Haroon Lorgat, the chief executive of Cricket South Africa has backed the idea of having two divisions in test cricket.
“Test cricket is already fading and will die if nothing is done,” Lorgat said. “South Africa would support a two-tier Test system in order to create meaningful context for Test match cricket. Currently there is little or no meaning when countries play against each other in bilateral Test matches, save for the Ashes.”
The concept of two tier test cricket is that there will be one division featuring the top seven sides and the other division playing five teams. Every side will play against other side either at home or at away venue in a two year long span. At the end of the cycle, a winner of the test league would be decided and eventually teams would be promoted to the first division or demoted to the second one on the basis of performance.
“A two-tier system with promotion and relegation will allow for a much better narrative plus two more teams will have the opportunity to play Test match cricket,” Lorgat said. “The Test league can also link down to the Intercontinental Cup where again promotion and relegation will create context and opportunity for other countries.”
Australia, New Zealand and England have also supported the proposal put forward by the ICC chief executive, David Richardson.
However, Anurag Thakur, the president of the most powerful cricket board of the world, BCCI has opposed the idea of such a two tier test cricket. Sri Lanka and Bangladesh are also opposing the idea, whereas, unconfirmed reports suggest the PCB is in favour of this proposal.
West Indies Cricket Board is uncertain about their support, “At this point in time the West Indies Cricket Board does not have enough information to make an informed decision,” Dave Cameron, the president of the WICB, said. “However in world football there are no divisions with over 200 nations participation, and so off the bat we cannot see the need for divisions if we have 12 teams participating in Test cricket.”
Anurag Thakur supported his argument by saying that smaller countries will lose out, whereas, Lorgat thinks that teams like Bangladesh will be benefited, “In the proposed system they will have certainty of Test fixtures compared to now when they are at the mercy of countries playing against them.”