Test, ODI leagues approved by ICC Board

Discussion in 'Cricket Talk' started by chandtara, Oct 9, 2017.

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  1. chandtara

    chandtara Mr Cricistan

    Jun 18, 2011
    ICC set to approve long awaited 'World Test Championship': report

    The International Cricket Council (ICC) is set to approve plans for its long-awaited World Test Championship at a meeting in New Zealand this week, it was reported on Monday.

    The sport's governing body has argued for years that a Test championship is needed to boost the five-day format's popularity as crowds and television viewers flock to the big-hitting Twenty20 version of the game.

    But squabbling over formats and fears that some nations will be disadvantaged have twice stymied efforts to launch a league structure since 2010.

    The Sydney Morning Herald reported that plans for a nine-nation Test championship were now well advanced and the ICC was set to give the concept a green light on Friday at a meeting in Auckland.

    It said the first edition of the competition would run over a two-year cycle beginning in 2019, culminating in a final between the top two teams at Lord's.

    Cricket Australia chief executive James Sutherland said the league competition would give Test series a broader international “context”, making them more than stand-alone bilateral contests.

    “You're also creating structure in such a way that you no longer have games without meaning. They are all part of a league championship,” he told the Herald.

    Purists view Test cricket as the pinnacle of the sport but it has struggled, particularly in Asia, as lucrative T20 competitions such as the Indian Premier League have caught the public's imagination.

    A recent innovation designed to reverse the trend is the introduction of day-night Test matches, which moves playing sessions to more spectator-friendly hours.

    The idea of four-day Test matches has also been floated, although traditionalists oppose the move.

    The Herald reported that the ICC will also look at a major shake-up of one-day international fixtures at the Auckland meeting.

    It said a 13-nation ODI league was being considered, which would operate on a three-year cycle with results affecting World Cup qualification.

    Under the plans, the number of ODIs in a series would be capped at three, ending the lengthy five-match series that are currently part of the international fixture list.

    Last edited: Oct 13, 2017
  2. chandtara

    chandtara Mr Cricistan

    Jun 18, 2011
    ‘Changes to Tests must be in line with new structure’

    LONDON: Any changes to Test cricket must be in line with in with the sport’s new global structure, the head of the international cricket players union (FICA) Tony Irish has said.

    The International Cricket Council (ICC) will meet in Auckland this week, where announcements on separate league structures for Tests and 50-over cricket are expected to be made.

    Irish, the chief executive of the Federation of International Cricketers’ Associations urged stakeholders of the game not to look at ad hoc solutions to Test cricket.

    “Any proposed change needs to fit into whatever the new overall global structure is going to be,” he said in quotes published by the Telegraph newspaper. “If one looks at the concept in isolation... then it’s pretty obvious that traditionalists, which includes many players who consider Test cricket as the pinnacle of the game, are not going to be in favour of a change to four days.”

    Test matches have witnessed a decline in attendances in recent years, throwing the door open to a number of means to engage fans, including the introduction of day-night Tests.

    South Africa announced plans to play Zimbabwe in the first four-day Test starting on Boxing Day in Port Elizabeth, as part of their home summer calendar for the 2017-18 season. Cricket South Africa (CSA) are awaiting approval for the four-day, day/night fixture, which would also be their first home ‘pink ball’ Test.

    However, Irish was concerned that countries trialing four-day Tests on a random basis may lead to confusion and uncertainty around the format.

    “If the ICC for example is coming up with a new league structure for Test cricket then how does playing four-day Tests fit into that and what are the advantages and disadvantages of four days, as opposed to five days, in that structure,” he added.

    “If there are not significant advantages in making the structure and schedule better then why change?

    “If there are significant advantages then these need to be understood before decisions are simply made to change the format.”

    Published in Dawn, October 12th, 2017
  3. harsha

    harsha Cricistani

    Nov 17, 2013
    Something is better than nothing. Atleast there's some context to fixtures now.

    Ideal would be to ensure that each team plays the other in home/away formats over a period of 3 years. But geopolitical issues won't ensure that it would happen.

    ASLI-PATHAN Cricistan Khan

    Apr 26, 2011
    ICC approved the leagues but what kind of leagues will be these? No equal number of matches and all opponents not playing against each other. I think it will be a big failure until ICC draws proper plan for it and make sure every team involved play equal number of matches against each other.

