ICC revamp January 30, 2014

An 11th Test country?

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An 11th country could be playing Test cricket if one of the proposals discussed at the two-day ICC Board meeting in Dubai is passed. Although the plan is yet to be fleshed out completely, the idea is that the winner of the ICC's Intercontinental Cup, contested between the top eight Associates, would play the lowest-ranked Test country on a home-and-away basis. If the Associate wins, then they will be the 11th Test nation, for a period which is likely to range between three and four years.

The marginalisation of the Associates and Affiliates in the proposed revamp of the ICC structure was a hot topic in the past two weeks. However Sanjay Patel, the BCCI's secretary, has said there have been a lot of "misconceptions" about the draft proposal which were revised and presented as a set of principles during the Board meeting. The Board will reconvene on February 8 and is likely to finalise the resolutions. No timeline has yet been proposed for implementing the 11th Test country proposal.

Patel said that the sop of a Test berth would only enhance the quality of Associate cricket. "The other part is Intercontinental Cup. There also it has been provided in such a competitive way that the winner of the Intercontinental Cup will be eligible to play with top 10 nations. They can elevate themselves by that," Patel told media in Hyderabad while attending the Ranji Tropy final.

Patel pointed out that the details were yet to be worked out with regards to the promotion and relegation in case the Full Member lost to the Associate. "First they (Associate) will play as 11th team and in the next cycle they will be considered," Patel said.

The Associates themselves are unaware of any such proposal. Two Associates told ESPNcricinfo that they had not been informed of any such move. However Giles Clarke, the ECB chairman, hinted that England could feature against Ireland in a Test match. "If Ireland do qualify for Test cricket, England will guarantee that we play them. We have already looked at that possibility when constructing our FTP," Clarke was quoted as saying by the Guardian.

Having won the I-Cup on four occasions (no other Associate has won it more than once) Ireland would understandably be aggrieved if they are made to qualify to secure a Test berth. Ireland and Afghanistan are the top-two ranked Associates, and they clashed in the last I-Cup final in December 2013, which Ireland won convincingly.

It was the fourth time Ireland had won the I-Cup. The two-year long first-class competition is played between the top Associate and Affiliate teams, and the 2011-2013 season had a single round-robin league stage. The final was played between the teams ranked first and second at the conclusion of the group stage.

The top six Associate and Affiliate teams with ODI status between 2009 and 2012 - Afghanistan, Canada, Kenya, Ireland, Netherlands and Scotland - qualified automatically for the Intercontinental Cup. United Arab Emirates and Namibia were included after finishing as the top teams in the ICC World Cricket League Division Two in 2011.

Nagraj Gollapudi is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • mihir_nam on February 6, 2014, 5:28 GMT

    Ireland Deserves to be 11th Test Nation . May be in Afghanistan in next 5years . But Ireland should play Bangladesh Zimbabwe in 3 Test Match Series and New Zealand West Indies Pakistan Sri Lanka in 2 Test Match Series . and with top 4 they can play 1 off Test. Till Ireland becomes more competitive . We don't want to see matches which Bangladesh gave us in their Test Years. 2 Test Matches against India South Africa Australia . So Ireland play bottom teams regularly till you get enough competitive to face big guns

  • on February 5, 2014, 14:09 GMT

    Afghanistan Irelan Bangladesh & Zimbabwe should play together much than top test nations

  • on February 5, 2014, 14:08 GMT

    Afghanistan has improved a lot since the ICup and I think it would best suit Afghanistan as they have a lot of players if the current players ever decided to retire. I mean AFG Under 19 is beating every Under 19 teams and a great example is the recent matches between AFG Under 19 and Pak Under 19 where Afghanistan trashed Pakistan in only 52 runs. Ireland does not even have an Under 19 team and their current players are old enough to retire, so giving them the status would be a mistake as they won't be able to produce more players. And also Afghanistan has beaten Ireland in the second last ICup where they debuted and won so it's not fair to decide on only one game.

  • on February 4, 2014, 16:30 GMT

    Agree Kamal, but i would prefer both teams to be part of Test Nations because both are better then BD and NZ

  • on February 4, 2014, 16:28 GMT

    Afghanistan and Ireland both should be part of Test Nations.

