MCC news July 14, 2015

MCC calls for Olympics T20 cricket and 12-team World Cup

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The MCC World Cricket Committee have described the reorganisation of the World Cup to a 10 team event as "a retrograde step" and called for T20 cricket to become an Olympic sport.

Calling for a rethink of the ICC's decision to cut the number of participants in future World Cups from 14 to 10, the committee criticised the move as "a handbrake for the development of the sport."

Instead, they have recommended a 12-team tournament preceded by a "preliminary qualification round" for the "lower ranked Full Member teams and the top Associate Nations."

Concerned that the sport is in danger of contracting globally, the WCM urged "all governing bodies around the world to get behind a bid" to make cricket an Olympic sport. This, the committee believes, would "expose the game positively to new markets" and enable many developing cricket nations to benefit from the government funding that is linked to Olympic involvement.

The committee, an independent think-thank that is currently chaired by former England captain Mike Brearley and includes other distinguished former captains such as Ricky Ponting, Rahul Dravid, Shaun Pollock and Sourav Ganguly as well as current ICC CEO Dave Richardson, heard from a variety of administrators including ICC Chairman N Srinivasan and the ECB's chairman and CEO, Colin Graves and Tom Harrison respectively.

Intriguingly, the committee suggested that the ECB had been against cricket's inclusion in the Olympics in the past but suggested they were now more open to the idea. And the committee described their decision to pursue involvement in the Olympics as "unanimous;" a revealing choice of words bearing in mind that Richardson sits upon it.

Pressed on whether Giles Clarke, the ECB President and representative at the ICC - who has been implacably opposed to Olympic involvement - would be willing to shift his position, Mike Brearley, the committee chairman, suggested he will have "to do what he is told."

"Colin and Tom acknowledged that the view of the ECB has been strongly anti it, but they say they are open to rethinking," Brearley said. "The president of the ECB is an employee of the board and has to report to the board. He has to do what he's told."

While the ICC are under no obligation to act upon the MCC world cricket committee's recommendations - as Brearley put it: "We are merely a think-tank" - Pollock suggested the ICC had provided an indication that they would review the decision to make the next World Cup a 10-team event.

"I think there's going to be a reassessment at their next meeting," he said. "I know they have made a decision but they will discuss it again and if they turn around on what they feel, they might make a change.

"It's a real incentive for the Associates to get involved and play in the World Cup. We just want to be able to dangle the carrot and we think it might be a little frustrating for those teams if they put a lot of money, a lot of time, a lot of effort into trying to qualify and then there's a shorter amount of teams it doesn't become a reality for them. That would be pretty disappointing.

"Whether there's a pre-qualifying tournament that happens a couple of weeks before and maybe in places like Ireland and Scotland which would mean that they would be part of it and they'd get their government funding and try and compete: that would be all good and well."

Other areas of discussion included the use of the DRS, the potential of four-day Tests and a call for a survey to understand why some attendances are falling.

The MCC committee, which was an early advocate of the DRS, accepted that Srinivasan "still has reservations as to its use in the game." But they reiterated their view that "it is more accurate than the umpire's decision alone" and that "the spirit of the game is favourably affected by its implementation."

They also asked Srinivasan "to implement DRS at all times should the research currently being conducted by Massachusetts Institute of Technology prove the scientific argument beyond a reasonable doubt."

Four-day Tests have found no favour. While they remain concerned about the long-term health of the format - "the committee fears that, left as it is, the longest form of the game will not survive," their statement says - they were concerned that a four-day format could put "extra strain on players' bodies" and that, in nations with especially variable climate, it would result in an increase in the number of drawn Tests.

The committee also announced, subject to final ratification from the main MCC Committee,a change to two Laws of the game to come into effect from September 1.

The first (Law 41.7) will allow fielders to move in reaction to the shot that the striker is playing; the second (Law 40.4) will allow the wicketkeeper to move in a similar way provided that he remains behind the stumps, but will no longer allow them to move laterally before the ball is delivered or allow them to move forwards in response to a slower delivery.

George Dobell is a senior correspondent at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Dummy4 on July 18, 2015, 5:03 GMT

    olympic concept is a good concern but why not to learn something from fifa. if it is there then all the cricketing nations globally should fight for place at the world cup. The t20 title chase can also be made the bigger one like of 50-50 world cup and host should not only be the test palying nations but a country have a star ranking stadiums like of florida and many more

  • Rajasundram on July 16, 2015, 3:28 GMT

    How about allowing lbws for balls pitched outside the leg-stump, similar to those for balls pitched outside the off-stump. It would bring back the leg spinner into the game - and what a lovely sight it would be.

