Sports Cricket 07 Sep 2016 Under pressure from ...

Under pressure from BCCI, ICC withdraws 2-tier Test proposal

AFP / PTI
Published Sep 7, 2016, 3:44 pm IST
Updated Sep 8, 2016, 3:03 pm IST
BCCI president Anurag Thakur said that the growth and popularity of the game won't suffer because of the existing format.
BCCI president Anurag Thakur, who has been a vocal critic of this move terming it a detrimental and retrograde step for the financially weaker nations, welcomed the ICC's move to withdraw the two-tier Test proposal. (Photo: AFP)
 BCCI president Anurag Thakur, who has been a vocal critic of this move terming it a detrimental and retrograde step for the financially weaker nations, welcomed the ICC's move to withdraw the two-tier Test proposal. (Photo: AFP)

New Delhi: The International Cricket Council on Wednesday withdrew its contentious proposal of having a 'Two-Tier' Test system following "vehement opposition" from world's richest cricketing body BCCI with the support of Sri Lanka, Zimbabwe and Bangladesh.

"The two-tier Test system proposal, which was supposed to come up for discussion during the two-day Chief Executives Committee (CEC) meeting in Dubai has been taken off the table keeping in mind the objections raised by four members. The ICC will now look afresh at the whole aspect," a source in the ICC told PTI on Wednesday.

 

BCCI president Anurag Thakur, who has been a vocal critic of this move terming it a detrimental and retrograde step for the financially weaker nations, welcomed the move.

"I am thankful to the members of the ICC who understood our viewpoint and agreed to take this proposal off the table. As one of the key stakeholders in world cricket, BCCI would continue to have an inclusive approach and ensure that everyone's interest and the growth of cricket isn't compromised," Thakur, who was at the forefront of the anti Two-Tier format, told PTI.

The Indian Board president said the growth and popularity of the game won't suffer because of the existing format.

"We want to grow the game and take it to new pastures and will not allow any step which can shrink the popularity and development of the game," said Thakur.

Thakur said India would have stood to gain from playing more matches against teams such as England and Australia which attract big TV audiences and decent crowds.

"The BCCI could have benefited financially from the two-tier system but morally we wanted to stand with the countries which would have been badly affected," Thakur  told AFP. "But countries such as Zimbabwe, West Indies and Bangladesh would have suffered huge losses and we didn't want that."

It was learnt that BCCI CEO Rahul Johri thanked the ICC for understanding their point of view.

"BCCI CEO Rahul Johri thanked ICC for understanding the sentiment of all the boards opposing the two-tier system and also ensured its fullest co-operation in the interest of the game to popularise Test cricket worldwide," a source in the know of things told PTI.

Any structural change to be passed by the ICC needs a clear 2/3rd majority and it would have been difficult to pass this proposal as it required 7 out of 10 votes.

Even the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) have joined hands with BCCI to stop the move even though they have traditionally sided with the English and Australian boards.

The BCCI recently played four Tests in West Indies as a part of the Caribbean team's aborted 2014 tour of India.

"Contrary to reports that West Indies were in support of two-Tier system, it was exactly the opposite. West Indies were never in favour of a two-tier Test system. Yes, they are in favour of four-day format for Tests and all for day-night but they never supported bifurcation into two division," a source informed.

Even Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) president Nazmul Hassan confirmed the plan had been taken off the table.

"It's good news for us," said Hassan, whose board had been fiercely critical of the plan which would have effectively deprived Bangladesh of the opportunity to play major Test teams.

"India and Sri Lanka were also with us, so we were more or less confident that it would not be approved. We are delighted to know that ICC has now informed us of this officially," he told AFP.

The ICC CEO Dave Richardson in a press statement from Dubai accepted that a lot of deliberation is still needed on the subject.

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

"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," the CEO further stated.

"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," he concluded.

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Location: India, Delhi, New Delhi




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