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
  5. harsha

    harsha Cricistani

    Nov 17, 2013
    Read somewhere that the weight will be as per the series result as well as the number of matches won. A little bit of tinkering giving more importance to the series result will probably ensure that the unequal number of test matches being played between the two sides will not be that much of a factor.

    These are still bilateral series and the ICC cannot intervene in bilateral arrangements between the two boards. For example, ICC involvement in Ashes would not be appreciated by the boards of Aus, Eng. What ICC can do is attempt to provide a context wherein the number 1 team can be decided. It's up to the Individual boards to arrange series for themselves as before.

    What this would help is that the likes of Bangladesh & NZ who play less test cricket are probably mandated to play more. Not perfect but I'd take it considering it's still a better way than the alternative.

    Add in a relegation play-off battle between the bottom finisher against the likes of Ire/Afg and that's sorted.
  6. chandtara

    chandtara Mr Cricistan

    Jun 18, 2011
    Test, ODI leagues approved by ICC Board

    A genuine Test match world championship and an ODI league will be introduced to international cricket after both were given in-principle agreement by the ICC Board on the final day of the governing body's meeting in Auckland.

    While some details remain to be fleshed out, including the points system and the full week-by-week Future Tours Programme, the first two-year Test championship comprising the game's top-nine teams will begin at the conclusion of the 2019 World Cup, with the top two teams by April 2021 to play off in a championship final.

    Each competing country will play in six series over that time, three at home and three away, with all series being of a minimum two matches' duration but able to be expanded to as many as five to cater for encounters such as the Ashes.

    The first ODI league, featuring the game's top 13 limited-overs nations, will commence in 2020-21, running for two years leading into the 2023 World Cup, before converting to a three-year league in each cycle beyond that. The 13th place in the ODI league will be taken by the winner of the ongoing ICC World Cricket League Championship. Each competing team will play in eight series over that time, each one being played over three matches. The days of lengthier ODI series appears to be over.

    Shashank Manohar, the ICC chairman, said that member countries had moved with the times by accepting the need for greater context for international cricket, responding to the demands of broadcasters, sponsors and fans. "I would like to congratulate our members on reaching this agreement and putting the interests of the development of the game first," he said. "Bringing context to bilateral cricket is not a new challenge, but this is the first time a genuine solution has been agreed on.

    "This means fans around the world can enjoy international cricket knowing every game counts and in the case of the ODI league, it counts towards qualification to the ICC Cricket World Cup."

    While all Test championship matches will be played over five days, the ICC Board also approved the trial of four-day Tests in bilateral series up until 2019, following South Africa's request to play a match over that distance against Zimbabwe during their forthcoming home season. A set of playing conditions for four-day Tests is set to be drawn up by ICC management in coming weeks.

    "Our priority was to develop an international cricket structure that gave context and meaning across international cricket and particularly in the Test arena. This has been delivered and every Test in the new League will be a five-day Test format," the ICC chief executive David Richardson said. "However throughout the discussions about the future of Test cricket it became clear that whilst context is crucial we must also consider alternatives and trial initiatives that may support the future viability of Test cricket.

    "The trial is exactly that, a trial, just in the same way day-night Tests and technology have been trialled by members. Four-day Tests will also provide the new Test playing countries with more opportunities to play the longer version of the game against more experienced opponents, which, in turn, will help them to hone their skills and close the gap with the top-nine ranked teams."

    "This is a significant point in time for ICC members and our collective desire to secure a vibrant future for international bilateral cricket. The approval of both leagues is the conclusion of two years of work from the members who have explored a whole range of options to bring context to every game. The ICC Board decision today means we can now go and finalise a playing schedule for the first edition as well as the points system, hosting arrangements and competition terms."

    Numerous questions remain about how the new league structures will unfold, particularly around the fraught issue of bilateral cricket ties between India and Pakistan.

  7. chandtara

    chandtara Mr Cricistan

    Jun 18, 2011
    India and Pakistan have to play in the Test Championship: Waqar Younis

    The former Pakistan cricketer Waqar Younis believes that the arch-rivals India and Pakistan need to play against each other in the ICC Test Championship. Due to the political tension between both the countries, the cricket teams avoid to play bilateral series and face off only during the ICC World events. They last played against each other in 2012 when Pakistan toured the country for ODI and T20I series and won the former.

    Earlier this week, soon after their board meeting in Auckland, the International Cricket Council (ICC) announced their plan to launch a nine-team Test league and a 13-team ODI league in order to bring context and meaning to bilateral cricket. However, ICC assured Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) that they will work out how both teams would fare during the championship. But as of now, it seems unlikely that the bilateral ties between the two would resume any time soon.

