ICC news April 10, 2014

Associates to get a shot at Test cricket

ESPNcricinfo staff
161

Associate teams will have the opportunity to play Test cricket, with the ICC Board approving an ICC Test Challenge, which will take place every four years between the lowest-ranked Test team and the winner of the ICC Intercontinental Cup. The inaugural Test Challenge will take place in 2018, with the intention of giving a context to the Intercontinental Cup.

The Intercontinental Cup, spread out over two years, is a first-class tournament played among the Associate teams. According to the new proposal, the side ranked 10th in the ICC Test rankings on December 31, 2017, or at the conclusion of any series in progress at that time, will play two five-day first-class matches at home and two five-day first-class matches away against the winner of the upcoming Intercontinental Cup.

The next Intercontinental Cup will run from 2015 to 2017, and the next edition from 2019 to 2021. The second ICC Test Challenge is scheduled for 2022. Since the Intercontinental Cup's inception in 2004, Ireland have won it four times, with Afghanistan and Scotland winning one each. The new proposal will give promising teams like Ireland a chance to take their international cricket to the next level.

"The ICC Test Challenge now opens the door for Associate Members to play Test cricket and in doing so gives even greater context to the ICC Intercontinental Cup which will now be a pathway to Test cricket," ICC chief executive David Richardson, said at the end of the two-day board meeting in Dubai.

The Test challenge is not, however, intended to be a relegation process for any Full Member who may be defeated in the contest. Full Member nations will not, it is understood, lose their status and voting rights and their FTP arrangements are also expected to be completed. The Board has agreed to set in place the Test challenge and its structure, format and principles will be passed through following at the ICC's annual conference.

During the previous ICC Board meeting in February 8, the Board had gained the necessary votes to approve a large number of sweeping changes relating to the governance, financing and structure of international cricket. One of the cornerstones of the new financial model is an extended Future Tours Programme (FTP) which will now run until 2023, and while it may still be monitored by the ICC, it is expected to comprise bilateral memorandum of understandings that are binding.

"The FTP is a very important piece of work as it gives Members long-term certainty in relation to both their playing schedule and financial planning," Richardson said. "Significant progress has been made but there is still work to be done to develop a balanced calendar of tours and finalise these agreements."

The ICC Board also authorised the drawing up of the necessary constitutional amendments which will be placed before the Full Council at the ICC Annual Conference to be held in Melbourne at the end of June. These amendments refer to the creation of a new commercial arm of the ICC as well as the changes in the administrative structures, pertaining to the chairmanship and the creation of a new all-powerful panel called the Executive Committee.

In other developments, the ICC has agreed to retain the format of the World T20 for the next edition, to be held in India in 2016. For the next tournament, the top eight Full Members on the ICC T20I rankings, as on April 30 2014, will automatically qualify for the second round, while the ninth and 10th ranked Full Members will get automatic places in the first (qualifying) round. Six qualifiers will progress from the 14-team ICC World T20 Qualifier in 2015, which will be staged in Ireland and Scotland from July 9 to August 2 2015.

Changes to the ICC's cricket committee were approved also, with the Australia coach Darren Lehmann and the West Indies coach Ottis Gibson ratified as new members of the committee, representing the views of international coaches. They will share the duties left vacant by Gary Kirsten when he resigned as coach of South Africa.

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • on April 10, 2014, 19:31 GMT

    A good decision agreed but Isn't the time frame too far? Most of the players who are currently responsible for taking these associates to a respectable level might just be on the finishing line of their careers. Nonetheless at least an opportunity. However what really needs to improve is the format where these associates have time and again proven their quality particularly in the T20s. Right from the 1st WCT20 where Zimbabwe beat A Dominant Aussie side we have seen upsets then why not make regular teams go to their setup and play games. example on the upcoming India's tour of England, maybe Ireland and even Netherlands can share a game and India can play a short T20 tri series there before the ODIs or the 2 practice games India hace can be played In Ireland against the international Ireland Side and this could perhaps be an Official Test Match rather than just warm up games. ICC needs to look at seizing these opportunities for raising standards of the Associate Nations.

  • Real_Floatyman on April 16, 2014, 5:50 GMT

    Glad it finally gives a pathway but really is lacking in a few ways. Even if an associate makes it to test status, how are they going to organise matches in that short time when most nations are going to have their calendars set? The big question now though is how do they achieve full member status?

    I do fear that the games are going to be bargaining chips and some nations are going to be on the outer. I would have suggested that to win The Test challenge and the money, the nation needs to have played a series against every other nation home and away in the last four years. It at least gives some sort of incentive to play the smaller nations at least occasionally.

    Also annoyed that the rankings are limited to 'full members' and qualifying. I think it would help BOTH full members and associates improve their play and scheduling.

    I know I am dreaming though. Common sense is not so common.

  • Philly.rocks on April 14, 2014, 14:43 GMT

    Can we have the rating to be initialized as of now to make it a fair event? Some of the teams are still up in the ranking because of their previous records which does not count anything now. If we are initiating a new structure, why cant we initialize the rating points too?

  • flickspin on April 14, 2014, 11:57 GMT

    i would love to see the top teams play the lesser nations, including australia.

    i think its great australia are touring zimbabwe but i dont understand why thier not playing test.

    the icc needs to develop a team of the decade where every team can play each team even the lesser nations.

    you would design the draw so the top teams play the top teams most, the middle teams play the middle teams the most and the lesser teams play the lesser teams most.

    the draw would look like this

    australia play south africa,india,england,pakistan and sri lanka 3 times in 10 years in a 4-5 test series

    australia play new zealand,west indies, bangladesh and zimbabwe 2 times in 10 years in 3 test series

    australia play kenya,namibia,netherland,ireland, uae, nepal and afghanistan 1 time in 10 year in a 2 test series( big deal if they get flogged)

    new zealand play australia, south africa,england,india pakistan, sri lanka 2 times in 10 years

    new zealand play west indies,bangladesh and zimbabwe 3 times

  • flickspin on April 14, 2014, 11:46 GMT

    if you look at rugby union world cups thier are 5-10 power houses, australia, new zealand, south africa, england, ireland, wales, scotland and france.

    you have teams that improve every world cup and compete like fiji,tonga,samoa, argentina, italy

    and teams like russia,romania, geogia which improve all the time.

    in some world cups thier might be a 50 point win to some sides ie, australia 70points vs russia 20 points and no one complains about the result.

    in recent years australia has qualified for soccer world cups, this world cup australia play the netherlands and chile, if australia competes and does thier best australia soccer fans would be stoked with the result, but the reality is australia will struggle.

    australian soccer fans dont care when playing brasil if australia get beaten 5-0.

    the thing you can learn from soccer and rugby is if you throw teams in the deep end they learn to swim.

    who cares about the result, if a team gets flogged big deal. as long as they improve

  • on April 14, 2014, 10:47 GMT

    It's my pleasure to hear that the ICC is going to give this opportunity to the Associates so let me know that will be there any chances for Afghanistan Cricket Team or so?

  • scorpion4u on April 14, 2014, 8:46 GMT

    Good news for Associates it is really good to hear and will achieve more improvements in next few years and will get more and more popularity in the side, hope to have good Chance for all associates especially for Afghanistan and Ireland.

  • howzat86 on April 13, 2014, 20:11 GMT

    It is a good opportunity for the associates to play against the lowest ranked test team however this doesn't happen until 2018 which is a bit too long 2016 would be better though. The ICC needs to expand cricket across other countries so that more teams can participate and hopefully develop in the long term also makes cricket far more interesting instead of seeing the same teams over and over.

  • damian2230 on April 13, 2014, 12:53 GMT

    Clearly it is not a test status, just 2x two five-day first-class matches.This will kill off Ireland same as they killed Kenya. Once you do not respect the current performance and the popularity then the next generation will not have any interest about this game in that country, they find other games that rewards well. Who wants to follow a game that will give you only four five-day first-class games?

    Why wait until 2018? Ireland is current cup holder, so give them 8 games to play with Ban & Zim.

    Ireland is deserved to have full test status now and Afghanistan in 2020.

    It would be good to see Ireland and Afghanistan play more regularly with Zimbabwe and Bangladesh and even with 2nd XI teams of WI, NZ. This will also give Zimbabwe and Bangladesh a good mental boost.

  • Armani777 on April 13, 2014, 12:51 GMT

    It is still not good enough for associate countries to come up at the level of full member countries.

