Some news from the ICC cricket committee
OK that’s not the sexiest of headlines and wouldn’t be popular with SEO geeks but it’s not very often that something actually interesting comes out of a cricket committee meeting.
The ICC cricket committee which met this week in London has “reiterated its support for the strategy of ensuring an optimum balance and a clear differentiation between the three formats of the game, and noted the need to ensure that Test cricket, in particular, was protected.”
In light of recent examples of Test nations “postponing” Test matches and replacing them with other formats, the committee have recommended that Test playing nations must play a minimum number of Test matches within a 4 year period in order to maintain their Test status.
They haven’t, of course, specified how many this minimum number should be and it may end up being ludicrously low but the recommendation is a well intentioned attempt to stop some Test nations turning their Test fixtures as set out in the Future Tours Programme into ODIs or T20s (which are generally more lucractive in terms of broadcasting money). It’s an attempt to protect the balance between the 3 formats which should be applauded although the devil will, of course, be in the detail and it’s still got to get through the ICC Board of directors – it is merely a recommendation at the moment but it’s a start.
UPDATE: Cricinfo are reporting that the committe have recommended a paltry 4 Tests a year as a minimum. JUST FOUR. Well quite frankly they might as well have not bothered with the recommendation
What would be a sensible number?
Well England are playing 14 Test matches in 2013 but that is more than the norm as England are about the only side other than Australia (for the Ashes) that are involved in any series that contain 5 Tests.
What would be more realistic is to expect a Test playing nation to take part in 25-30 Tests in a 4 year period.
Although even more ideally, every Test nation should play each other home and away in a Test series within a 6 year period. (with the possible exception of Zimbabwe whilst the current Political situation remains). South Africa haven’t played a Test match in Sri Lanka for nearly 9 years for example. We’d have a much better way of comparing like with like in terms of rankings.