    Younis praises the idea of Test Championship
    Waqar Younis has praised the introduction of Test Championship and hoped that India-Pakistan play against each other in it which will also help to improve the relationship between the countries. “Test Championship is a good idea. They have to probably think hard how to go about it because with Pakistan not playing India, that is not going to the help the whole thing. If these two countries play each other it will not only help the Test Championship but also help the relations between the two countries,” he told Gulf News.

    “You cannot really call this a Test championship if the top two teams are not playing against each other. How can you consider the others as champions or as No. 1 and No. 2 without these two teams not playing against each other as they are the two top teams. If India want to play Pakistan, they can even play them in England or in Australia. It doesn’t matter where you play though the UAE is home for Pakistan,” he continued.

    The legendary cricketer also suggested ICC to introduce points system in the new format in order to find out the top two teams in the World. “If ICC can bring everyone on board and play each other, people will get interested. There should be a point system where teams can go up and down over two years and then you will know exactly which team is the best,” Younis concluded.

  8. chandtara

    chandtara Mr Cricistan

    Jun 18, 2011
    India vs Pakistan bilateral series unlikely in ICC Test Championship

    Cricket’s biggest draw, the India-Pakistan bilateral series, is not expected to be part of ICC’s recently launched Test championship that is set to start after the 2019 World Cup. With no clarity on the Indian government giving the BCCI the go ahead to play with its neighbours, the ICC, it is learnt, is not expected to slot any India-Pakistan Test series in the Future Tours Programme (FTP) draft that it is working on. The BCCI had explained their stand vis-à-vis playing Pakistan in the ICC meeting in Auckland earlier this month.

    The format of the Test championship has nine teams playing six series over the two-year period — three each home and away — with each series having a minimum of two Tests and a maximum of five.

    The top two teams will contest a play-off final to determine the Test champions in England in June 2021. In case, India and Pakistan do make it to the final, the chance of the two arch rival playing the title contest are high since that would be seen as an ICC event. Over the years, India has continued to play Pakistan in ICC events despite the bilateral impasse. “As per the Test championship draft, it says, a Test team has to play with six Test playing nations in four year cycle. So India can play with Australia, England, South Africa, West Indies, Sri Lanka and New Zealand in Test championship cycle. It leaves no window for us with Pakistan. The board can’t do anything other than requesting Indian government. The day government gives clearance we are ready to play. At the moment India will not play Pakistan in Test championship,” a top BCCI official told The Indian Express.

    It is learnt that PCB wanted India to play 24 games in this cycle but the BCCI declined stating the issue is not in their hands. The board has also ruled out series at neutral venues with Pakistan. At the same time they have agreed to play against Pakistan in any of the ICC tournaments. However, the Indian board is looking at the new Test championship as the model of Big Three where India, England and Australia would decide whom to play in their cricketing calendar. It remains to be seen how this plays out in reality. The ICC also approved the trial of four-day Tests if both sides agree but all Test championship matches will be five-day contests.

  9. chandtara

    chandtara Mr Cricistan

    Jun 18, 2011
    Pakistan apply pressure on ICC to secure India matches

    Pakistan will continue applying pressure on the BCCI and, indirectly, the ICC, in the hopes of securing 24 matches with India in the new international calendar. At the ICC board meeting in Auckland earlier this month, the PCB, along with all Full Members, approved in principle a fresh league structure to be implemented after the 2019 World Cup. But the PCB maintained that its final decision will depend on the BCCI honouring a bilateral commitment signed over three years ago.

    That is a stance the PCB first revealed last month, and it means not only will the Test and ODI leagues remain tied to Pakistan's pursuit of India games, but also to their efforts to seek legal redress for two bilateral series against India that never took place. That case came into the spotlight over the weekend, after comments made by former chairman Shaharyar Khan and the leak of the bilateral agreement the two boards signed in April 2014.

    In Auckland, the Full Members unanimously agreed on a two-year, nine-team Test league as well as a 13-team ODI league. But the real business of what the actual schedule will look like - with details of who plays whom and how often - has not been finalised. Board chief executives have been working on that at scheduling conferences, and will continue to do so at another tentatively scheduled for November. The plan is for a schedule to be completed by January and presented at the next ICC board meeting in February.

    The PCB is resigned to not playing India in the leagues - that is something the BCCI has insisted upon - but want matches outside the structure, in an eight-month window when sides are free to play whoever they choose.