  • on April 10, 2014, 19:31 GMT

    A good decision agreed but Isn't the time frame too far? Most of the players who are currently responsible for taking these associates to a respectable level might just be on the finishing line of their careers. Nonetheless at least an opportunity. However what really needs to improve is the format where these associates have time and again proven their quality particularly in the T20s. Right from the 1st WCT20 where Zimbabwe beat A Dominant Aussie side we have seen upsets then why not make regular teams go to their setup and play games. example on the upcoming India's tour of England, maybe Ireland and even Netherlands can share a game and India can play a short T20 tri series there before the ODIs or the 2 practice games India hace can be played In Ireland against the international Ireland Side and this could perhaps be an Official Test Match rather than just warm up games. ICC needs to look at seizing these opportunities for raising standards of the Associate Nations.

  • Real_Floatyman on April 16, 2014, 5:50 GMT

    Glad it finally gives a pathway but really is lacking in a few ways. Even if an associate makes it to test status, how are they going to organise matches in that short time when most nations are going to have their calendars set? The big question now though is how do they achieve full member status?

    I do fear that the games are going to be bargaining chips and some nations are going to be on the outer. I would have suggested that to win The Test challenge and the money, the nation needs to have played a series against every other nation home and away in the last four years. It at least gives some sort of incentive to play the smaller nations at least occasionally.

    Also annoyed that the rankings are limited to 'full members' and qualifying. I think it would help BOTH full members and associates improve their play and scheduling.

    I know I am dreaming though. Common sense is not so common.

  • Philly.rocks on April 14, 2014, 14:43 GMT

    Can we have the rating to be initialized as of now to make it a fair event? Some of the teams are still up in the ranking because of their previous records which does not count anything now. If we are initiating a new structure, why cant we initialize the rating points too?

  • flickspin on April 14, 2014, 11:57 GMT

    i would love to see the top teams play the lesser nations, including australia.

    i think its great australia are touring zimbabwe but i dont understand why thier not playing test.

    the icc needs to develop a team of the decade where every team can play each team even the lesser nations.

    you would design the draw so the top teams play the top teams most, the middle teams play the middle teams the most and the lesser teams play the lesser teams most.

    the draw would look like this

    australia play south africa,india,england,pakistan and sri lanka 3 times in 10 years in a 4-5 test series

    australia play new zealand,west indies, bangladesh and zimbabwe 2 times in 10 years in 3 test series

    australia play kenya,namibia,netherland,ireland, uae, nepal and afghanistan 1 time in 10 year in a 2 test series( big deal if they get flogged)

    new zealand play australia, south africa,england,india pakistan, sri lanka 2 times in 10 years

    new zealand play west indies,bangladesh and zimbabwe 3 times

  • flickspin on April 14, 2014, 11:46 GMT

    if you look at rugby union world cups thier are 5-10 power houses, australia, new zealand, south africa, england, ireland, wales, scotland and france.

    you have teams that improve every world cup and compete like fiji,tonga,samoa, argentina, italy

    and teams like russia,romania, geogia which improve all the time.

    in some world cups thier might be a 50 point win to some sides ie, australia 70points vs russia 20 points and no one complains about the result.

    in recent years australia has qualified for soccer world cups, this world cup australia play the netherlands and chile, if australia competes and does thier best australia soccer fans would be stoked with the result, but the reality is australia will struggle.

    australian soccer fans dont care when playing brasil if australia get beaten 5-0.

    the thing you can learn from soccer and rugby is if you throw teams in the deep end they learn to swim.

    who cares about the result, if a team gets flogged big deal. as long as they improve

  • on April 14, 2014, 10:47 GMT

    It's my pleasure to hear that the ICC is going to give this opportunity to the Associates so let me know that will be there any chances for Afghanistan Cricket Team or so?

  • scorpion4u on April 14, 2014, 8:46 GMT

    Good news for Associates it is really good to hear and will achieve more improvements in next few years and will get more and more popularity in the side, hope to have good Chance for all associates especially for Afghanistan and Ireland.

  • howzat86 on April 13, 2014, 20:11 GMT

    It is a good opportunity for the associates to play against the lowest ranked test team however this doesn't happen until 2018 which is a bit too long 2016 would be better though. The ICC needs to expand cricket across other countries so that more teams can participate and hopefully develop in the long term also makes cricket far more interesting instead of seeing the same teams over and over.

  • damian2230 on April 13, 2014, 12:53 GMT

    Clearly it is not a test status, just 2x two five-day first-class matches.This will kill off Ireland same as they killed Kenya. Once you do not respect the current performance and the popularity then the next generation will not have any interest about this game in that country, they find other games that rewards well. Who wants to follow a game that will give you only four five-day first-class games?

    Why wait until 2018? Ireland is current cup holder, so give them 8 games to play with Ban & Zim.

    Ireland is deserved to have full test status now and Afghanistan in 2020.

    It would be good to see Ireland and Afghanistan play more regularly with Zimbabwe and Bangladesh and even with 2nd XI teams of WI, NZ. This will also give Zimbabwe and Bangladesh a good mental boost.

  • Armani777 on April 13, 2014, 12:51 GMT

    It is still not good enough for associate countries to come up at the level of full member countries.

  • Quichang on April 13, 2014, 10:04 GMT

    Well 2018 is a very long time frame..Why not involve this team to play with the Best Domestic Team of every Test playing Nation....Guess what !!! ICC is soo.... 2014 and back in such Ideas. why not start from now on wards.... and ICC having a very far Interest in Exploring Cricket in other nation like China,Malaysia,Indonesia, Japan,Thailand,Europe countries, American continents and African Continent is really a bitter Melancholy in Greater Cricket to the whole world. I really have a fantasy seeing China,Mexico,Spain,Germany etc..playing in T20 Cricket...and Mongolia winning it by beating Egypt...Surely a fantasy things..ha ha...

  • Ammo666 on April 13, 2014, 6:15 GMT

    @anikp: your world's greatest Ranji players will get clobbered by BD full team so i hope you know it now!!...so keep your absurd sentiments to yourself only & in IND! what you are trying to prove it really doesn't match enough with current improved BD team even though they lost to AFG & HK recently but it happens so that's nothing impossible losing 1 or 2 to associates sometimes but it doesn't BD is like one of the associates because BD is enough superior than these associates, like ENG recently lost to NL badly & WI lost to IRE too but BD's loss against HK was still much much better as BD really made HK struggle hard to chase a low total of 108, so overall enough of your illogics about BD cricket!

  • Ammo666 on April 13, 2014, 6:15 GMT

    i don't understand why BD coming here to even get compared with these associates who doesn't even know how to play test properly even though BD is yet to learn much especially in overseas conditions & why not as they hardly get to play test matches with superior teams than them being a test playing country which is really disappointing &its also really due to their playing less test cricket in leagues with improper base..but up on that how come BCB, ICC & many others want them to improve in test in almost no time that's really very illogical as BCB also strongly responsible!...but i hope it won't happen really from now but will rectify this common sense very soon..... @Yorkshire-86: sometimes even dreaming of such miracle won't take you ever anywhere but will put down you more! "Get Ireland as a full member and demote Bangladesh to an associate. That way Bangladesh could enter the Ranji trophy as an extra team, that is about their level" this is the JOKE of the week so far LOL!!!

  • Vikram_Maingi on April 12, 2014, 13:15 GMT

    Why does one need to wait for four more years to see the eleventh test side? Why not the current champion plays the weakest associate four times as on 31/Dec/2013? If associates like Ireland and Afghanistan receive proper funding and opportunities, in four years their teams would be in a position to beat the top eight countries, leave aside Bangladesh and Zimbabwe.

  • nipun027 on April 12, 2014, 11:16 GMT

    I believe ICC can give 2/3 more countries test status so that teams like Bangladesh and Zimbabwe get some more 5 days cricket and all of them get more used to it. And the teams also need to have the mentality to play against each other weak teams. Because what I see now a days, Bangladesh could play against Zimbabwe, NZ or WI in more frequently. But they wait for teams like India, England or Australia........ They don't get the opportunity 2 play against them and then says that due 2 lack of match practice they are not shining........

  • Captainman on April 12, 2014, 10:42 GMT

    Ireland are really the only new team that should be playing Test Cricket and should be left at 11. That way weaker test teams like Zimbabwe and Bangladesh will have more opportunity to play test matches since the better teams especially top ones are unwilling to play them as much. But the reason Bangladesh struggles in test Cricket is not really lack of test matches though to some extent it is true but the reason is because of their poor first class structure and infrastructure.

  • YorkshirePudding on April 12, 2014, 10:28 GMT

    I see a number of misconceptions in regards to Bangladesh, It isnt because they play fewer Tests its simply that they have an inadequate FC system and development program. Ideally they should be sending A teams to 2-3 countries every year.

    If people think Bangladesh have it bad, consider India, WI, NZ they were lucky to get a series against England/Aus once every 4 years usually used as a prelude or postscript to an ashes series (Ind/NZ).

