachin tendulkar, Rahul dravid and Ricky Ponting

  • POSTED BY Fast_Track_Bully on | October 12, 2011, 4:02 GMT

    It is raining in Lords...lets bash BCCI for that...HA HA HA

  • POSTED BY jmcilhinney on | October 12, 2011, 2:05 GMT

    I think people need to be a little more realistic here. I will be bitterly disappointed if the WTC gets delayed but there are legitimate considerations to take into account. With regards to the comment about India not qualifying for the WTC, I think that that is more in relation to TV revenue than anything else. India probably contains more people than all the other cricketing nations combined. If you remove the majority of that audience because India aren't participating, the financial viability of the competition takes a big hit. I love test cricket but, let's face it, limited-overs cricket is supporting its existence at the moment. The ICC need to boost interest in test cricket and I'm not convinced that delaying the WTC is the way to do that but, if they don't generate sufficient revenue, test cricket will die anyway.

  • POSTED BY gothetaniwha on | October 11, 2011, 22:05 GMT

    No test Champ till 2017 ICC are a joke , Alan Issac is going to be an embarressment to NZ cricket , A puppet for the BCCI .

  • POSTED BY Harvey on | October 11, 2011, 21:30 GMT

    The Champions Trophy is an utterly meaningless competition. I would suggest that if the ICC insists on playing that instead of a World Test Championship that fans ought to stay away in protest. However I've no need to do that, since most fans already do! Last time it was played here, I got a half price ticket off E-Bay to watch England v Australia at Edgbaston. The ground was not even a quarter full.

  • POSTED BY on | October 11, 2011, 21:04 GMT

    Difficult to hold on to a tradition even as great as Test cricket when the tide is against you. Perhaps best to accept and start embracing the 'new' ... at least no one can take away all the wonderful memories of the 'golden' days.

  • POSTED BY on | October 11, 2011, 20:00 GMT

    Why should "whether India will qualify" be a deciding factor on whether to hold the Test Championship or not? Cricket is an international sport, not a sport solely based on whether India is playing. Yes, money is important, but CRICKET MUST BE THE WINNER!

  • POSTED BY on | October 11, 2011, 19:41 GMT

    I don't know why people are bringing Twenty20 cricket into this, the article doesn't even mention Twenty20 cricket at all. The article does mention that one of the reasons the ICC is delaying the Test Championship is because they have to figure out what to do if India doesn't qualify. That is the saddest, saddest thing I have ever read on Cricinfo.

  • POSTED BY SixoverSlips on | October 11, 2011, 19:37 GMT

    Test teams around the world had begun plotting their best strategies for claiming a place in the top four that would play-off for the title? Really? I did not even know it was going to be a 4-team play-offs until yesterday. Stop the dramatization. Teams are certainly not preparing for 3rd and 4th ranks etc. Test championship itself is a poorly conceived idea. The idea itself is good, but the enactment of it had left a lot to be desired. Single test? Why should it be at Lord's? It should be in the participating countries, preferably with home advantage to higher ranked team as the ranking should mean something. No merit in 'winner takes all' single Test. Consistency has to be rewarded. This can't be like World Cup final. Things like these were not thought through nearly enough.

  • POSTED BY lucasharrison on | October 11, 2011, 17:58 GMT

    Pathetic. Business interests put above cricket interests once again, a sad reflection of the commercial world we now live in.

  • POSTED BY CricketingStargazer on | October 11, 2011, 17:35 GMT

    If you are a cynic (which no one on here is) you might suggest that the decision to have a 50-over tournament instead of a Test tournament is that India would be favourites to win the former, but may not even qualify for the latter...

  • POSTED BY Texmex on | October 11, 2011, 17:33 GMT

    Accusing India for this is incorrect! BCCI may withstand lose in revenue and have the test championship but the poorer boards may not. So it is really a collective decision and not just Indias. Accusing BCCI for each and everything is becoming fashionable. At some point BCCI will say to hell with it and the game will unravel and become a club centric one as Soccer with just the Wcup conducted by ICC.

