ICC scraps two-tier Test system until 2019 amid fierce opposition from BCCI

Dubai [UAE], Sept.7 : International Cricket Council (ICC) chief David Richardson on Wednesday confirmed that representatives of 10-Test playing nations have ruled out the proposed two-tier Test system until 2019 due to "some complexities" in its implementation.

The decision was taken at the two-day cricket structural workshop held in Dubai, to discuss the ways to improve the quality of bilateral cricket contests and bring in increased spectator interest across all formats of the game.

"Significant progress on the future shape of all international cricket has been made at the two-day cricket structures workshop in Dubai as Members have explored how to improve the quality of bi-lateral cricket.

The focus has been on solutions that will grow fan interest and engagement by delivering high quality cricket with the best players playing in an environment where every match counts," Richardson said.

"There are some complexities, not least because of scheduling and existing structures, but we envisage the changes being implemented for 2019," he added.

Richardson also stated that the members were in favour of a play-off between the top-two teams in the ICC rankings for the Test Championship.

"Encouragingly there is an appetite from the ten full members for more context around all three formats of the game and we have consensus on a range of areas.

This includes the details of ODI and T20 structures and principles around Test cricket schedules, which include the concept of a Test Champion play off every two years, and the opportunity for more nations to be involved," he said.

According to the ICC chief executive, the members would now revert to their boards to share the details of the proposed revised structures and principles.

"Work will continue to develop a clear structure and position for each format over the coming months as the ICC collectively focuses on improving bi-lateral cricket for fans and players in the long run," he concluded.

Earlier, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) had joined Sri Lanka Cricket, Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) and Zimbabwe Cricket (ZC) to express their reservations about the divisional Test structure.

"We are delighted. We could convince other members of the negative impact it would have on Bangladesh cricket. I thank them for understanding our situation. I also want to thank the ICC management for organising this workshop. The two-tier system is off the table, and we will now discuss the future structure of cricket in the coming days," BCB chief executive Nizamuddin Chowdhury was quoted as saying by ESPNcricinfo.

The ICC required at least seven of its 10 full members to pass the resolution for the two-tier system to come into force.

As per the proposal, the two-tier system would comprise seven and five teams in the top and bottom tiers respectively, with promotion and relegation between the two based on performance.

Source: ANI