    There is also a misconception that allowing associate teams to play in the Australian/Indian/English/SA systems will also allow them to develop as test nations, in the English system there isnt enough capacity to add another team, It should also be noted that Ireland was offered a place in the County game and they declined, just as they have pulled out of the English ODI competitions.

  • on April 12, 2014, 9:43 GMT

    y not allow this teams to play india/australian domestic or english county ?? better way for continious exposure !!

  • SuperSharky on April 12, 2014, 7:32 GMT

    For a change, this is brilliant positive news from the ICC. Excellent decision!

  • habibahmadzai on April 12, 2014, 7:01 GMT

    It is good news for associate sides but every four years will not a good decison, they should play the low test nation once every year. Icc should provide tri-series for them as afghanistan shocked 3 or 4 times the full members. So if icc give them many chances they can prove thierselves.

  • OttawaRocks on April 12, 2014, 6:16 GMT

    Okay the pace of change is way too slow for me. Should have set the schedule for sooner, say 2015. Also, they should have made the tourney so the test challenge is every 2 years. And, they don't say that if the Associate country beats the 10th ranking test nation whether they become test nations as well. I think given Bangladesh has been afforded test status, we need to fast track another 4 nations, albeit limit who they get to play (i.e., keep them playing lower tier test nations until they prove they can handle better). We need to develop broader and bigger markets faster and affording them test status while entering the Olympics would be the way to do it.

  • getsetgopk on April 12, 2014, 4:31 GMT

    This is a joke right? They can hardly sustain teams like Pakistan that have played cricket for over 65 years how are the associates going to fare shouldn't be too hard to figure out. Pak, SL, WI, NZ play hardly 6 tests a year and the less said about BD the better.

  • on April 12, 2014, 4:13 GMT

    so we could see Holland v England again lol.

  • smukhles on April 12, 2014, 3:16 GMT

    @anilkp, I hope you understand CRICKET well as you're missing a basic rules of any game. Bangladesh never ever had a chance to get well used to this format because of their lack of practice in 5 days match, you'll never make it to that standard if you're not practicing, a simple basic of anything. You can read the comment made by SirViv1973 and find the point here. Grit comes by showing good form and you've to be at the level to achieve that grit. Criticizing a team for just the sake of criticizing is a different thing though. By the way, how many test/odi sides are playing in Ronji Trophy now a days?

  • on April 12, 2014, 2:06 GMT

    @yorkshire 86 speaking of which, a dozen or so Ranji trophy sides represent states populous enough to be Test sides. Perhaps they should be given test status in all seriousness. That would have made a great April Fools joke news article:D

  • on April 12, 2014, 1:53 GMT

    so the associate teams play for two years and have 4 games on the line and go on the results of that, ireland is the next test nation, they have done more than what bangledesh ever did, look at the poor results zimbabwe and bangledesh are showing, ireland as a test nation would play more test cricket as there season is the same as england

  • on April 12, 2014, 1:30 GMT

    Why not just send the I-teams to Zimbabwe and Bangladesh from NOW to help both teams have more opportunity for Tests? The Windies will also benefit from this, as they play a nauseating amount of cricket against NZ, Bangla, Zim anyway!

  • FawltyBean on April 12, 2014, 0:13 GMT

    @SirViv1973 - Except for couple Test series cancellations due to financial troubles last year, Sri Lanka always played at least 4-8 Tests every year. Only England and Australia play more Tests. This year Sri Lanka is scheduled to play Tests against England, South Africa and Pakistan. All together 8 tests - can't complain. And they managed to maintain their Test standards better than WI, NZ and Pakistan. To me it looks like WI have given up on Tests.

  • voyrison on April 11, 2014, 23:04 GMT

    There seems no respect for these Associate sides - they should be allowed in much more than now. Even if they can never win anything it makes it all more interesting and more international and helps these sides to develop.

  • Anneeq on April 11, 2014, 21:52 GMT

    Wow the ICC have actually surprised me!! Terrific idea!!!!

  • PFEL on April 11, 2014, 21:52 GMT

    One test? Against the lowest ranked team? in 2018? seriously that's the best they can do?

  • thenoostar on April 11, 2014, 20:53 GMT

    What is the obsession with increasing the number of test teams? Is cricket in Ireland sustainable? Afganistan and Nepal are growing and improving rapidly so they could be good in a few years. Being from NZ, I am loathed to criticise other countries bid for test status as it took NZ 26 years to win its first match.

  • Hazzak on April 11, 2014, 20:52 GMT

    This idea of a playoff makes little sense to me. What possible incentive does the lowest ranked test side have to win this contest? In fact, these lower ranked teams (Zimbabwe and Bangladesh in particular) often complain about the lack of test cricket they get. So if anything, the incentive is for them to lose this playoff match, because if they do, then there's an additional opponent for them on the test cricket circuit.

    Just give the highest ranked associate member at a given date test status without this farcical playoff game.

  • GrindAR on April 11, 2014, 19:23 GMT

    2018? why not 2025? not far away from 2018...To play the lowest ranked test team, they can do it as immediately as today... why not ICC have some nerve and take non-LOL ( i mean respectable) decisions. It is 4 full years away.... why not immediately after WC 2K15? Atleast it will give some meaningful starting point that is a decade overdue already...

  • anilkp on April 11, 2014, 19:20 GMT

    @Yorkshire-86: you have hurt the sentiments of many an Indians--including mine. Most top-tier Ranji teams are far far superior than the Bangladesh national team. Remember that the Kumbles, Tendulkars, Dravids, Gangulys, Sehwags, Kohlis perpetually emerge from Ranji championship. You should not have labeled Bangladesh team as belonging to "that level". @smukhles: It does not matter how many Tests you play and lose all. What matters is you learn hell a lot from one defeat. What do you think will benefit Bangladesh: playing Tests every season and losing all, or, playing once a year and playing well to show their grit? Don't tell me that grit comes only after losing perpetually.

  • on April 11, 2014, 16:43 GMT

    Ireland deserves test status regardless of anything. They play great cricket.

  • yorkshire-86 on April 11, 2014, 16:25 GMT

    Get Ireland as a full member and demote Bangladesh to an associate. That way Bangladesh could enter the Ranji trophy as an extra team, that is about their level.

  • CodandChips on April 11, 2014, 16:05 GMT

    If people are worried about associates lowering the standard of test cricket, how about this. 2 tiers of 6. Current 10 plus best 2 associates (in terms of cricket ability, internal structures, etc). Top tier play 5 day test matches. 2nd tier play 4 day matches under a different name. 2 league tables whereby each team must play at least 2 series away and 2 at home a year. Points system to give more weighting to teams winning away. After 3 years the bottom 2 of tier 1 and top 2 of tier 2 to compete for 1st tier places. World cup to also occur this 4th year. Then repeat.

  • SirViv1973 on April 11, 2014, 15:06 GMT

    @Smukhules, I think the same can be said of SRL & WIN in that they have neglected test cricket in favour of the ltd overs formats. WIN in particular have found it particularly tough when they have tried to adjust back to playing the longer format. Its not suprising really when you consider they have only played 7 test matches since the begining of 2013!

  • smukhles on April 11, 2014, 14:35 GMT

    @anilkp, It is true that Bangladesh has been kind of a flop as a test playing nation and I do agree with you but you also have look at the number of tests Bangladesh actually plays or have played. Waiting months after months to play another test doesn't help. They play more ODI matches than test and they are good at that format. They have a possible schedule of playing 54 tests in next six years ref: ICC meeting in Dubai day before yesterday, that will help to increase their test performance for sure. This was needed long time ago.

  • anilkp on April 11, 2014, 13:56 GMT

    One Test (or, at the best, a two-Test series) after four long years from now, that to against--most possibly--Bangladesh, and no assurance of if there will be another opportunity to play a Test...is this going to be a strong motivation for teams like Ireland? Seriously? I thought leaders at world-class organizations think rationally, but I guess I am naive. ICC is no different from another organization whose leaders do not think at all.

    Bangladesh team itself needs to learn the art and skill of Test matches; how is an associate team going to be benefited by playing them? The greater incentive for an associate national team would be a participation in the county leagues, or Ranji trophy or Sheffield Shield. One session of many rigorous 4-day matches in Eng/Ind/Aus will benefit Ireland/Netherlands far more immensely than a solitary Test against Bangladesh four years later. I hope the associates learn to demand/plead/bug with serious intensity.