  • on February 4, 2014, 7:19 GMT

    If ICC give a change to Afghanistan to be the 11th Test country; so there are few things for goodness of Afghanistan: 1. Would bring unity & Peace to country 2. Youngsters will be encouraged to learn and play Cricket 3. More Inter Grounds will be Build So on, looking forward to see ICC decision which lucky country they will select for it.

  • rayinto on February 3, 2014, 13:41 GMT

    Ireland has proven itself so that is a no-brainer. Of the remaining, Afganistan is the most promising. In my opinion, both teams should be added.

  • on February 3, 2014, 7:41 GMT

    Afghanistan is deserve to be apart of the Test cricket, because for the first time participated in I Cup tournament in 2010 and won that cup, so ICC should rethink about their decision, they should give a chance to AFG to play test cricket.

  • Hamid79 on February 2, 2014, 7:17 GMT

    I strongly support giving the chance to both Afghanistan and Irland. They both have sufficient reasons - Irland has no doubt toped the IC but look at Afghanistan, they are keep washing these associates and affiliate teams, look at their U19 who have recently beat India U19 and Pakistan U19 and won the hearts of Cricketing world. ICC has to decide wither they continue to invest In Countries such as Pakistan and Sirilank where in their last series there were more players than audience, or if ICC can make a wise decision to invest in Afghanistan where crowd out of home for a friendly mach BW Pak and Afg is more then crowd in Sirilanka where Sirilanka playing a semifinal Mach on a home ground.

  • on February 2, 2014, 7:13 GMT

    This will a very appreciated initiative by ICC giving the status of Test cricket to the 11th Nation. Of course this brings quality to the associate cricket, and make others do the hard work to get promoted. In my opinion this shouldn't be Ireland based on winning the Intercontinental Cup 2011-2013, or winning the ICC Championship 4 times before. because the previous ICC Championship was won by AFG in 2009-2010, while Ireland couldn't even reach the final. And AFG had beat IRE during 2009-2010 ICC. In 2011-2013 ICC final IRE beat AFG. Another match was drawn between IRE and AFG in July 2012 ICC Cup. before, 2009-2010 ICC AFG hasn't played any ICC as AFG are the raising stars and they recently started the cricket, if they would have been in the previous tournaments, of course they would have won the previous titles as well. In my opinion both teams should be given a series of first class or test matches, whoever wins the series should get the chance of promotion to test Status.

  • mihir_nam on February 6, 2014, 5:28 GMT

    Ireland Deserves to be 11th Test Nation . May be in Afghanistan in next 5years . But Ireland should play Bangladesh Zimbabwe in 3 Test Match Series and New Zealand West Indies Pakistan Sri Lanka in 2 Test Match Series . and with top 4 they can play 1 off Test. Till Ireland becomes more competitive . We don't want to see matches which Bangladesh gave us in their Test Years. 2 Test Matches against India South Africa Australia . So Ireland play bottom teams regularly till you get enough competitive to face big guns

  • on February 5, 2014, 14:09 GMT

    Afghanistan Irelan Bangladesh & Zimbabwe should play together much than top test nations

  • on February 5, 2014, 14:08 GMT

    Afghanistan has improved a lot since the ICup and I think it would best suit Afghanistan as they have a lot of players if the current players ever decided to retire. I mean AFG Under 19 is beating every Under 19 teams and a great example is the recent matches between AFG Under 19 and Pak Under 19 where Afghanistan trashed Pakistan in only 52 runs. Ireland does not even have an Under 19 team and their current players are old enough to retire, so giving them the status would be a mistake as they won't be able to produce more players. And also Afghanistan has beaten Ireland in the second last ICup where they debuted and won so it's not fair to decide on only one game.

  • on February 4, 2014, 16:30 GMT

    Agree Kamal, but i would prefer both teams to be part of Test Nations because both are better then BD and NZ

  • on February 4, 2014, 16:28 GMT

    Afghanistan and Ireland both should be part of Test Nations.

  • on February 4, 2014, 7:19 GMT

    If ICC give a change to Afghanistan to be the 11th Test country; so there are few things for goodness of Afghanistan: 1. Would bring unity & Peace to country 2. Youngsters will be encouraged to learn and play Cricket 3. More Inter Grounds will be Build So on, looking forward to see ICC decision which lucky country they will select for it.

