India news August 3, 2016

BCCI against two-tier Test system - Thakur

ESPNcricinfo staff

Anurag Thakur: 'Smaller countries will lose out and the BCCI wants to take care of them' © IDI/Getty Images

BCCI president Anurag Thakur has said his board will oppose the proposed two-tier Test system to "protect the interests" of smaller member nations. As the head of the powerful BCCI, Thakur's statement lends heft to the criticism of the proposal by Sri Lanka Cricket and the Bangladesh Cricket Board, even as the boards of Australian and New Zealand have welcomed the move.

"The BCCI is against the two-tier Test system because the smaller countries will lose out and the BCCI wants to take care of them," Thakur told the New Indian Express. "It is necessary to protect their interests."

The proposal to split Test cricket into two tiers - with seven nations in tier one, and five, including two new Test nations, in the second tier - was mooted at the ICC's annual conference, in Edinburgh, where ICC chief executive David Richardson advocated a "proper competition structure", with promotion and relegation, for Test cricket to have greater context. "Unless we can give some meaning to these series beyond the rankings and a trophy, then interest in Test cricket will continue to waver," Richardson said. "The same applies if we allow uncompetitive Test cricket to take place too often."

While SLC voiced skepticism about the financial model of the two-tier system, the BCB felt Bangladesh's growth would be affected should they be divorced from the top teams. "We believe that more we play against competitive sides, the better we will get," BCB vice-president Mahbubul Anam said. "If we didn't play against better-standard sides in ODIs, we wouldn't have come this far. We were given a reality check when we were promoted to the highest level. I feel that if we go backwards, our cricket will regress."

Thakur's comments seemed to address both concerns as he spelt out the drawbacks of the two-tier system. "In the two-tier system, they will lose out on a lot, including revenue and the opportunity to play against top teams," he said. "We don't want that to happen. We want to work in the best interests of world cricket and that is why our team plays against all the countries".

In Galle, meanwhile, Cricket Australia chairman David Peever urged nations to embrace change and balance notions of tradition with progress.

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Khondker S on August 8, 2016, 16:38 GMT

    Thanks BCCI for supporting the lower ranked teams.

  • on August 6, 2016, 14:25 GMT

    It is really surprising to hear from Thakur "In the two-tier system, they will lose out on a lot, including revenue and the opportunity to play against top teams," When was the last India played a Test Match against Zimbabwe ? India will be hosting Bangladesh 17 yrs after they Test status. So it isnt really the case that India is already playinglot of Test Cricket with lower ranked nations. Moreover there is no clause which stipulates that first tier nations wont play test cricket against secodn tier nations. There is space in the proposed calendar to hold tests against tier1 and tier2 teams. Also the other reform being proposed is the ODI league where each team needs to play ODI series against 12 other teams over a period of 3 years. So India is bound to play ODI's against lower ranked teams. 1 or 2 tests can be squeezed in the calendar when top teams are playing mandatory ODI series. SO it isnt the case that lower ranked teams will be losing out in new proposed TEst & ODI reforms.

  • Vinod on August 5, 2016, 11:44 GMT

    So the BCCI is doing something good for the 'smaller' poorer nations....taking others comforts into consideration....can those who poured scorn on these blogs bagging us for all thatz wrong with cricket finally take notice and be man up to give credit where due.? do recall every Tom, Mo & silva going hammer and tongs when the 'big three' syndrome was created and we bore the worstof it even when there were two other boards involved....can at last some positivity come from my fellow bloggers? am sick of the regulartitresome bashing we get on these boards, lot of it is no fan of BCCI but can someone at least see that the BCCI is doing something good for the game....cricinfo i request you to publish this....

  • Dean on August 4, 2016, 15:48 GMT

    @Jama, Test cricket is just that you cannot go and turn half of the match into a ltd overs game. I don't really understand this notion of wanting to reduce tests to 4 days. If you look at the matches over the past year, just 5 matches that have gone 5 days have felled the yield a result. Out of the other 33 games there have been 29 results & 4 rain effected draws. Not sure how you can reduce that amount of drawn games by reducing games to 4 days.

  • superior frontal on August 4, 2016, 14:30 GMT

    The two tier system was the best chance for reviving interest in and expanding Test cricket. That chance is gone now. BCCI is supporting the smaller countries in order to ensure their votes for contentious issues. SL, B'desh, and WI will do whatever BCCI says as a quid pro quo in any future decisions.

  • drisit8846253 on August 4, 2016, 14:20 GMT

    @SALT.BITE - can't satisfy all. need to think about the betterment of cricket. especially test format. test cricket needs to be more competitive. if we know the results even before the 1st ball then nobody is interested. just like zim v nz. result is just a formality. it's always better to have few good test teams than having too many ordinary teams. of course other teams can improve their game and challege top teams.

  • exhil on August 4, 2016, 14:10 GMT

    SA women lost to Ireland. Sooner than expected it will happen to SA men & before long they will enjoy the two tier life next to BD WI & Zim.

  • tanmoy0839158 on August 4, 2016, 12:42 GMT

    With so many countries opposing, two-tier Test cricket will not happen. Let Test status given to Afghanistan & Ireland and let them play against Zimbabwe, Bangladesh, West Indies, Sri Lanka , etc. and see the result.

  • Vinod on August 4, 2016, 10:15 GMT

    Am no fan of them BCCI but can the perennenial life members of the 'lets bag the one country and its cricket board for all that is wrong with world cricket' finally be man enough to take notice of this? and acknowledge with some positivity to make up for some undeserved tons of hubris that that 'one' nation and board has been subjected to onthis boards?

  • Aubline on August 4, 2016, 9:44 GMT

    Seven teams in the top division with promotion and relegation gives all the smaller teams a pathway to guaranteed matches against the top teams. The current system provides no such guarantees - England, India and Australia hardly ever play against Bangladesh and Zimbabwe whilst Afghanistan and Ireland are completely excluded. Unless Mr Thakor explains how he proposes to reform a broken structure, the newly found concern for 'smaller member nations' is just another empty slogan.

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