  • taone on April 11, 2014, 13:40 GMT

    Why are you giving Zim as an example of the lowest ranked test side in 2018 at the lowest point Zim beat Pakistan so i bet it wont be the lowest in 2018

  • SirViv1973 on April 11, 2014, 13:02 GMT

    @Smudgeon, Although I would love to see Ireland mixing it with the big boys I'm a bit worried that 2018 may come too late for them. In the last 2 WT20 events Ire haven't made the sort of impact that they did in 09 or in either of the WC's in 07 or 11. They have lost their 2 best players to Eng & several other stalwarts have departed the scene. Others like Joyce, Porterfield & the O'Brien brothers will probably not be around in 4 years & there is also the possiblity that they could loose Dockrell or any other young player who shows potential between now and then to Eng. I guess only time will tell, the Inter provincal championship is the first step on the road to a genuine FC structure in the country and should cetainly help in the devolpment of young players. Until the competion achieves FC status and the player base is strong enough to increase the number of participating teams I wonder if it would benefit from inviting Sco, Neth?

  • YorkshirePudding on April 11, 2014, 12:07 GMT

    @gerryhancock, I don't think it would be back to the wilderness as it would have allowed the ICC to view how they were developing as a cricket nation. this would prevent another situation like Bangladesh happening.

    It should also hopefully open a few more doors in regards to A-team games against the higher nations like Aus/India/England, if they start beating these teams consistently then Test status is granted, knowing that they can hold their own against teams.

  • Sigismund on April 11, 2014, 11:59 GMT

    It's a nice idea that might have worked under the old regime; but now that boards will be making their own decisions about who to play and when, it won't. What if the 10th-ranked team don't want to play? There's nothing to make them. Also, by the time this team is identified they will presumably have fixed their tours for the coming few years and won't be able to fit it in, even if they wanted to.

  • electric_loco_WAP4 on April 11, 2014, 11:50 GMT

    A win-win scenario for both full member and winning associate.Chance for batsmen,bowlers of FM to break some-pretty 'hollow' in the end-records,pad up the 'numbers'-stats.For asso. team,to exp. glory of 'hist.' occasion aft. a 3 day inngs. thrashing.-:)

  • Sinhabahu on April 11, 2014, 11:42 GMT

    So I guess we'll soon see Ireland beating India in Dublin.

  • smudgeon on April 11, 2014, 10:21 GMT

    The idea of Ireland winning test status, should that happen, is such a tantalising one - you already have one strong in-built rivalry with England. I can easily see and Irish test team in 2018 being at the same level as Zimbabwe were when they started playing tests: ready to challenge any opponent on their day (although you would be daft to expect there wouldn't be some drubbings too). A warning, though: whether it's Ireland or Afghanistan or Burkina Faso, they need to make damned sure their first class system is in order and ready to support a competitive (and entertaining/likable, apparently) national side for the forseeable future, or they'll find their dance card - like Zimbabwe's - is going to feature few names indeed.

  • gerryhancock on April 11, 2014, 10:01 GMT

    I find the announcement of the Test Challenge confusing. Can I pose a scenario as follows.Ireland wins the next Intercontinental Cup and Zimbabwe are at that time the lowest ranked Test nation. We play two tests at home and two tests away against them. Fine so far. Let us assume for sake of argument that we win both series. What then? Back into the wilderness for 4 years? There is no relegation from the Test nations under this plan so no worries for Zimbabwe or whoever ends up bottom of the heap in Test cricket. But does winning the 'Challenge' confer Test status on the associate and if so do they then have full Test status for as long they are not in last place in Test cricket at that crucial time every four years. And can the next winner of the challenge, if an associate, become a full twelfth member, etc.If the wilderness scenario is all that is offered at the end of the day there is little gain here for an Irish player to remain in ireland

  • on April 11, 2014, 9:52 GMT

    Preposterous idea further damaging the credibility of Test cricket and its records.

  • huttse96 on April 11, 2014, 9:36 GMT

    Hope PNG do well and get there chance such a success stroy up there. hopefully they can play there first ODI soon against Australia :D

  • on April 11, 2014, 9:28 GMT

    I agree with YorkshirePudding. It would be better for the leading associates to spend their time playing decent first class cricket against A teams or state/county/regional sides. They should not be considered for test match status until they are beating such teams regularly and consistently. A handful of matches against Bangladesh or Zimbabwe will prove nothing.

  • CricketMaan on April 11, 2014, 9:02 GMT

    Unless there is a two tier system with relegation and promotion, TEST cricket will die with only England and Aussies fighting every year twice in respective summer for Ashes! Rest will go away and only India might play coz of the TV money and that too if played in India! Its clear that TV is ruling the game now and Test cricket even in SA or India does not always attract crowd to the ground. With T20 gaining more popularity even the ODIs will cease to exist in few years. Fans and Boards have to accept that if Test cricket has to survive we need quality and I'm not saying that the current top 5 ranked are the ones that produce such cricket, but they are the ones that drive the TV market!

  • UpForSix on April 11, 2014, 8:56 GMT

    Reads like a lot of hoops for one lucky associate country to jump through! And if they succeed and win this test series, there is no reward for them and no consequences for the 10th ranked test nation. Not very impressive.

  • Enco on April 11, 2014, 8:07 GMT

    Look forward to learning whom England will play.

  • on April 11, 2014, 7:50 GMT

    @Hedgehog8, I don't think promotion/relegation will work while there is only ten teams, test status is simply too meaningful to be taken away, there is too much at stake.

    @Cod and Chips, your solution sounds a lot like the already existing intercontinental cup!

    For what it's worth I don't think that the ICC is too far off the mark. The timing of it seems a little poor, being pushed way back to 2018, but that aside I have no problems with it. It will give teams time to prepare adequately in any case.

    I am guessing that once a challenger wins one of these series they will then be free to organise other tests against full member nations bi-laterally? England has already promised Ireland tests if they make the cut. I am also assuming though that they will have to requalify during the next cycle with a similar play off? Or perhaps a winning challenger will be granted test status for an arbitrary period of 3-5 years? A little more depth of coverage on this would be great!

  • Copernicus on April 11, 2014, 7:47 GMT

    So they might be allowed to play Tests (if India + goons don't change their minds in the next few years) but they will still be second-class citizens with no path to becoming Full Members. I suppose it's marginally better than nothing, though the hundreds of millions of dollars pulled out of Associate funding and redirected to India will probably hamper the ability of new teams to develop to the point of challenging for the Intercontinental Cup....also, without an enforceable FTP how can the rankings possibly have any integrity (for example, teams at risk of relegation could simply refuse to schedule any tours - or at least not long ones - against stronger teams that would likely beat them).

  • Humdingers on April 11, 2014, 7:33 GMT

    I'd like to see the 2-Tier system for Tests. and ODI's. Top 8 are in the Premier Division and the bottom 2 are in the pool with the Associates. It gives incentives for on both sides. You keep loosing, you get relegated. Perform well you get promoted into division 1. That way Zimbabwe, Bangladesh (and even WI and NZ to keep improving) will need to improve and it gives a chance for Ireland and Netherlands to compete.

  • YorkshirePudding on April 11, 2014, 7:31 GMT

    This is very good news though I'd prefer it to be a bit more regular its a good start.

    @kannan225, and exactly how do teams Like England and Australia who play far more test cricket than any of the other tests nation fit in these additional games? The only way England could accommodate this would be to drop lucrative ODI's. However I would suggest that these nations are allowed to play the A-Teams of the top 8/9 test nations in 4 day games more often, along with playing other FC teams. That will help them develop faster than getting pummelled by established teams and inflating batting averages.

  • kannan225 on April 11, 2014, 6:31 GMT

    While the Test Challenge is a good move, the ICC should encourage the Associates to play one dayers with Test Playing nations both at home and away with immeidate effect. This should be made mandatory that the ICC Associates, who have one day status plays atleast 5 Test nations in a year in one dayers. Secondly , the ICC associates should tour Test nations for 3 or 4 day games.

  • on April 11, 2014, 5:56 GMT

    Very Interesting article, good read

  • Samar_Singh on April 11, 2014, 5:51 GMT

    ICC will remain a 10 member club.. They do not care for quick and rapid global development of cricket they are just after money making only. 2018 is a way long period. They should be proper system and process on how to promote associates,but not some decisions made by the ICC board members from their pocket. There should be representatives of Associates and affiliates in the ICC board.ICC president should be elected by voting from all ICC members not just full members. This is ridiculous.

  • Ms.Cricket on April 11, 2014, 5:49 GMT

    Test cricket is no longer elite and more countries should be included now. Ireland should be in and the Carribean countries should be allowed to have individual teams.