  • rayinto on February 3, 2014, 13:41 GMT

    Ireland has proven itself so that is a no-brainer. Of the remaining, Afganistan is the most promising. In my opinion, both teams should be added.

  • on February 3, 2014, 7:41 GMT

    Afghanistan is deserve to be apart of the Test cricket, because for the first time participated in I Cup tournament in 2010 and won that cup, so ICC should rethink about their decision, they should give a chance to AFG to play test cricket.

  • Hamid79 on February 2, 2014, 7:17 GMT

    I strongly support giving the chance to both Afghanistan and Irland. They both have sufficient reasons - Irland has no doubt toped the IC but look at Afghanistan, they are keep washing these associates and affiliate teams, look at their U19 who have recently beat India U19 and Pakistan U19 and won the hearts of Cricketing world. ICC has to decide wither they continue to invest In Countries such as Pakistan and Sirilank where in their last series there were more players than audience, or if ICC can make a wise decision to invest in Afghanistan where crowd out of home for a friendly mach BW Pak and Afg is more then crowd in Sirilanka where Sirilanka playing a semifinal Mach on a home ground.

  • on February 2, 2014, 7:13 GMT

    This will a very appreciated initiative by ICC giving the status of Test cricket to the 11th Nation. Of course this brings quality to the associate cricket, and make others do the hard work to get promoted. In my opinion this shouldn't be Ireland based on winning the Intercontinental Cup 2011-2013, or winning the ICC Championship 4 times before. because the previous ICC Championship was won by AFG in 2009-2010, while Ireland couldn't even reach the final. And AFG had beat IRE during 2009-2010 ICC. In 2011-2013 ICC final IRE beat AFG. Another match was drawn between IRE and AFG in July 2012 ICC Cup. before, 2009-2010 ICC AFG hasn't played any ICC as AFG are the raising stars and they recently started the cricket, if they would have been in the previous tournaments, of course they would have won the previous titles as well. In my opinion both teams should be given a series of first class or test matches, whoever wins the series should get the chance of promotion to test Status.

  • on February 2, 2014, 4:28 GMT

    Afghanistan would be one of the greatest investment and achievement ever for ICC out of all the Associates and Affiliates if promoted to test status and I think it is the perfect time to grant the test status. Go Ahead ICC make it happen if you want to bestow happiness upon on the entire Afghan Nation.

  • on February 1, 2014, 13:51 GMT

    Afghanistan has beautiful test team than Ireland . SO Afghanistan can be selected in I.c.c test ranking.

  • donnao on February 1, 2014, 11:13 GMT

    ireland deserve to be in the test but about afganistan i dont think so....

  • donnao on February 1, 2014, 10:25 GMT

    why everyone consider NZ & WI as weak team..they are a traditonal cricket team,,,very very strong for zim,bang, ire, afg.

  • on February 1, 2014, 4:42 GMT

    I think there should be a series of test matches between Ireland and Afghanistan and the winner should be selected as 11th test playing team. what are your opinions about it friends?

  • on January 31, 2014, 17:55 GMT

    4 weeks ago I proposed that ICC should give conditional Test Status to both Afghanistan and Ireland someone responded me that I am dreaming! but now I am glad that at lest ICC considering Ireland to be that 11th team. I support that and hope to see Ireland getting what they deserve, but as far as Afghanistan goes I think Afghanistan lack the bases such as facilities in the country and also the security meaning that they have to play all their home-games in Sharja, however, I believe that Afghanistan has the potential if given a chance to play test cricket to become top 4 teams in ranking, I really doubt that happening with Ireland.

  • on January 31, 2014, 16:56 GMT

    That's very good finally ICC is considering 11th Test Nation. I would suggest 12, Afghanistan and Ireland deserve to be a test nation. I am pretty sure Afghanistan will once again win the Intercontinental cup after recent loose of the the cup in the final.

  • on January 31, 2014, 16:42 GMT

    ICC should make 2-Tiers of 6 teams each The teams in the same Tier will play the team in their division in a Test Series of min. 3 Tests while against Team of other Tier - atleast 1 Test home and away in a 5 year period.

    So, Ire and Afg can play BAN, WI, NZ, ZIM in a Test series of 3 home and away and some odd Tests against England, Pakistan,.....

    This would also mean that teams like ZIM and BAN can get to play atleast 1 Test vs AUS, IND, ENG, .... both home and away.