  • POSTED BY on | October 11, 2011, 17:07 GMT

    i thn top ix tm sud get chance.........oderwise it will unfair.......for the supporter.we cnt limit it upto.four tm only....coz its big event

  • POSTED BY starvoyager on | October 11, 2011, 17:05 GMT

    If the sport will not be broadcast or watched if one nation (however big) performs badly, that sport does not have a future in the long run. High time the ICC stopped behaving like the BCCI's office lackey. Let the other boards get together to work out revenue models and a sustainable future based on the best interests of the sport. And if this global bully has a problem with that, let the ICC expel it and get on with what's best for the game.

  • POSTED BY kool_Indian on | October 11, 2011, 16:05 GMT

    @dpk - even if other country people give so much weightage to India - is it still India's problem? Should India/BCCI say - dont consider us and do whatever you want more openly? If ICC doesn't have guts to bare the losses thinking that India wont be in Top 4 then it is ICC's problem - you cant fault BCCI even for that. Regarding DRS, BCCI has been having doubts regarding the technology from the very beginning- they thought hotspot wouldn't have such problems and accepted it but see what happened in eng. Even hotspot owners have agreed the mistake then why this blame game?n hawkeye, guys- seriously, there is no scientific study being conducted on it, it can be easily manipulated by the operator like Sachin's lbw in WC SF(I swear by Sachin but that looked out IMO). Also, the 3rd umpire was supposed to assist - not overrule the on-field umpire but there are prb's even in that. @landl47 - what I said applies to you, its not BCCI's problem if ICC chickens out thinking India cant make TC' 13

  • POSTED BY on | October 11, 2011, 15:56 GMT

    well here goes another ridiculous decision by the elite Governing body of Cricket in the World......ICC...... they are trying to just eradicate the TEST CRICKET......... the game that shows the class, perseverance, mental strength etc etc etc of players not some laughable SLOG HITTING as in T20, the PLAYBOY FACE of cricket where anyone who can swing the bat can have a go.............

  • POSTED BY on | October 11, 2011, 14:46 GMT

    I think we will never have a TEST CHAMPION SHIP

  • POSTED BY on | October 11, 2011, 14:41 GMT

    another indictment of how spineless the ICC are, backing up on DRS because India threw their toys of the cot, and now this just to stage another Champions Trophy?? Pointless, utterly pointless.

  • POSTED BY mathewjohn2176 on | October 11, 2011, 14:37 GMT

    This is seriously embarrassing for ICC.How did they depend so much on India participation for the commercial aspects? What about the other remaining cricketing boards like ECB and CA ? They won't provide commercial partners? It's a shame that ICC rely so much on BCCI for everything involving commercial stuff and dancing to the BCCI tunes.I can't believe how the remaining 9 boards can't provide commercial partners for the test championship.First ICC should stop rely so much on one board for commercial aspects,then everyone will have a equal say.

  • POSTED BY Truemans_Ghost on | October 11, 2011, 14:35 GMT

    I'm not sure which of the two decisions- this one or ditching DRS the ICC should be most ashamed of. In both cases they are tacitly admittng with a shrug, that it won't happen because India doesn't want it. They have stopped even pretending to have cricket's best interests at heart. I suppose at least they are being more honest about it now.

  • POSTED BY on | October 11, 2011, 13:52 GMT

    This has got to be insane.A revolutionary idea like the Test Playoffs being replaced by a meaningless ODI tournament.When one has the World Cup why a Champions Trophy?

  • POSTED BY Robster1 on | October 11, 2011, 13:37 GMT

    Thanks again for nothing ICC - what a chance missed and all for a mickey mouse competition. Shame once again on the game's so called administrators. Can the ICC please start supporting test cricket.