  • smukhles on April 11, 2014, 4:49 GMT

    @DauD, I have checked those status well and good and your reference is also from a T-20 match, isn't it? Just like I said, two win doesn't make Nether Land better than England.Both of those losses in the hand of the Dutch was in T-20 game! That is the fact. Bangladesh has record like 4-0 and 3-0 against New Zealand, check that status as well, where in the world you compare Afghanistan with Bangladesh? Registered 1 or more win against all full member of ICC at least in ODI matches? Understand cricket then post comments. Cricinfo , a humble request, please publish.

  • Cricket_theBestGame on April 11, 2014, 4:41 GMT

    is icc serious? first edition to be played in 2018 4yrs away! are they expecting top players from associate teams to keep playing past their 40s or something!! this is ridiculous, if a sincere effort is made then icc should make a program to let Ireland, afghanistan and scotland play against bangladesh & zimbabwe throughout the year. maybe not official 5 days test but 4days game. only after that these team should play an official test or 2 against a test side.

  • Hedgehog8 on April 11, 2014, 4:29 GMT

    This is good, but could go further. Here's my idea (admittedly probably not likely to ever happen). Immediately relegate the lowest ranked Test side, leaving nine countries in the 'top league'. Over four years, each of those teams plays one (and only one) series against each other home and away (16 series in all, two home & two away per year). Points are awarded for wins, draws etc. in a league system. During this time, all Test sides are required to play X number of games against the Associate nations as part of tours to nearby countries. At the end of the four years, the top two teams play off for the Test Championship. At the same time, the team at the bottom of the ladder plays the winner of the Intercontinental Cup (which would effectively be 'league two') with promotion for the winner and relegation for the loser.

  • cricket2011 on April 11, 2014, 4:23 GMT

    T20 should be like ODI world cup. Associates can play against big teams and they can defeat Big team but ICC never allow to win against big team. See Irealand's victory against WestIndies, Pakistan, England,Zimbabwe and Bangladesh. Nederlands victory against England. Hongkongs' victory over Bangladesh.Afghanistan's victory over Bangladesh etc.. So Any associate can win any match. South Africa just won against Nederlands. Actually Nederlands should win if they have experience. To accept as a world cup there should be more teams and small teams can play against big teams. This should a be a big platform to show all their performance.

  • mehuljain2k on April 11, 2014, 4:22 GMT

    The decision really will add some interest to the relatively closed club of Test Cricket. The time frames could be shortened though. Would love to see the Irish in whites instead of playing for England.

  • DauD_ on April 11, 2014, 4:06 GMT

    @ Smuckles, why are you bringing up T20 performances in regards to test status? Afghanistan have the highest Win Percentage in the ICC Intercontinental Cup, and actually won the cup in their first edition, and last year narrowly lost the finals to Ireland. So please check your stats before you start posting rubbish about other teams. And the last time Ban and Afg played an ODI, Afghanistan won comfortably, and that too whilst Bangladesh were playing in home conditions. Many of the Afghan players have brilliant FC stats, and they have shown that they are capable of performing well in the Greatest format of the game. Bangladesh have been around for decades and sre still being defeated by teams like Hong Kong.

  • on April 11, 2014, 3:55 GMT

    The time frame is too long. Should be held every 2 years. Also why not give both the winner and runner up of the continental cup a chance to play the bottom two test nations in a tournament format? So that will make the test nations want to finish higher. Test ratings will be taken a bit more seriously. If the associate wins, then they should be given test status.And once in a while the bottom teams among test nations do well and finish higher. So there is a chance that apart from Zim and BD (no offense please) another team could finish at the bottom!

    Also good suggestions by Idrees Kanchwala. Make it mandatory for a test nation to play an associate or neighbor before a tour.

    For example all teams that play in: - Eng should play Ire or Neth for a short series - Ind/SL/BD should play BD or Nepal - SA should play Zim (or Kenya) - Pak/Ind should play Afg

    Also every year make it mandatory for each test nation to play an associate.

  • billios on April 11, 2014, 3:32 GMT

    So 2018 we'll have a sky-high confident associate playing to gain much-desired test status, against a struggling full-member playing to...ah...avoid further embarrassment? If this series started tomorrow, my money would be on Ireland 4-0

  • smukhles on April 11, 2014, 3:32 GMT

    @Dashgar, Yes, Ireland all day! No doubt about it and they will do good. But with due respect to your opinion, what has Afghanistan really done to deserve test status next to Ireland? It was a fluke win for them against Bangladesh who played without few of their key players, it showed after Afghanistan was all out for 72 against Bangladesh in their T-20 match, one of the lowest score in T-20 and their own T-20 history. Please do not dare to compare Afghanistan with Ireland, Bangladesh, Zimbabwe yet! Yes, anything might happen in T-20, England lost to Nether Land, Bangladesh lost to Hong Kong, yet there is indeed a difference between these teams. If Afghanistan comes to play ODI series against Bangladesh, expect a white wash any day, all day. Cricinfo, please publish.

  • Lalithkumark on April 11, 2014, 3:27 GMT

    Great News for Associate Cricket.. I am an Indian.. And I have been Hating the way the BCCI & others have been Sidelining Associates.. I want Cricket to be a Truly Global Game, rather than just Common Wealth Countries.. Good News!!

  • DRS_Flawed_NeedsImprovement on April 11, 2014, 3:23 GMT

    @greatest-game. I dont like test cricket, few ( very rare) in subcontinent do like test cricket, is another fact. Only people lives eng and oz loving test cricket. As said by @green-and-gold in ahmed naqvi post, green-and-gold plans to live untill 2039, So few people like him and you in oz and eng, (very rare) few in sub and few commentators, writers would live untill 2039 ie.. next 25yrs. These people continue to watch until 2039, my prediction is wrong. Since ireland cricketters are desperate to play test matches bcz of their rivalry with eng and also bcz of their hardwork they won 4 inter con.. cup so I SUPPORT THEM so that atleast ireland can play untill 2039 with few more fans supporting them. But next generation people of eng, oz, ireland along with rest of the world will not watch test cricket. Hopes, i clarified your doubt and also hoping my comment will publish.

  • on April 11, 2014, 3:12 GMT

    why not bring Test World Cup ?? and just like ODI and T20 the selection is done, same thing must be done. The divison 2 and above must also play the test to qualify for the Test WorldCup. It is very hard to qualify for test for the associates, Test increases quality. Playing T20, and 50/50 are just for wins, i don't think quality is there except some in 50 over. For the division 2 and above, Just like 20/20 and 50/50 tournament of Test also be there so that they can know something about quality too

  • bobagorof on April 11, 2014, 2:16 GMT

    Good to see Bangladesh or Zimbabwe (on recent and not-so-recent history) getting a few extra Tests. However, while the Full Members can't be relegated, what would happen if the Associate won all 4 Tests? What about if they did it again the following Test Challenge? Does this open an avenue for a side to gain Test status?

  • Dashgar on April 11, 2014, 1:58 GMT

    Seems like a bit of a cop out. Ireland and Afghanistan are both deserving of test status now. To say they can have 1 game if they win the IC Cup is a poor consolation prize to the big prize they should have been given already.

  • chicko1983 on April 11, 2014, 1:56 GMT

    while I would love to see more nations playing test cricket, it is a different kettle of fish entirely to T-20 or ODI cricket, which somewhat levels the playing field with bowling and fielding restrictions. Currently you even have a big gulf in quality of the top 3-4 the next 3-4 and the bottom 3-4 test teams, associate teams would be even further back. Test cricket is physically and mentally tough and even some very good first class cricketers have failed at test level. A test match by an associate against a top test team would usually be over in 2 days, 3 days at most. Good luck to the associates, but I think they will still struggle against the 10th ranked test nation.

  • fr600 on April 11, 2014, 1:41 GMT

    Isn't 2018 a little too far?

  • on April 11, 2014, 0:32 GMT

    better late than never,i hope teams like afghan,ireland, netherlands all get their status.

  • on April 11, 2014, 0:28 GMT

    This is very laudable, but until sides have their own domestic first class set up, they are unlikely to make progress and therefore therefore impact.

  • disco_bob on April 11, 2014, 0:24 GMT

    @504429641, and if there is going to be a 3 way play off with the two lowest ranked Test teams and the winning associate team then it should be a relegation battle, that would make it interesting.

  • disco_bob on April 11, 2014, 0:21 GMT

    This is long overdue and the perfect antidote to the recent misplaced T20 hysteria

  • on April 11, 2014, 0:18 GMT

    So, just 1 out of all those associate nations will get a chance to play 1 test every four years, and even then that won't necessarily mean getting Test Status... so it's obvious cricket is not gonna grow anytime soon. The current administers of the game want the fans to watch the same teams play each other over and over.