    For NZ and WI, even today they play only 2-3 Tests vs top-6 so they would definitely get atleast 2 Tests both home and away from Top-6 considering their better play than other Tier-2 teams.

    It would help top-6 play regularly like there could be IND vs ENG, SL(vs Nz, WI) in a year - Total 11 Tests then vs AUS, SA (vs BAN, ZIM) next year-11 Tests then vs PAK(IRE,AFG) in 1st half of 3rd year

    Same way in 5 years period both home and away series could be done giving each team minimum 40 Tests(in AFG's case)

  • Ozcricketwriter on January 31, 2014, 16:39 GMT

    Ireland have been the best of the rest for a long time and they seriously compete with Bangladesh and Zimbabwe on almost equal terms. They also occasionally beat higher ranked sides as well. Ergo, they are test quality.

  • pindolia on January 31, 2014, 16:34 GMT

    Can the ICC Please clarify which teams from the associates have one day status.Cricinfo has already categorised the groups with the super four and Ire and Afg as one day status is this the position.Also when is the Intercontinental cup starting and fixtures released can we not this time round have a five day game and be given unoffical test status.This will give more exposure to these teams as steps towards gaining test status.

  • Philly.rocks on January 31, 2014, 14:58 GMT

    Its nice to see lots of Bangladeshi supporters are rooting for IRE Test status which is a good sign for cricket fans.

  • on January 31, 2014, 13:35 GMT

    Imagine a One day series between India and Ireland played in Ireland , most likely result will be 3:2 to Ireland.

  • stormy16 on January 31, 2014, 12:35 GMT

    I think wining the intercontinetal cup alone should not be a basis to play test cricket as the standards are very different. Even amongst the 10 test playing nations, there is a huge difference in standards and to bring another team which is presumably below the standard of the10, will further dilute test cricket. Intercontinental winners should be asked to compete against A teams of test nations and possibly take in to account world cup performances. For example the associate games against test nations in world cups have been a joke and the standards is simply too far apart. Sure Ireland won the odd game and was it Kenya that won the odd game but that along shouldnt be enough to think about test cricket. There is already presure to relegate 2 from the existing 10 so to talk about bringing in another doesnt really add up.

  • Baundele on January 31, 2014, 10:40 GMT

    This can be actually made a routine work. In every four years, the best of the Intercontinental cup should be given the test status. However, the bar of defeating the bottom ranked team is not necessary. Say, at the moment Bangladesh is the bottom ranked test team. But they are still far far ahead of Ireland or Afghanistan. It is injustice asking Ireland or Afghans to beat Bangladesh to achieve test status. One team can not beat a test team overnight. So, it is better first letting them play test matches, I mean enough number of test matches, and then expect that they can also compete at the top level.

  • catchoftheday on January 31, 2014, 10:27 GMT

    CanberraSparkle - totally agree. The current expectation that all Test nations play each other in a certain time frame is already putting pressure on the players, etc. Adding two new teams - total of 12 - and then a two tier system with promotion / relegation seems to be the practical answer. It means the newer teams have the chance to gain experience without being constantly thrashed by the top teams. Mind you, it would mean more more South Africa v New Zealand or India v West Indies spectacles.

    Ireland seems ready to step up, but I am not sure anyone else is just yet.

  • on January 31, 2014, 7:23 GMT

    Ireland should be given Test playing nation Status for next four years. Ireland has been constantly winning against current Test playing nations. Their performance in various World cups supports their potential for 11th Test playing nation.

  • on January 31, 2014, 6:46 GMT

    Considering Ireland's consistent performance in IC I think ICC should give them Test status and atleast for the next 3-4 years they should be allowed to play only 7th ranked and below teams.

    While Afghanistan should be given chance to qualify as 12th if they win against 10th ranked team in home & away series

    Bangladesh couldn't progress consistently bcoz they didn't play regularly. Now along with ZIM, NZ, WI they could play IRE, AFG and they themselves can progress

    Even the Big 3 have agreed to play them and also the addition of 1-2 more Test teams could help Bangladesh a lot as they would no longer be last rabked and would have more chances to play and improve.

  • Rezaul on January 31, 2014, 6:05 GMT

    It is not going to be a bad idea to have 11th Test team. It will increase market and scope plus more competition. IRE will be the best option as they won IC already 4 times. But they should not be rushed to the Test status. They should prepare the infrastructure, facilities, first class competition and then come to the Test arena. Otherwise, it will be a stiff task for them. Good luck Irish!