    At the joint session in Auckland between board directors and chief executives (in which the plan for the leagues was approved), the PCB said it was happy with the new structure on the provision it contained the 24 international matches Pakistan were guaranteed to host against India, by the terms of a previously signed MoU. Though there was no reaction, the stance was noted.


    The agreement, and the legal case, has been the subject of renewed scrutiny over the last few days. Over the weekend, speaking to a local TV channel, Shaharyar suggested that the PCB's case against the BCCI at the ICC's dispute resolution committee was not especially strong.

    "To an extent, it is a weakness [in our case]," he said, having been involved in these discussions until he stepped down as chairman in August. "The weakness is that it is written in there that both sides need government permission [before playing each other]. We have our government's permission. They haven't got permission yet, so they could say that it is written that until they haven't got permission they cannot come and play. These are problems but it's okay to bring them under some pressure as well."

    However, Shaharyar went on, almost immediately, to disown those words. In a signed statement distributed to the media on Saturday, he said: "I strongly deny a statement attributed to me in the media in which I am supposed to have said that the PCB's case against the BCCI is weak. How could I say such a thing when, in fact, as Chairman and with the approval of the PCB's Board of Governors, I authorised preparation of a case on the advice of PCB's lawyers and a prominent QC in the UK who agreed that PCB had a strong case against India."

    Not long after, the letter that spells out details of the 2014 agreement was leaked on social media. Officials from both boards have confirmed the authenticity of the letter. Printed on plain paper, without a letterhead and dated April 9th, the letter [see pic] is written by Sanjay Patel, the former BCCI secretary, and addressed to Najam Sethi, the current chairman of the PCB who was, at that time, the interim head of the board. It makes no mention of either side needing government approval.

    The basis of the agreement is well known: six bilateral series between December 2015 and November-December 2022, with the BCCI making "all efforts" for a short, limited-overs-only tour to Pakistan in November 2014 as well. As categorically stated in the letter, the agreement applied only if the Big Three resolutions for the revamp of international cricket were signed off in June that year, which they duly were.

    But the November 2014 and December 2015 tours did not materialise and are the subject of the PCB's legal case. The BCCI argued it did not have government permission to play Pakistan. The 24 international matches the PCB want incorporated in the new calendar are the three remaining tours to Pakistan as part of this MoU: nine games in December 2019, 10 in August 2020 and five in November-December 2022.


    legal case has not, strictly speaking, yet begun. Though the PCB intends to file the official notice of dispute that will start the process at the ICC's dispute resolution committee, it has yet to do so. In fact that process has been delayed slightly because there was a change in the Terms of Reference of the committee at the Auckland meeting. Once they do send in the notice, a panel of adjudicators will be constituted, who will then ask the BCCI to reply. The way of these things suggests that any resolution is still some time away, and what impact that may have on the implementation of a new calendar is uncertain.

    In Auckland, the PCB also asked that a new Future Tours Programme (FTP) Terms and Conditions document be created to govern the administration of the new calendar. Such a document is likely to detail how older FTP commitments fit into a new calendar, which could determine the status of this agreement.

    The prospect of India-Pakistan games will also come up for discussion at the next scheduling conference. If the PCB recognises the adversarial nature of a legal case works against that, there is also a suggestion it is using the case as a pressure tactic of sorts, to push the BCCI into agreeing to some bilateral contests.

    The Pakistan board is confident it has a strong case and that, in particular, their 2014 agreement with the BCCI has all the ingredients that would constitute the basis of a legally binding contract in a court of law. Its argument rests on whether the Indian government has explicitly, and in writing, denied the BCCI permission to play against Pakistan.

    The BCCI seems unperturbed by the public appearance of this agreement and believes it stands on firm ground whenever the time to defend itself comes. "It is a plain piece of paper," one official said. "Even if you take this as a letter of intent there was never a formal agreement that happened."

    The BCCI official reiterated that the Indian board did not have the authority to commit to a bilateral series with Pakistan without permission from their government.

  10. Mohan

    Mohan Formerly 'Captain Clutch'

    Nov 4, 2014
    In which court will the PCB sue BCCI? All BCCI needs to say is that they will play, just convince our government.

    Then what? If a foreign court tells the Indian Government to allow their team to play the series, the GOI will just laugh it off and say who the hell are you to interfere in the internal matters of India? It's our country, our team, so we will decide whether to send them to play or not.

    I just don't see PCB having a case.

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