Preserving the standards of Test cricket May 13, 2004

Ganguly suggests two-tier system for Tests

Wisden Cricinfo staff

Sourav Ganguly has suggested that the ICC implement a two-tier system to preserve the sanctity of Test cricket. Reacting to the news that the ICC was planning to offer full membership to six more countries before the 2007 World Cup, Ganguly said: "If the standard of the game has to be preserved, it would be better to have a two-tier system." Such a system would ensure that the top teams only play each other, leaving the bottom-rung teams to battle among themselves.

The clamour over maintaining the standards of Test cricket comes in the wake of some hopelessly one-sided series over the last few years. Bangladesh have struggled since being granted Test status, losing 26 out of 28 matches, while the Zimbabweans - missing almost all their top players - have looked completely out of depth: they have been thrashed by the Sri Lankans in the current series, but an even more fearful mauling is in prospect in the upcoming series against Australia.

Ganguly also admitted that the while the Australians were still the best team in the world, the Indians were gradually closing in. "We have to match Australia in consistency. Australia have played good cricket over a period of time to become the number one team. We have played well and done well against them in Tests but in one-day cricket they have had the better of us. [But] doing well in the coming series will definitely close the gap."

On the issue of retaining John Wright as the coach, Ganguly said: "It depends on lot of issues. John has been a very good coach. But whether to retain him or otherwise depends on a lot of issues. He also has to decide. He has a family and he has been travelling widely for the last few years."