  • on January 31, 2014, 5:27 GMT

    I believe it will be good because then Ireland or Afghanistan will get the experience they need plus lower ranked countries such as Bangladesh and Zimbabwe will get to play more and hopefully tour more.

  • CanberraSparkle on January 31, 2014, 5:15 GMT

    How about making two tier in Test arena - ranked 1-6 in Top-tier, and ranked 7-10 plus the two new test teams (could be IRE, AFG) in Bottom-tier. Both tier has 6 teams and after playing with each other at least one home-away series as part of Test championship in two years, Two top teams fromBottom-tier would be promoted to Top-tier, and two bottom teams from Top-tier goes down to Bottom-tier.

    That way the competition will have some momentum. The only problem I see in Tier system is the records will have different bearings because of different levels and cannot be compared with previous records.

  • on January 31, 2014, 5:09 GMT

    i don't know why everyone wants to be the test playing nation? test cricket is the best cricket but you have to keep up with the demand and time now a days no body have enough time to watch and sit 5 days in the stadium or infront of tv watching every ball of a test match i am sure no one has ever watched full 5 days of a test match. T20 needs a boost more T20 affiliates tournament should take place and T20 is already very competitive and i am sure everyone would love to watch the whole T20 match and they will also get a result out of it. and World T20 will be successful like FIFA world cup with more teams coming up to highest level and if given enough chances i am sure any team can beat any test playing nations.

  • OttawaRocks on January 31, 2014, 4:54 GMT

    Go Ireland and win that 11th spot! In fact, I would suggest that the 10th place team throw the series away for the pure sake of getting the 11th team test cricket status. Why? Because the 10th place team has nothing to lose and CANNOT be relegated. And of course, if there is an 11th team in ICC meetings it will convert the R7 nations into an eight nation strong group. Thereafter, when the rules change so that the 11th place has to play the 12th place team (Afghanistan), Ireland should throw that match so the 12th test team can join as well. Then the R8 will become the R9 with the balance of power in the ICC shifting.

  • D-Ascendant on January 31, 2014, 4:50 GMT

    Obviously Ireland, who have the right level of cricketing talent + funds and infrastructure. We also need countries with an established domestic structure in place. So while Afghanistan has made a lot of enviable strides, it surely cannot be considered for Test cricket at this juncture.

  • damian2230 on January 31, 2014, 1:56 GMT

    Ireland does have a good home grown cricket infrastructure, administration, players and fans so they deserve a place in Test cricket. But people are talking about giving Test status to Afghanistan. Sure currently AFG has a very good cricket team thanks to Pakistan, almost all players trained or played in Pakistan not home grown. Afghanistan should wait at least another 10 years to see the performance and the stability of current home grown young players. Once they are mature enough and have their own umpires, coaches then it is the time for Test application.

  • India_Rules_Everybody on January 31, 2014, 1:44 GMT

    If BD is allowed to play Test cricket then Ireland and Afghanisthan have to be given an opportunity to play Test cricket. BD is an insult to Test cricket and I am willing to bet anything that within 4 years of both Afghanisthan and Ireland playing Test cricket they will give BD a proper thrashing in their own home grounds.

  • on January 31, 2014, 1:16 GMT

    The shake up of test cricket needs to be based on the long-term success of teams, no team should be guaranteed 'test status'. There should be eight 12 year appointments and two 3 year appointments. The 3 year appointments should consist of the top two teams from the intercontinental cup which could be re-configured as a 3 year competition. At the end of the 12 years the two teams who have spent the most time in the bottom two positions should be relegated back to IC (and automatically receive the first 3 year appointments) and the best two performing teams over the previous 12 years in the IC promoted to a 12 year spot. Test series should be fixed to 3 matches and all teams should be required to play all other teams at least once every three years (27 tests in 3 years). As it stands now Ireland and Afghanistan are banging on the door of test cricket very loudly whilst Bangladesh and Zimbabwe continue to be plagued by maladministration and complacence.