  • sifter132 on April 10, 2014, 23:15 GMT

    This is rubbish. Letting a random team play Test cricket every 4 years is just a token gesture that weakens Test cricket and gives associates false hope. Ireland shoudn't be anywhere near Test cricket, Bangladesh shouldn't have been either. Zimbabwe were developing reasonably well until politics took over.

  • Cyber_Baba on April 10, 2014, 22:57 GMT

    If the winner of intercontinental cup beats the lowest rank cricket nation in the test series, home and away, will the lowest rank cricket nation be demoted to the associate level?

    Bangladesh cricket board should be happy.....instead of England or Australia they might be playing Ireland, or Scotland, or Afghanistan in 2018. At least they have the confirmation for 4 tests in the FTP. Start the preparation now.

  • TurningSquare on April 10, 2014, 20:45 GMT

    Hopefully this will mean Bangladesh & Zimbabwe get more tests to develop and Zimbabwe have enjoyed famous wins against Australia. It would be great to see them lower Australia's ranking significantly.

  • vladtepes on April 10, 2014, 19:42 GMT

    good. bring them all in. ireland, afghanistan, nepal and more.

  • on April 10, 2014, 19:41 GMT

    Why people started Assuming Bangladesh and Zimbabwe will play with the Associate nation? 2018 is a long time, by that time I hope team Bangladesh will definitely improve there standard in the Test arena..

  • wgtnpom on April 10, 2014, 19:33 GMT

    This is a step towards the solution in my mind, which is to promote the top 2 teams from the next Intercontinental Cup to Test status and include them in a 12-team World Test Championship, to be played as a tournament over a 3- or 4-month period in some host country. Then these 12 teams would play Tests in the FTP over the next 4-5 years (vs everyone) until the next IC, which would include the bottom 2 teams from the previous WTC - in other words a form of relegation although those bottom 2 teams would also retain Test status for 5 yrs after the first WTC. For example Ire/Afg get to the next IC final, they go on to the WTC and play Tests for 5 yrs after that. Lets say Zim/BD finish 11th and 12th in the WTC; they retain Test status for 5 yrs but also have to qualify through the IC for the next WTC. This gives the best Associates a carrot of at least 4-5 yrs as a Test playing nation (~30-40 Tests?) rather than just one 4-Test series as per the currently proposed model. Any thoughts?

  • AnanthX on April 10, 2014, 19:32 GMT

    What will the ICC do when Bangladesh loses to Ireland/Afghanistan/Netherlands?

  • UndertheGrill on April 10, 2014, 19:27 GMT

    It's better than nothing, but it's also a missed opportunity. The likes of Ireland and Afghanistan deserve to be playing a lot more 4/5 day cricket regularly against the 7 - 10 ranked test nations - it'd certainly make sense for sides touring England to play a first class fixture against Ireland (and Netherlands for that matter), rather than some county 2nd XI. It's also patronising and a sop to the Associates that they're expected to be so very grateful for a couple of crumbs from the 'mighty' ICC's table.

  • on April 10, 2014, 19:13 GMT

    wow that's good news

  • Sir_Francis on April 10, 2014, 19:11 GMT

    OK, I'll bite. Why is it too early to give Ireland test status?

    Do you have proof? A reason?

    And why did you pick Ireland over other teams?

  • Ammo666 on April 10, 2014, 18:49 GMT

    Among these only IRE & NL is better among all the associates but i hope they deserve it by playing more ODI against test sides by at least giving fights consistently because winning would be even far against especially especially in ODI...but anyway it looks great opportunity ahead for the associates much more especially IRE...........

    @WTEH: you missed to add just just 1 so it would be 3017 LONG WAY to GO! till then keep moving:)

  • 504429641 on April 10, 2014, 18:09 GMT

    It is a very good decision and will give teams like Ireland a shot at playing test cricket. however, instead of only playing with only the lowest ranked team (Bangladesh in this case with 10th rank), allow them to play with 2 of the lowest ranked teams, in this case with Bangladesh and Zimbabwe. This is because the top 8 teams are considered as top tier test teams and Bang and Zim as kind of minnows among test teams. So it will be a good competition. Also, one more suggestion is to allow the top 2 associates that reach the final of the intercontinental cup, to get the test status instead of only one. Then each of the two associates will get to play one home and one away series with each of Bang and Zim in the 4 years time frame until the intercontinental cup will happen again.

  • george204 on April 10, 2014, 17:52 GMT

    Great. Really looking forward to England losing to the Netherlands in 3 days instead of 40 overs...

  • on April 10, 2014, 17:33 GMT

    Good to know the associates will get to play test cricket for a year or two before the format finally goes the way of the dinosaurs

  • PratUSA on April 10, 2014, 17:13 GMT

    One thing that's not clear to me, if this associate team wins the test challenge, do they get test status only till next Test Challenge or forever? I hope this is the latter as otherwise the injustice will continue and in a way the current 10 full members will just be lucky that they came into the fold first. In case of drawn series there must be some kind of points system to allow a winner to be picked or it will be unfair again because no other test nation had to first defeat an existing test nation in "test matches" to get test status. ICC also needs to provide support for this associate team between winning the ICC Continental Cup and Test Challenge to prepare them. Also do the matches played under test challenge will be official test matches or only first-class games?

  • Dhumper on April 10, 2014, 17:10 GMT

    Current T20 was Ok but it can be improved and made more inclusive without losing quality. Consider this - keep the 10 full members in 2 groups but have a qualifying round for Associates so atleast 2 of those can join the next round.

    This will eliminate odd exclusions of teams like Ireland on one extreme case of pinch hitting! ZIm, Bangla, Ireland and now even Holland are all capable of defeating any full member on a given day in T20. They need world cup exposures and all games would retain qulaity! Please make voice and propose this!

  • Omarrz on April 10, 2014, 16:42 GMT

    So it will be Bangladesh vs whoever qualifies (most likely Ireland most of the times). But those associate teams will only play 2 test series in 10 years' time? How can this help their cricket? And how come playing Bangladesh (or 10th ranked team) can help that cause given that Bangladesh itself do not deserve test status anyway. There is also a very minimal chance for a certain player to play that series again because they are so wide apart (provided the same team qualifies again).

  • Prabhash1985 on April 10, 2014, 16:39 GMT

    This is the best decision made since a long time...

  • BustIPL on April 10, 2014, 16:38 GMT

    It will be unfair for lower ranked teams unless they are given fair number of opportunities against top ranking teams during that four years' period. Otherwise, lower ranked team will always be lower ranked and no development will take place. Example is zimbabwe beatiing pakistan and if they get to play other teams then lower ranked teams may be replaced. Top ranked teams today might slide to the bottom of the table due to too much T20 games. Assuming that BD and ZIM will always be the lower ranked teams is quiet unfair for sure.

  • mihir_nam on April 10, 2014, 16:38 GMT

    Good news ICC , can you tell me what will happen if IC cup winner wins against bottom rank Full member will they be included in FTP and made full member and given same amount of revenue share as others and Guarantee place in world cups .

    Well ICC one more thing looking at history which country has won a Test Match in first series they have played (Except Australia) How can ICC hope Associate to defeat Bottom Ranked Experienced team in 2018 , If ICC can keep today match then Ireland may show good game against Bangladesh or Zimbabwe in 5Day. But Winning is quite hard. Infact IC winner of 2013 should be included in Temporary Test Status and should make play Zimbabwe and Bangladesh West Indies in Home Away series till 2018 , If they don't show improvement then send them back too IC Cup. If they improve then grant them Full Member Status

  • on April 10, 2014, 16:34 GMT

    It's too early to give Ireland test status They should play odi / t20 for another 2 years before getting test status

  • Aroundthelegsgoogly on April 10, 2014, 16:24 GMT

    How about they get a better run at playing ODIs instead. Some of the Pakistani players are in need of a stats boost.

  • on April 10, 2014, 15:46 GMT

    If The "ICC" is really serious about developing the Associates they can sponsor Two teams of associate players to play in the Competitions of Full Members County Crocket or Sheffield Shield etc. this team should consist of the associate players who are not contracted in any full member league.

  • Greatest_Game on April 10, 2014, 15:36 GMT

    @ DRS_Flawed_NeedsImprovement believes that "without any delay ireland should be given test status considering their enormous success in past intercontinental cups."

    Why, I ask, do you believe that this should happen? Following Ahmer Naqvi's current blog post "Why T20 is about cricket's natural evolution," you posted the following comment, cut and pasted exactly as it appears:

    "Posted by DRS_Flawed_NeedsImprovement on (April 8, 2014, 9:43 GMT) t20 is the future of cricket whether few accept it or not. By 2039 no one will watch test cricket."

