Australia's three-day defeat of West Indies over the weekend has prompted fresh calls for a restructuring of world cricket, and for a revamp of cricket in the West Indies. While Shane Warne advocates a two-tier Test structure to ensure more competitive cricket, former Australia coach John Buchanan has called for a "dramatic" intervention to save West Indian cricket.
Writing in the Herald Sun, Warne said he believed that the mismatch reiterated the massive gap between the top four or five Test teams and the also-rans. "I love Test cricket, but I think it is has got to the stage where there are some things that need to be addressed", he wrote. "I reckon we need a two-tier system for Test cricket with a grand final for the top two sides in a neutral venue in a one-off Test.
"I believe two tiers is the future and a grand final. Which means the fifth side in the top tier would be relegated to the bottom tier and the top team in that tier would be promoted."
Warne suggested that the ICC rankings could be used to decide which tier each Test playing nation should be slotted into. He believed that this system could promote more attacking and result-oriented Test cricket.
Buchanan meanwhile has asked the ICC to focus on improving the state of cricket in the Caribbean because of the far-reaching implications it has on the international game.
"The ICC must intervene in West Indian cricket ... it is a massive job but a strong West Indian team is essential for the future of world cricket," Buchanan was quoted as saying in the Courier Mail. "They need to work out how all the problems there can best be attacked over the shortest period of time ... even if the ICC diverts resources away from other countries."
Buchanan believes that these problems have not surfaced suddenly and that the warning signs have been visible for long in the inefficient West Indian cricketing infrastructure.
"Some of the things we take for granted, things like good training facilities and talent identification programs are not available in the Caribbean. Even when things do happen there are major problems. For the World Cup (in 2007) there were good facilities built but there were already signs there at the end of the World Cup they wouldn't be maintained or retained," he said.