‘Two-tier Test’ proposal shelved

Dubai: The International Cricket Council (ICC) has withdrawn the proposal for a two-tier structure in Test cricket at the meeting of its chief executives’ committee (CEC) in Dubai on Wednesday, despite six Full Members reportedly being in favour of it. There was no vote at the meeting but the consensus was to take the proposal “off the table” for the moment.

Full Members supported the proposal are Australia, England, South Africa, New Zealand, Pakistan and West Indies, while Board of Control for Cricket in India, Sri Lanka Cricket, the Bangladesh Cricket Board and Zimbabwe Cricket had opposed.

The proposed system would have seen the top seven teams, in terms of ICC Test rankings, in the top tier while the bottom three would be joined by Associate member nations Afghanistan and Ireland to form a five-team second tier for the first cycle. There would have been promotion and relegation between the two tiers based on performance, while other Associate nations would also have a chance for promotion into the second tier based on performance.  

The two-day CEC meeting was not part of the quarterly meetings held each year by the ICC, but a special meeting where Member Board representatives convened to discuss international cricket structures in all three formats. The chief executives discussed alternative models to invigorate the health of Test and ODI cricket, and provide more context to fixtures, while taking into account the danger of excessive Twenty20 cricket.

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