  • on January 31, 2014, 0:01 GMT

    They must introduce a new concept. If a 11th test nation is brought forward then the established teams must play 3 day test match with them. The big teams need to win to get points but will lose double point if they were to draw or lose. Similarly a 4 day test with the 10th placed team. This will establish greater test competition to stay at the top. Minnow teams should not be playing for prize money but for sponsor contracts if the big three come to power. Which means if the minnow team is winning they will get atleast a 1 yr sponsor contract which will paid by the big three ( India, Australia, England). So the flow of money is multidirectional

  • cricket_ahan on January 30, 2014, 23:57 GMT

    I think to progress the game of cricket in other countries, those countries must be elevated from their current status. A tiered system is not a bad way to do that - almost like they have for Davis Cup in tennis. Imo there should be a Top 6, and then the next 6, and then the rest of the associate nations. Given there are 8 regular top level teams, the exclusion of two spots in the top group could help to fuel more competition for these last two spots, and give better elite level exposure to the promoted associate nations. I'm not entirely sure if the new proposal caters for this, but additional financial incentives for Top 6 teams over bottom teams will also help the focus on cricket development to faciliate and maintain team performance.

  • Little_Aussie_Battler on January 30, 2014, 23:50 GMT

    What is ridiculous is uncompetitive and never look like improving 'test nations' have somehow kept their 'status' but then other nations that are actually better, and would improve get this mission to get there.

    Why did Zimbabwe and Bangladesh get test status in the first place? I do not recall hearing about Bangladesh dominating the associates and beating any test nation to get their 'status'.

    There must be a better way than keeping this exclusive 10 team test club. The Davis Cup model is a better idea and personally I would like to see it as a top 6, with two up and two down.

  • on January 30, 2014, 22:11 GMT

    to become a test nation u need a first class structure, thats why kenya couldnt do it, zimbabwe are struggling, afghanistan have no hope, ireland do have a small structure, how zimbabwe is going there lucky to even be a test nation and bangledesh anybody who says there deserved test status when they got it has rocks in their head its been nearly 15 years what improvement have they made win a couple of one days games,

  • Bishop on January 30, 2014, 21:33 GMT

    Give each associate a nominal "test" rating, say 10 or 20 points. The lesser sides will quickly lose their points to the stronger ones when playing amongst themselves in 5 day cricket. Then encourage the lower ranked "test" sides to play the higher rated associates once in a while. For example, NZ are rated eight at the moment - as a NZ fan it wouldn't dent my pride too much if we were to play Ireland on our way to playing tests in England. Every 5 day match would count for "test" rating points, but in terms of records, it will be deemed a test match only if the rating of both teams exceeds a certain cutoff point - maybe 50 or 60 points.

    We need a way to get all the teams on the same continuum without the need for everyone to play everyone (which would lead to some pointlessly one sided matches) or conversely chopping and changing teams between two discrete bands.

  • sifter132 on January 30, 2014, 21:33 GMT

    Get serious. There isn't enough Test cricket for the 9 and 10 teams right now...Nor are they good enough to play more. This is just empty promises.

  • JoshFromJamRock on January 30, 2014, 19:29 GMT

    12 Teams should play Test Cricket with full member status. 16 Teams should play limited over cricket with full member status. Regulation of fixtures will be key to prevent mismatches and create opportunities for lower teams to earn money, especially by them hosting 10 or so T20Is per year using up public holidays and weekends. Fans need to realize that T20 expands cricket while Test Cricket, despite personally rating it as the best format, is actually repressing this globalization. I don't mind 10 teams/regions in Tests, 20 playing ODIs and 30 playing T20Is. At least we'd know the sport is spreading in some way. I think the T20 world cup should be available to every nation/region like the Football Worldcup. No one is guaranteed a spot (not even defending champions), everyone should go through a round or two to qualify. As a West Indian, i think its best they split up, given that they have 40-50 good T20 players, for this particular tournament but not the format in general.

  • on January 30, 2014, 19:13 GMT

    Undoubtedly if a team as shambolic as Bangladesh can play test cricket, a gutsy team like Ireland who have much better players, much better infrastructure and much more heart would be a welcome addition.

    Ireland would roll Bangladesh over at home - easily. They hold their own against the big sides - lose with a fight. Bangladesh just roll over. I for one will cheer the Irish if they play tests in Dublin and I am sure many neutrals will agree. They add colour, dash and heart to cricket and merit a clear path to test status.

    Test cricket in Dublin on St Patrick's day! That would be some event!