  • POSTED BY on | October 11, 2011, 13:33 GMT

    "Lorgat also conceded that a championship format in which India might miss out on taking part was also a consideration for the executive board." wow that part is just rubbish. lorgat right india will be well below top 4 by the time play off starts. and he might be thinking by 2017 indian youngster will be good enough to play test cricket and india will be in top 4. what a genuine is this lorgart. lemme give u a idea. let india play mandatory in the play off's as well as every other finals. then u will earn enough money to run cricket.. awesome

  • POSTED BY landl47 on | October 11, 2011, 13:31 GMT

    So basically the factors involved are: 1. An American broadcaster doesn't understand test cricket. 2. India just got wiped out by England and the ICC doesn't want to see a tournament which India has no chance of winning. 3. Cash is more important than the game. Therefore, instead of promoting the highest form of cricket, the ICC wants to put a meaningless ODI tournament on so its American sponsor and the BCCI will be happy. What a sell-out.

  • POSTED BY ultimatewarrior on | October 11, 2011, 13:29 GMT

    I wish both the champions trophy and world test championship both, but both should be reserved for top 4 qualifying teams NOT for everybody, we do not need a mini 50-50 world cup for champions trophy but a fight between top most teams, i think this may work....

  • POSTED BY ultimatewarrior on | October 11, 2011, 13:23 GMT

    I had seen not much spectators in last champions trophy as anybody founds in an important test, everybody wants a test championship, whatever the sacrifice icc can make, it should make.....

  • POSTED BY Herbet on | October 11, 2011, 13:10 GMT

    Cricket is dying, suffocated to death under the weight of the Indian middle class TV market.

  • POSTED BY bumsonseats on | October 11, 2011, 13:09 GMT

    india india india thats all we here. they dont want the referal system, icc dont want a test champonship because india will not be in it. just for a change do something that india is not in fayour off. dpk

  • POSTED BY Yevghenny on | October 11, 2011, 13:05 GMT

    ugh, what is the point of the Champions trophy - the credibility of the game should stand up on behalf of test match cricket and dump this pointless trophy, put test matches back to the top of priorities

  • POSTED BY AARON.IFTEKHAR on | October 11, 2011, 12:49 GMT

    To be or not to be, that's now question for the test cricket world. No profit, no business, if there is a bad business plan. Actually Test cricket, a non-profitable & time-killing bored, as well as bad planning game, itself is in severe danger of surviving, though it is undoubtedly pinnacle of the cricket. Just need to change the plan of the game - instead of day limited Test Cricket, need over limited exciting Test Cricket; say 25 overs per innings, then all problems will be solved.

  • POSTED BY allblue on | October 11, 2011, 12:26 GMT

    Yes, well the big problem with the Test Championship idea is what to do in the event of a draw. Test cricket is simply not suited to a knock-out format. If you use the first innings lead method you will get long, slow, dull first innings and zero motive for the team leading at the half-way stage to press for a win. Some sort of bonus points system would be arbitrary and artificial. My solution would be to have six day Tests, and if there is a draw at the semi-final stage the two captains toss for it. It's as fair a system as any, and incentivises both captains to go for the win from the off. If the final match is drawn just have the two countries share the title. Neither solution is ideal, but I think better than any other option.

  • POSTED BY Copernicus on | October 11, 2011, 12:14 GMT

    ugh. disgustingly predictable, but it's still disappointing.

  • POSTED BY AJ_Tiger86 on | October 11, 2011, 12:13 GMT

    Who cares about the Champions Trophy? 50-over cricket is incredibly boring. Bring on the Test Championship. Test cricket is the real and the ONLY form of the game that matters.

  • POSTED BY on | October 11, 2011, 12:09 GMT

    this is bad for cricket they need the championship to work. otherwise test cricket is dead

  • POSTED BY on | October 11, 2011, 12:07 GMT

    Dropping the Champions Trophy from the calendar was such a no brainer. What can this Impotent Cricket Conference can ever do for the betterment of the game?

