ICC news October 13, 2010

ICC approves Test championship

ESPNcricinfo staff

The ICC has approved the creation of a league-style Test Championship and redrawn the lines of one-day cricket as part of an extensive restructuring of the international game that also includes a reduced 50-over World Cup and an enlarged World Twenty20 event. The proposals - laid out by the ICC's chief executive committee last month - were approved by the board at its meeting in Dubai on Wednesday.

The Future Tours Programme (FTP) will now comprise a Test league running over four years with the top four teams at the end of each period qualifying for a play-off event. The first play-off is scheduled for 2013, the same year England are due to host the Ashes, and Lord's is the favoured venue for the final.

A one-day cricket league - mirroring the existing team rankings - will also be part of the FTP, starting in April 2011 and running over four years to culminate in the crowning of the first ODI league champion in April 2014.

The league will run separately from the World Cup, the ICC's flagship event, which has been reduced to 10 teams for the 2015 tournament. The 2011 World Cup, to be held in India, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka, will include 14 countries and run from February 19 to April 2. The lengthy tournament is itself a smaller version than the 2007 event, which was widely criticised for including 16 sides and taking too long.

A 10-team tournament effectively makes it much harder for any of the Associate countries to qualify (the 2011 event has four Associate teams), and the ICC has asked its governing council to examine the issue of qualification for ICC global events, as well as opportunities for Associate members to play ODIs, and make recommendations to the board.

The World Twenty20 event will be expanded to 16 teams from the 2012 tournament, due to be staged in Sri Lanka. The success of smaller nations like Netherlands and Afghanistan in Twenty20 cricket prompted the expansion of the tournament, which will continue to have the women's event played alongside it

"Restructuring international cricket is a significant strategic challenge and one that must be dealt with," Haroon Lorgat, ICC chief executive, said. "We have now agreed in principle to exciting and far reaching proposals to tackle this important issue."

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  • Dummy4 on October 20, 2010, 11:59 GMT

    This is a bad decision from the ICC. Instead of expanding world cup,they have reduced it.shame!!! Cricket cant be called a true global sport if it is played only in some 12-14 countries. also, the t-20 event cauld also be expanded to 18 or 20 teams whichcauld accomodate some teams from icc WCL div. 2. as with reducing the time, theycauld have a short format. ICC seriously needs some thinking over this.

  • Zakariya on October 19, 2010, 22:23 GMT

    It is deeply upsetting to see that ICC will reduce the World Cup to 10 teams from 2015. Can you even call it a World Cup! Like many people have said before, you dont need to reduce the number of teams to reduce the length of the World Cup. Just alter the format of the tournament to reduce the length. Teams like Ireland and Afganistan who need well deserved support will find it harder to become FULL ICC members. I have always said it and will say it again: CRICKET NEEDS MORE STRONG TEST TEAMS TO SUSTAIN ITSELF. Australia, England and India which are suppossed to be ambassadors of the game, what are you doing to help cricket become a truly world class sport.

  • Dummy4 on October 19, 2010, 21:50 GMT

    Crazy, we need to expand world cricket. WC the best place for it, if they want only ten teams so be it. BUT it should be open to any team to be there ie qualification series. Hmmm now would Zim, Bang plus my own Kiwi's voted for a WC format that they have a chance not to be in? Doesn't look good for these other nations. Were do Ireland go from here? I think there needs to be more teams with ODI status Namibia and UAE to start with and once you have it you hold onto it. The big players Eng,Aust,SA & India will always want to play more against each other but lets more nations with full member status.

  • Bernhard on October 19, 2010, 8:13 GMT

    What an absolutely ridiculous decision to reduce the numbers of competing countries at the World Cup. The non-test competitors have created some of the most memorable moments in the World Cup for mine - Sri Lanka in 79, Zimbabwe in 83 and 92, Kenya in 96 and 03, Bangladesh in 99, Ireland last time around. These are the strengths of the World Cup - not the weaknesses! Cricket is the only game that completely fails to take up the opportunities that the markets in these countries present. Cricket wants immediate results - it doesn't work that way, buddy. Sri Lanka took 17 years to win the World Cup after their efforts of '79. Ireland and Kenya were never going to take giant strides to test cricket within five years of their heroics, but let's also consider what support they've got from the major countries in the time since they took centre stage? Australia has done absolutely nothing, at least in terms of playing these countries away from World Cups and England tours, to play them

  • Rajaram on October 18, 2010, 11:08 GMT

    I hope ICC is sensible to prepare a round -robin type of schedule wherein ALL Teams play each other, Home, and Away, for at least three Tests.Otherwise you will againi have a situation where India calls itself number 1, without EVER winning a series abroad.

  • Matt on October 18, 2010, 6:26 GMT

    What another total mess the ICC is creating by reducing the numbers to 10 in future World Cups. They are mean't to be promoting the game throughout the world and instead they shut out countries like Ireland, Holland,Canada and Kenya, who are doing their darndest to get better and improve skills and understanding of the game in those countries. Back in 1907 the ICC made a massive mistake in only allowing British Empire countries to take part in world cricket when it was just taking off. They stopped the USA from competing at a high level and who knows what effect that had on the history of the sport then. Now they are ruining any chance the game has of spreading further in Europe and Africa in particular and to most other parts of the world.

  • Dummy4 on October 17, 2010, 18:29 GMT

    10 teams world cup.. ? then it wont be called a "world" cup...btw with 10 teams in the world cup...better West Indies be cautious ... Bangladesh and Zimbabwe look stronger...and maybe Kenya Ireland who boast of better success in World events can give Wi a run for their money even for qualifying...and it wud be a total set back if Windies,who were once the giants are not a part of World cup...plz wake up...its not a champions trophy...!!!

  • Dummy4 on October 17, 2010, 16:46 GMT

    this is rediculus... what the hell r u doing ICC... bring cricket in the competation with Fotball .... find people for cricket dont brake hearts on decreasing teams in World cup just increas the number of teams like Afghanistan,,,,,

  • Swikar on October 16, 2010, 9:22 GMT

    what is the use of having ODIs? Why not just have 20-20 and Test cricket.To make 20-20 more strategic and fair game for bowlers the number of batsmen could be reduced to 6 or 7 instead of 10.This would make it a more even contest between batsmen and bowlers.

  • Nihal on October 15, 2010, 18:26 GMT

    I must commend the ICC for approving the idea of a test championship. However, they must ensure that each series involves a minimum of 3 tests. I absolutely disagree with the decision to reduce the number of teams in the ODI world cup. If the number of teams are being reduced, i would then suggest that some sort of a qualifying system should be established. Maybe the two lowest ranked full member teams should play a qualifying tournament with the leading associates. The top associates should be given a chance to take part in the ODI league.This could be used to determine world cup qualification.

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