  • Sagir on July 16, 2015, 1:47 GMT

    Agree with Anton1234 on the point he has made. I have been following the ongoing T20 WC qualifier rounds at the moment and i am quite happy to see that some of the lesser known teams have been giving the Big Associates, i.e Ireland, Netherlands and Afghanistan a run for their money. PNG beat Ireland, Oman beat Netherlands and Afghanistan and i would love to see a few more 'upsets' like these. it mixes up the pool nicely and sends a strong message to the global community that cricket can be fun and played by many on an equal footing. Also factoring in Bangladesh's recent series wins over Pak, Ind and SA, only hammers that point further. I hope ICC sit up and take note of this rather than just cater to the few politically and financially strong teams and drive the sport forward globally..

  • Patrick on July 15, 2015, 22:04 GMT

    For me the World Cup should be a minimum of 16 teams (4 groups of 4) with a clear and definite commitment from the ICC to increase the number of teams by driving the games global popularity. Unfortunately the ICC now is essentially the BCCI, ECB and CA who just want to strip mine the game for profits in the short term and damn the long term consequences. The sooner these 3 boards realize they do not own the game but merely look after it on behalf of the fans and should be looking to hand it on to the next generation stronger than it ever has been, the better. The major irony in this for me is that the MCC committee would probably do a better job of servicing the global game than the ICC, shame they couldn't have thought this way when they wielded some real power.

  • anton on July 15, 2015, 11:17 GMT

    Forget the Olympics, just have a 20 nation world T20 played over two weeks (around 14 to 16 days). Four groups of five, quarter finals, semis, final. T20s should be used to drive global expansion of the game. Scrap the women's tournament, or stage it separately (not run it alongside the men's tournament).

    The ODI World Cup should be split into three groups of five. Top two from each moving on to a super six stage. The first two weeks (15 days or so) for the group stage. The next two weeks for the Super Six, and the final week for the semis and the final. Stage two or even three matches a day on some of the days during the group stage and Super Six. Whole tournament should be five weeks at tops (around 35 days). The last two world cups were too long.

  • Dean on July 15, 2015, 9:38 GMT

    To the person who said they would like to see a 64 team Olympic KO event, that won't happen. Mens football has 16 teams & that is the most of any of the team sports most have 12 (Basketball,Hockey,Volleyball). If Cricket did make the Olympics I think a 12 team event spit in to 2 groups of 6 would be the likely format. Like other sports there would need to be some sort of qualifying event. You couldn't just use the rankings as WI would play as separate Islands & Eng/Sco play as team GB.

  • Dummy4 on July 15, 2015, 6:10 GMT

    "Giles Clarke will have to do what he is told" I'm not sure that mans ego could stand that. Let's see how this pas out then.

  • Dummy4 on July 15, 2015, 5:00 GMT

    YHG4335, In a 18 team world cup, top 3 teams from each pool move to playoffs. The 2nd & 3rd best 3rd place teams have a playoff, the Top 2 teams from each pool & the best 3rd place team move directly to QF. Something like Playoff: 2nd best 3rd placer v 3rd best 3rd placer QF1: A1 v Winner of playoff QF2: B1 v Best 3rd placer QF3: C1 v A2 QF4: C2 v B2 SF1: WQF1 v WQF4 SF2: WQF2 v WQF3 Final Looks far better than all WC formats ICC has tried out in recent times. And by having 2 group matches in a day, the 45 match long group stage can be done in just 23 days, with about 12 days for playoffs and whole WC done in about 35-36 days

  • Nik on July 15, 2015, 4:57 GMT

    it has played for 9 hours. in fifa u can bare 90mins if it is one sided like 5-0 or 6-1 and u can close the TV but here is is 9 hours if one team scores 150-200 then it becomes boring already. and it waste atleast 7 hours if they chase fast. whats the point of having this. its good idea though to see new teams as it might be boring to watch same old 8-10 teams but that is also wrong on ICC's part to send teams directly in world cup with no big games in between. i think 10 is good and evenly matched team will play each other and there is a chance of all kind of permutation combination. unlike this stupid world cup boring and predictable only Bang upset Eng.

  • Nik on July 15, 2015, 4:57 GMT

    I dont know if it is right to have 12 teams world cup? Only thing i hate is no one-sided games. only NZ-SA Semi was worth watching all other games were one-sided. few associate teams played well and gave good fight. but whole point of having less teams means more competition. Either ICC should conduct proper games for associates then atleast they will learn rather than just sending them to Wcups and they get hammered.scores of 400s easy. 1992 was the best so far or the super 8 2007 wcup. Cricket is not like fifa where there are only 90mins.

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