  • POSTED BY tfjones1978 on | October 11, 2011, 11:59 GMT

    The real question is, does the body that was set up to organise international Test Cricket want full members to continue to play test cricket? What is the point of cricket if the measure-stick of a player slowly gets eroded for more "profitable" forms of the game? Perhaps they should go one step further and create a new form to replace all the others ... a form with a round ball that you play only with your feet and kick into these "goals" at either end ... oh what an improvement that would be ... just think of the $$$$

  • POSTED BY 5wombats on | October 11, 2011, 11:41 GMT

    This is rubbish as well. What the hell is going to happen to Test Cricket!!!??? More years of erosion and onslaught from the trash form of the game are going to happen between now and 2017. Where will Test Cricket be by then? It's messed up enough now. Who is looking after Test cricket?? What the hell is the ICC anyway!? - aren't these people supposed to be the "Guardians" of the greatest game?

  • No featured comments at the moment.

  • POSTED BY 5wombats on | October 11, 2011, 11:41 GMT

    This is rubbish as well. What the hell is going to happen to Test Cricket!!!??? More years of erosion and onslaught from the trash form of the game are going to happen between now and 2017. Where will Test Cricket be by then? It's messed up enough now. Who is looking after Test cricket?? What the hell is the ICC anyway!? - aren't these people supposed to be the "Guardians" of the greatest game?

  • POSTED BY tfjones1978 on | October 11, 2011, 11:59 GMT

    The real question is, does the body that was set up to organise international Test Cricket want full members to continue to play test cricket? What is the point of cricket if the measure-stick of a player slowly gets eroded for more "profitable" forms of the game? Perhaps they should go one step further and create a new form to replace all the others ... a form with a round ball that you play only with your feet and kick into these "goals" at either end ... oh what an improvement that would be ... just think of the $$$$

  • POSTED BY on | October 11, 2011, 12:07 GMT

    Dropping the Champions Trophy from the calendar was such a no brainer. What can this Impotent Cricket Conference can ever do for the betterment of the game?

  • POSTED BY on | October 11, 2011, 12:09 GMT

    this is bad for cricket they need the championship to work. otherwise test cricket is dead

  • POSTED BY AJ_Tiger86 on | October 11, 2011, 12:13 GMT

    Who cares about the Champions Trophy? 50-over cricket is incredibly boring. Bring on the Test Championship. Test cricket is the real and the ONLY form of the game that matters.

  • POSTED BY Copernicus on | October 11, 2011, 12:14 GMT

    ugh. disgustingly predictable, but it's still disappointing.

  • POSTED BY allblue on | October 11, 2011, 12:26 GMT

    Yes, well the big problem with the Test Championship idea is what to do in the event of a draw. Test cricket is simply not suited to a knock-out format. If you use the first innings lead method you will get long, slow, dull first innings and zero motive for the team leading at the half-way stage to press for a win. Some sort of bonus points system would be arbitrary and artificial. My solution would be to have six day Tests, and if there is a draw at the semi-final stage the two captains toss for it. It's as fair a system as any, and incentivises both captains to go for the win from the off. If the final match is drawn just have the two countries share the title. Neither solution is ideal, but I think better than any other option.

  • POSTED BY AARON.IFTEKHAR on | October 11, 2011, 12:49 GMT

    To be or not to be, that's now question for the test cricket world. No profit, no business, if there is a bad business plan. Actually Test cricket, a non-profitable & time-killing bored, as well as bad planning game, itself is in severe danger of surviving, though it is undoubtedly pinnacle of the cricket. Just need to change the plan of the game - instead of day limited Test Cricket, need over limited exciting Test Cricket; say 25 overs per innings, then all problems will be solved.

  • POSTED BY Yevghenny on | October 11, 2011, 13:05 GMT

    ugh, what is the point of the Champions trophy - the credibility of the game should stand up on behalf of test match cricket and dump this pointless trophy, put test matches back to the top of priorities

  • POSTED BY bumsonseats on | October 11, 2011, 13:09 GMT

    india india india thats all we here. they dont want the referal system, icc dont want a test champonship because india will not be in it. just for a change do something that india is not in fayour off. dpk