  • JoshFromJamRock on January 30, 2014, 19:03 GMT

    Foolishness. Everyone knows that Ireland and Afghanistan are the "two" countries that should be given Tests status. Plus it would be unfair to pressure these teams by playing Bangladesh and Zimbabwe in essentially a knock-out series. Mark you, IRE and AFGH will put up a great fight but losing (narrowly or comprehensive) will be most heartbreaking, possibly discouraging these exciting associates. Ideally AUS, IND, ENG and SA should play among themselves more since they are the "top 4" and they are more or less equal. PAK, SRI, NZ and WI should play among frequently as well being the "middle 4". While BD, ZIM, IRE and AFGH should play together being the "bottom 4". I'm not saying they should solely play in their groups but at least they'll be among teams of similar abilities and for us the fans will provide more balanced matches with the chance to move up. One-sided Tests aren't what people want to see too often. For limited overs everybody should be given a fair chance to play anybody.

  • on January 30, 2014, 18:00 GMT

    It will be a great idea to give chance for 11th team to play Test Cricket, hopefully Afghanistan will play better and win the I-cup and get the chance to play as 11th Nation

  • globalisingcricketzzz on January 30, 2014, 17:47 GMT

    To boost the 11th test country there should be set minimum no of tests to be commited to play against each country ...

    Suppose some nations play 5 tests as in ashes some 4 as border gavaskar trophy some 2 as Zim n Ban ... so every nation should play each member atleast in one test and there shud be 20 points for the series .... 14 for win 7 for draw 6 for 1st inning lead and points gained per match to be divided by total matches in a series so it will no matter hw many u play in a series. Suppose Eng plays Aus 5 tests in series and gains 0 pts in 1 st test 6 in next 20 in next 14 nxt 0 in last ...so it loses 3-2 but total points is 40 n divided by 5 is 8 so 8 pts if 1 match series thn no need to divide.Cricinfo isnt it the coorect format for test champshp.

  • globalisingcricketzzz on January 30, 2014, 17:39 GMT

    11th nation idea is good but relegation of a current test side is poor. Zim n Ban dont get enough test to boost there ranking above to no 8 7 6 .... So they dont hv enough no of testd then it would easily and always be Bangladesh or Zim at the bottom n in danher to be relegated. Same is for the new 11th country say ireland they wud too be lacking test mtches to boost up the rankings.

  • GrindAR on January 30, 2014, 17:36 GMT

    this could atleast produce a chance for 1 to become the test nation. IRE/AFG can certainly pull it of. They are pretty strong sides.

  • on January 30, 2014, 17:16 GMT

    Will the 11 th team play against all other teams in the 3/4 year period? What if they beat a 6th or 7th placed team? Also if they beat the 10th placed test nation in just a match what happens? So they might as well include Afghanistan too. Kenya was doing very well but they were never given the chance. Now feel bad for them. Zimbabwe was very good but have gone down a lot. So include 2 teams and see how they perform for 3 or 4 years. If they are really bad then relegate them. If they beat test teams great. Grant em full status.

  • on January 30, 2014, 17:12 GMT

    If Ireland could get a chance at test cricket they wouldn't lose players like Boyd Rankin and Eoin Morgan. If they had a team with al their best players staying in the country they could easily beat Zimbabwe and Bangladesh.

  • ZCFOutkast on January 30, 2014, 16:57 GMT

    There's no way IRE can beat ZIM/BD in a Test home&away. Back to the drawing board ICC!

  • Atish_Man on January 30, 2014, 16:52 GMT

    @afganzalmay. I am sure they will get. I find them very passionate about their cricket and brings a lot to the table as fas style is concerned.

  • on January 30, 2014, 16:47 GMT

    I think, Afghanistan is a better choice as an 11th teams as they are progressing rapidly compared to any associate and affiliate nation!

  • Vindaliew on January 30, 2014, 16:24 GMT

    I hope Ireland makes it as a Test nation - having the same roots as England, and being the only two nations having the same cricket summer, they could play each other really often.

  • Ropsh on January 30, 2014, 16:19 GMT

    Unless it is Kenya, then the ICC will have continued their dereliction of duty that has persisted since 2003 when they inexplicably failed to promote Kenya to Test Status.

