ICC news November 14, 2011

Test Championship not until 2017 - Lorgat

ESPNcricinfo staff

The ICC Test Championship will not be held before 2017, Haroon Lorgat, the ICC chief executive, has said. The tournament was initially scheduled for 2013, but it cannot be conducted before 2017 due to the ICC's commitments to its broadcaster and sponsors.

"I am afraid that [the Test championship] is no longer going to happen in 2013," Lorgat said in Dubai, where he was attending the second ODI between Sri Lanka and Pakistan. "At the last board meeting we decided the first opportunity to play the Test championship is 2017. I am disappointed it is not going to take place sooner but it is a reality of the commitments we have already got through to 2015."

The ICC's broadcast partner is ESPN STAR Sports*, with whom they have a contract till 2015. The Champions Trophy, the ICC's second-most significant one-day tournament, is scheduled to be played in June 2013 in England, but the ICC had hoped to convince all interested parties to switch that tournament to play-offs between the top four Test teams as per the ICC Test rankings.

However, after the ICC's executive board meeting in October, it released a statement saying there would be significant commercial challenges in replacing the Champions Trophy without the support and consent of the ICC's broadcast partner since the financial implications on the Members would be significant. Changing the tournament from a one-day one to Test play-offs would have required a substantial cut in the broadcast rights fee, which would have repercussions on the Members.

Lorgat, on Monday, said the switch would not be possible. "We attempted to switch the Champions Trophy to become a Test championship but that is not going to be possible."

The MCC criticised the ICC's decision, calling it "disappointing". "MCC has been very consistent in its support for Test cricket and the need for governing bodies to give the five day game a bit of a boost," John Stephenson, MCC Head of Cricket, said. "Today's announcement is a setback for Test cricket, at a time when we need to work to find the optimum balance between all formats of the game."

The Test championship is a concept aimed at increasing the popularity of Test cricket, something the ICC has consistently pledged their commitment to. Lorgat had said ahead of the ICC's last board meeting that hosting a Test Championship in 2013 would be ideal since "player and public interest in Test match cricket is at an all-time high". Lorgat, on Monday, maintained his stance that a championship would have been a positive move for Test cricket. "We attempted to form the World Test Championship which I think would have been a very good context in ensuring the primacy of Test cricket but again we will have to wait for 2017 to see that as a reality."

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

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Vikram on November 17, 2011, 19:29 GMT

    I think dr gonzo that is mainly because your team is really poor at cricket that u r not supporting it lol after seeing it whitewashed

  • Dummy4 on November 17, 2011, 13:04 GMT

    Test cricket is at death bed and frankly apart from the english and aussies the rest of the world harly cares about tests. The business model of the test championship is not good either, it is bound to make huge losses. I just hope test cricket dies before there is a cry to euthanise it.

  • lee on November 17, 2011, 7:58 GMT

    Couldn't care less about the Champions Trophy. Never watched it in the past and I won't start watching it in 2013!

  • Andrew on November 16, 2011, 20:55 GMT

    4 words: Don't watch Champions Trophy!

  • Bharat on November 16, 2011, 19:09 GMT

    Do ICC Executive board members think that in five years of time Test Cricket will be survived? Look at the crowd of Kolkata Test!! And if so, are they going to play on Neutral Grounds?? And how many people will take interest in those game which will be played in Neutral Grounds? Just one Example: NZ playing West Indies in Mumbai..If they are not going to use Neutral Grounds, there is no points of Test Championship !!!

  • kan on November 16, 2011, 16:54 GMT

    very poor decision by ICC to pospone Test championship because it would give them less profit compared to 50 overs Champions trophy. Test Championship was needed to take place now in order to hep Test cricket sustain its pinnacle, by 2017 i doubt Test cricket would be alive, as T20 is killing Test cricket, whats the point of having test championship in 2017 when there will be no Tendulkar, no Kallis, no Dravid, no Laxman, no Sehwag

  • rob on November 16, 2011, 14:17 GMT

    It's delayed becayse they know England will win it and they don't want that to happen.

  • Satish on November 16, 2011, 11:53 GMT

    @davidpk : I guess you got it wrong.. Wherever India plays(Apart from India due to more number of matches played here at high ticket costs), we do see a good crowd(And crowd comes to support India even in England and Australia).. These days, cricket revenue is not based only on the revenue generated in the ground.. As you might be seeing in the forums too, Indians and Pakistanis outnumber others very easily.. Subcontinent is the heart of cricket is my point..

  • Cameron on November 16, 2011, 1:53 GMT

    ICC grow some balls. I think you've lost them.

  • Michael on November 15, 2011, 22:06 GMT

    @rickp15- 2007 WC was held in the Carribean but through the efforts of ICC and sponsors it was not allowed to be the party tournament one would have hoped for and resembled more a wet Monday than a West Indian tournament to the point thatWest Indian spectaors in the main could not go to the games because of price hikes and bans on the instruments which give the Carribean game its singular flavour. Bycontrast WC 2011 was a relatively colourful affair which displayed the home flavour properly. Further getting the highest deals in broadcasting rights Boards may actually be preventing wider audiences receiving viewing access as in UK. Big money can turn out to be a curse not a blessing!!!

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