    Why should Ireland be given test status if, as you claim, no-one will watch them play. Surely Ireland should be focussed on what you claim to be the future of cricket: t20? What use is test status if tests are no longer played within 15 years. Why would Ireland waste the time and money on a format you claim is almost dead?

    There seems to be some confusing inconsistency between your posts. Could you respond and clear these up for us?

  • CricketChat on April 10, 2014, 15:33 GMT

    Definitely a good move long coming from ICC, though it feels a little too less too far into future. Cricket fans suffered years of under performance from teams like WI, Bangladesh, Zim and NZ. Associates like Netherlands, Namibia, Scotland, Ireland should be eased into higher grade cricket sooner than later. As mentioned by multiple fans here, I always believed in 2 league system to keep the competition and expectations attractive for fans.

  • on April 10, 2014, 15:32 GMT

    @SevereCritic "According to the new proposal, the side ranked 10th in the ICC Test rankings on December 31, 2017, or at the conclusion of any series in progress at that time, will play two five-day Tests at home and two five-day Tests away against the winner of the upcoming Intercontinental Cup." they are going to be playing home and away

  • CodandChips on April 10, 2014, 15:27 GMT

    My solution:

    Have a competition held over 2 years between the best associates (perhaps 6 of them). Make them play first class matches against each other and a few against test playing nations, and add in a couple of ODIs and T20Is. For example, Afghanistan could tour the British Isles, playing 2 matches in Ireland, 2 in England, 2 in Scotland, as well as a triangular ODI/T20I series vs Scotland and Ireland, and 3 ODIs vs England. Then give at least the top 2 teams test status, but if more perform more than respectfully, give them status as well.

  • CodandChips on April 10, 2014, 15:23 GMT

    Absolutely ridiculous. So between the current associate teams, they will only play 2 test series in the next 10 years? Well I suppose it's better than nothing, but to me it seems like a pathetic attempt by the ICC to get in people's good books, while not upsetting any current test playing nations.

    Also keeping the current WT20 format is ridiculous. Having just a maximum of 2, possibly no associates in the main draw is an absolute joke. 4 groups of 4. Force the full members to play against associates. Considering that many associate teams are on the rise, these games are more likely to be competitive than a few years ago, such as in the 2007 world cup, where there was just the one upset.

    It's things like this that make FIFA look better than the ICC.

  • LancsRedRose on April 10, 2014, 15:21 GMT

    Good, if cautious, step in the right direction. Should create wider interest & context for the Intercontinental Cup and a great reward for the winners.

  • Greatest_Game on April 10, 2014, 15:20 GMT

    @ Presynaras indignantly claims that "Indian spinners can win them matches at home and their seamers on good seaming conditions can outclass foreign teams (as they had done against South Africa in South Africa and New Zealand in New Zealand)."

    India did not win a single test or ODI in SA, & narrowly escaped a historic 4th innings defeat against a 10 man SA team missing a bowler ranked higher than any indian seamer. Similarly, India did not win a single test or ODI in New Zealand. India went on tour to SA & NZ & won NOTHING! Absolutely NOTHING.

    If, as you write, Indian seamers outclassed South African & New Zealand seamers, why did India not win a single match? Are you saying that India's batting is so bad that despite India's brilliant spin & seam bowling, they won nothing? Did Indian batsmen fail that badly, or are you making entirely unwarranted claims about Indian bowling?

    Either way, unfortunately your claims are simply untrue, & will not change Indian seam bowling.

  • on April 10, 2014, 15:14 GMT

    I think in Jan this was cleared... If the Associate manages to win against bottom ranked team then the Associate gets test status.... So isn't that good? This way more test playing nations would be developed.... Why do people want relegation and reduce the number of teams from 10?

  • on April 10, 2014, 15:10 GMT

    Thanks Big 3. I love it.

  • on April 10, 2014, 15:07 GMT

    Why not a test world cup for Tier 1 teams ?

  • on April 10, 2014, 15:04 GMT

    Nepal and Netherland with such performane in World T20 didn't T20I status nor ODI too. ICC should changed t20 World Cup to 4 group each of 4 teams and should remove double qualifiers !!! "BK"

  • SevereCritic on April 10, 2014, 15:04 GMT

    I think to make things fair, the test match should be played in the Associate's home ground. We all know that Test Match favors the home team tremendously. So, making the 10th rank Test playing nation play away with the associate would make it a more balanced competition.

  • ArifDost on April 10, 2014, 15:03 GMT

    Its Big chance For Afghanistan ,Ireland To Get Test Nation I Think Afghanistan Favorite To Get The Test Nation In Shah Allah

  • Afta on April 10, 2014, 15:02 GMT

    Good opportunity for associates to improve and take a shot at tests. India should tour these countries to improve their tours abroad...!

  • optimiser on April 10, 2014, 15:01 GMT

    Why just associates?? The current test playing nations except SA(most consistent),Aus(recently) are doing no better & getting white-washed away from home every single time. Time to rethink & refactor the entire process, I suppose

  • on April 10, 2014, 14:59 GMT

    I don't know what makes you think that Pakistan cannot play or adapt to home or away conditions where in the past Pakistan have won T20 World Cup and the World Cup in difficult batting conditions .. I agree that they are an unpredictable team but can out perform any team on their day ... You talk about India and their bowling being able to perform anywhere this world t20 is the only one where they've been kind of consistent because the pitches were spin friendly and the bowling wasn't tested until the final when they had to defend a score but Sri Lanka was well in control on the chase

  • sankchat on April 10, 2014, 14:45 GMT

    I think finally some maturity shown by ICC. It was long due. Teams like Ireland and Netherlands should be granted test status at least on a temporary basis. The benefit they have is they can share the infrastructure with England. Most of their players play for County sides anyways. So the requirement of having a full fledged first class structure can be compromised.

  • WTEH on April 10, 2014, 14:40 GMT

    Oh BD. This means after 2017, you'll get opportunity to get beaten by Associates in test matches too.

  • Mike_in_Exile on April 10, 2014, 14:39 GMT

    @Albert_campbell: those countries gained ODI status by finishing in the top 4 in the World Cup qualifier, which the Netherlands failed to do. Re. the Test Challenge idea - I agree with those posters who say this is a step in the right direction but too little. Why only every 4 years, when the Intercontinental Cup is every two? The prospect of 4 tests every 4 years isn't going to prevent future Eoin Morgans or Boyd Rankins leaving for England.

  • real_gone_gadd on April 10, 2014, 14:39 GMT

    Great, Zim or Ban against Ireland in a Test match...can't wait. This surely will revolutionize Test cricet. Not.

  • and1son on April 10, 2014, 14:39 GMT

    The Zimbabwe A and Bangladesh A should play Ireland and Afghanistan during the blackout periods like when the Zim A played in the Intercontinental Cup just before the reintegration to playing tests again. One test every 4 years is pitiful

  • on April 10, 2014, 14:35 GMT

    Great news. I suppose we lost Kenya when they potentially looked like they could play test cricket in 2003 when they beat Sri Lanka in the world cup and made it to the semis. So this must be great news for Ireland and Afghanistan. It also helps keep Bangladesh on their toes.

  • on April 10, 2014, 14:33 GMT

    While this is a very welcome development and provides great opportunity for associates, I don't understand, as also others have pointed out, why it is necessary to restrict the no. of test playing nations to 10. Moreover, IRELAND deserve an IMMEDIATE and PERMANENT test Status, they have earned it and it is now long overdue.

  • Harlequin. on April 10, 2014, 14:22 GMT

    Another chance for Ireland to beat England, but this time in a new format!

  • Presynaras on April 10, 2014, 14:21 GMT

    @Muhammad Sabih- India does not have to worry about being No.10 as that would never happen, with Pakistan, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka giving them cushion. At least Indian spinners can win them matches at home and their seamers on good seaming conditions can outclass foreign teams (as they had done against South Africa in South Africa and New Zealand in New Zealand). But Pakistani batsmen (barring Misbah) couldn't play in their home or away conditions.

  • PanGlupek on April 10, 2014, 14:20 GMT

    That's definitely a good thing, but it's a shame that it doesn't guarantee permanent test status. It could be potentially very embarrassing for the ICC if Afghanistan or Ireland (or whoever) regularly beat the bottom-ranked test side & still aren't given a proper shot at it.

    Bit of a shame it's only every 4 years as well, but that's hard to avoid with the Intercontinental cup scheduling the way it is.

    A promotion/relegation seems like a better idea, but I suppose that would have been vetoed if it was suggested: Turkeys don't vote for Christmas.

  • on April 10, 2014, 14:17 GMT

    I don't get why they can't just give Ireland test status though. Like, it seems to defeat the purpose of us getting together a first class structure, building stadia and all that, if Afghanistan or Scotland can just fluke a few games and jump ahead of us (not meaning any offense to those countries, which I very much admire and respect!). Also, why is 10 some kind of magic number for test teams? Can't they just keep adding them as they always have?

