ICC rules out two-tier Test system


Plans to implement a two-tier Test system appear to have been shelved after the International Cricket Council (ICC) announced proposals for changes aimed at improving the quality of bi-lateral cricket.

Senior international cricket figures met in Dubai this week to discuss potential changes to the international game, with the contentious introduction of promotion and relegation for Test sides on the agenda.

The Board of Control for Cricket In India made it clear it was against a two-tier system, with the boards of Sri Lanka, Zimbabwe and Bangladesh taking the same stance.

ICC chief executive David Richardson made no comment on two-tier Test cricket in a statement released on Wednesday, but revealed that a Test Champion play-off contested every two years could come into effect from 2019.

Richardson said: "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.

"Encouragingly there is an appetite from the 10 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.

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

"Members will 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."