  • on January 30, 2014, 16:16 GMT

    How's about they just add Ireland as the 11th test country after the 2015 World Cup, and give them full member status and all the benefits that go with it? Less money for the BCCI and the other full member boards then though, so very unlikely that they'd do such a fair and logical thing.

  • afghan_cric_lover on January 30, 2014, 16:08 GMT

    it wil be great to see Irlenad playing test cricket against full memebers nd i hope Afghanistan will also play test cricket against top teams in few years time ,,cricket is bringing joy nd happiness in Afghanistan ,,we hve had wars from the last 35 years nd im sure cricket can bring unity and peace to Afghanistan

  • on January 30, 2014, 16:03 GMT

    great news. wish a Ireland and Bangladesh home and away this year and if Ireland wins anyone then give them 4 years. after 4years give chance to another associate. and don't drop any country make sure there at least 12 countries in tier 1 and another 8 in tier 2 and make sure every team has first class structure.

  • on January 30, 2014, 15:57 GMT

    Ireland will have done enough to be promoted to full member status after the 2015 World Cup, the fact that players who seek Test cricket have no option but to declare for England is not good for the further development of game in Ireland. The players and fans want Ireland to play test cricket and based on the growth of the game, our fiscal responsibility and structure we deserve it.

  • on January 30, 2014, 15:45 GMT

    At this stage one wonders what more Ireland have to do. They have won the Intercontinental four times, they have good governance, an embryonic First Class structure and a professional centrally contracted national squad. If England are willing to include them in their FTP there's no reason why the other memebers shouldn't either.

  • Atish_Man on January 30, 2014, 15:36 GMT

    It will b great indeed. However need to make sure that they get atleast 5-6 test matches per year.

  • on January 30, 2014, 15:32 GMT

    realy it is helpful for cricket.

  • on January 30, 2014, 15:28 GMT

    if we think of a team, like 11 players,it will be completed by the inclusion of 1 more team ie; the eleventh team .

    lovely idea

  • zuber21886 on January 30, 2014, 15:12 GMT

    Good Initiative. Nice to hear finally associates are give a chance.

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  • zuber21886 on January 30, 2014, 15:12 GMT

    Good Initiative. Nice to hear finally associates are give a chance.

  • on January 30, 2014, 15:28 GMT

    if we think of a team, like 11 players,it will be completed by the inclusion of 1 more team ie; the eleventh team .

    lovely idea

  • on January 30, 2014, 15:32 GMT

    realy it is helpful for cricket.

  • Atish_Man on January 30, 2014, 15:36 GMT

    It will b great indeed. However need to make sure that they get atleast 5-6 test matches per year.

  • on January 30, 2014, 15:45 GMT

    At this stage one wonders what more Ireland have to do. They have won the Intercontinental four times, they have good governance, an embryonic First Class structure and a professional centrally contracted national squad. If England are willing to include them in their FTP there's no reason why the other memebers shouldn't either.

  • on January 30, 2014, 15:57 GMT

    Ireland will have done enough to be promoted to full member status after the 2015 World Cup, the fact that players who seek Test cricket have no option but to declare for England is not good for the further development of game in Ireland. The players and fans want Ireland to play test cricket and based on the growth of the game, our fiscal responsibility and structure we deserve it.

  • on January 30, 2014, 16:03 GMT

    great news. wish a Ireland and Bangladesh home and away this year and if Ireland wins anyone then give them 4 years. after 4years give chance to another associate. and don't drop any country make sure there at least 12 countries in tier 1 and another 8 in tier 2 and make sure every team has first class structure.

  • afghan_cric_lover on January 30, 2014, 16:08 GMT

    it wil be great to see Irlenad playing test cricket against full memebers nd i hope Afghanistan will also play test cricket against top teams in few years time ,,cricket is bringing joy nd happiness in Afghanistan ,,we hve had wars from the last 35 years nd im sure cricket can bring unity and peace to Afghanistan

  • on January 30, 2014, 16:16 GMT

    How's about they just add Ireland as the 11th test country after the 2015 World Cup, and give them full member status and all the benefits that go with it? Less money for the BCCI and the other full member boards then though, so very unlikely that they'd do such a fair and logical thing.

  • Ropsh on January 30, 2014, 16:19 GMT

    Unless it is Kenya, then the ICC will have continued their dereliction of duty that has persisted since 2003 when they inexplicably failed to promote Kenya to Test Status.