  • CodandChips on April 10, 2014, 14:09 GMT

    Absolutely ridiculous. So between the current associate teams, they will only play 2 test series in the next 10 years? Well I suppose it's better than nothing, but to me it seems like a pathetic attempt by the ICC to get in people's good books, while not upsetting any current test playing nations.

    Also keeping the current WT20 format is ridiculous. Having just a maximum of 2, possibly no associates in the main draw is an absolute joke. 4 groups of 4. Force the full members to play against associates. Considering that many associate teams are on the rise, these games are more likely to be competitive than a few years ago, such as in the 2007 world cup, where there was just the one upset.

  • on April 10, 2014, 14:03 GMT

    nd im hoping 2 see india such a poor poor bowling side..........

  • ThatsJustCricket on April 10, 2014, 14:01 GMT

    A step in the right direction. Although only half a step I'm afraid. What if the associate nation manages to win the 4 test series against the lowest ranked test nation? Will they gain test status and become the 11th test team. That's what would make this meaningful. Otherwise, it ends up being just one series as a prize and then go back to same old associate world. Even if ICC doesn't want to relegate any existing test nation, what's the harm in adding a new one to the list if the concerned team proves its worth by beating a test nation in a complete home and away test series. That would be the full step I would like to see.

  • inswing on April 10, 2014, 13:58 GMT

    Four Test matches every four years is hardly anything. More important would be routine exposure to high level cricket. The top two sides in the Intercontinental cup could be rewarded with visits to and from the A sides of several test playing nations over 4 years. They would play T20s, ODIs, and Tests with these A sides, at least two tours a year. That would help bring up the standard over time.

  • on April 10, 2014, 13:54 GMT

    "In other developments, the ICC has agreed to retain the format of the World T20 for the next edition, to be held in India in 2016. "

    How come I'm not surprised....

  • DRS_Flawed_NeedsImprovement on April 10, 2014, 13:50 GMT

    without any delay ireland should be given test status considering their enormous success in past intercontinental cups. Ireland should be excluded from current qualification. Afghanistan along with other top associates can play qualifican games for 12th test playing nation's place.

  • on April 10, 2014, 13:50 GMT

    Well, I hope this one won't go to dust just as the test champioship

  • on April 10, 2014, 13:49 GMT

    @Sumith Bhattacharya, one can only laugh at your childish comment.

  • on April 10, 2014, 13:47 GMT

    All the best to Ireland!

  • on April 10, 2014, 13:44 GMT

    It would have been nice if they are promoted to the elite league and the one who are at the bottom of the table in elite league should be relegated. If this doesn't happen the Associates who have won the tournament have to take part in the Intercontinental Cup every time . Anyways I am banking Ireland to win the Intercontinental Cup.

  • Albert_cambell on April 10, 2014, 13:43 GMT

    I wonder why teams like HK,PNG,UAE got the ODI status? They hardly play any ODIs with full members. Netherlands are a far better team than them.

  • on April 10, 2014, 13:41 GMT

    Hoping to see Pakistan at the last rank....even the associate side will beat them with such a batting team..very very poor side

  • Albert_cambell on April 10, 2014, 13:41 GMT

    Why not give some games matches with the No.8 team too? What if they beat the No.10 team.? Will they get the permanent status?

  • wolf777 on April 10, 2014, 13:39 GMT

    They should make it an annual series...

  • on April 10, 2014, 13:37 GMT

    2018 ?? That wait is another 4 years? Test cricket will be fully dead outside of evrey country but India, England and Australia by then....

  • on April 10, 2014, 13:35 GMT

    Its a very good initiative from ICC, evenlthough 2018 seems to be a long way to go. Relegation would have spiced up the case, as serious concerns are raised the way Bangladesh and Zimbabwe are playing. Ireland has looked a much better side.

  • Longponds on April 10, 2014, 13:33 GMT

    Promising for the associates, although it does offer a rather limited diet. Still, a start is a start. If an associate performs to a high standard then should they not be added to the roll full time?

  • ChrisDavid on April 10, 2014, 13:32 GMT

    Good Move by ICC... To make it more interesting, It would be better if the below rule is also added. If the 10th ranked team looses the test series to the associate team, then the lossing team should be made associate and the winning team should be given test status..

  • ilovusenthil on April 10, 2014, 13:28 GMT

    Wow 2018!!! current players who deserve to play will get retired by the time...why don't ICC initiate this in next few months or in an year if their decision is really to help associate nations.

  • wpbus13 on April 10, 2014, 13:28 GMT

    Finally!! A positive development from the ICC.

  • mensan on April 10, 2014, 13:25 GMT

    "the side ranked 10th in the ICC Test rankings on December 31, 2017"... we already know it will be Bangladesh.

  • Green_and_Gold on April 10, 2014, 13:22 GMT

    Not sure how to take this news. I suppose its good that a chance is given to those nations trying to get into test cricket however it also means that its pretty much Zim or Bang that they will be playing. I would like to see minnows linked to partner countries (say Ireland and Scotland linked to England) so when teams tour England they play first class games against Ire or Sct as warm ups. Its the next best thing to playing a test and will give the minnow a chance to show their stuff. This would allow regular exposure to playing top teams.

  • life4cricket on April 10, 2014, 13:19 GMT

    the winner will get full time test status? or will enjoy nly two test series then again have to plat intercontinental cup?

  • cric1965 on April 10, 2014, 13:19 GMT

    It is a good move and help to survive cricket in global financial market by developing cricket in other non test playing nations. Ideally the lower rank 2 test teams should be relegated for 4 years and that chance should given to the two winners of the matches between lower rank 2 teams and top two rank non test playing teams. Then only competition will happen . Otherwise whether you win or loose, country can keep their test status.

  • SHOTRE on April 10, 2014, 13:14 GMT

    So what happens if the associate team wins against the lowest ranked? Are they made full time test players or they go back to associate level and then do this dance for another cycle?

  • on April 10, 2014, 13:11 GMT

    Good initiative by ICC.Though its not a relegation system,but both Zimbabwe and Bangladesh will try to avoid the embarrashment.to do so,they will have to improve their cricket which is good for cricket.

  • fair_paly_1 on April 10, 2014, 13:01 GMT

    Now this is something interesting and innovative. Why not more of that?

  • fair_paly_1 on April 10, 2014, 13:01 GMT

    Now this is something interesting and innovative. Why not more of that?

  • on April 10, 2014, 13:11 GMT

    Good initiative by ICC.Though its not a relegation system,but both Zimbabwe and Bangladesh will try to avoid the embarrashment.to do so,they will have to improve their cricket which is good for cricket.

  • SHOTRE on April 10, 2014, 13:14 GMT

    So what happens if the associate team wins against the lowest ranked? Are they made full time test players or they go back to associate level and then do this dance for another cycle?

  • cric1965 on April 10, 2014, 13:19 GMT

    It is a good move and help to survive cricket in global financial market by developing cricket in other non test playing nations. Ideally the lower rank 2 test teams should be relegated for 4 years and that chance should given to the two winners of the matches between lower rank 2 teams and top two rank non test playing teams. Then only competition will happen . Otherwise whether you win or loose, country can keep their test status.

  • life4cricket on April 10, 2014, 13:19 GMT

    the winner will get full time test status? or will enjoy nly two test series then again have to plat intercontinental cup?

  • Green_and_Gold on April 10, 2014, 13:22 GMT

    Not sure how to take this news. I suppose its good that a chance is given to those nations trying to get into test cricket however it also means that its pretty much Zim or Bang that they will be playing. I would like to see minnows linked to partner countries (say Ireland and Scotland linked to England) so when teams tour England they play first class games against Ire or Sct as warm ups. Its the next best thing to playing a test and will give the minnow a chance to show their stuff. This would allow regular exposure to playing top teams.

  • mensan on April 10, 2014, 13:25 GMT

    "the side ranked 10th in the ICC Test rankings on December 31, 2017"... we already know it will be Bangladesh.

  • wpbus13 on April 10, 2014, 13:28 GMT

    Finally!! A positive development from the ICC.

  • ilovusenthil on April 10, 2014, 13:28 GMT

    Wow 2018!!! current players who deserve to play will get retired by the time...why don't ICC initiate this in next few months or in an year if their decision is really to help associate nations.

  • ChrisDavid on April 10, 2014, 13:32 GMT

    Good Move by ICC... To make it more interesting, It would be better if the below rule is also added. If the 10th ranked team looses the test series to the associate team, then the lossing team should be made associate and the winning team should be given test status..