Is Test cricket on the wane? The world cricket body seems to be thinking so. So something needs to be done to keep Test cricket from fading away, right. Here’s a plan.
The international cricket body has mooted a proposal, which indeed sounds revolutionary. The plan is to bring relegation and promotion to Test matches as a partial incentive so that the World Test Championship (WTC) lives on.
Going by a report by ESPNCricinfo, it is expected that the ICC executive board might take into consideration the proposal when they sit down for the next round of meetings later in January.
The meeting would also hope to keep the spirit of WTC alive, considering that there are fears that broadcasters might be reluctant about airing WTC matches live. There has also been a sense of reluctance around the WTC format, which as you would remember, was put off from its original 2013 launch date and re-launched for 2017 last October.
It is expected that the ICC board will look at the proposed promotion and relegation that would help smaller nations that would want to get into the Test cricket arena.
Nations of the likes of Ireland and Afghanistan have been yearning to make their way into the Test area. Already Test playing nations like Zimbabwe and Bangladesh are also finding it tough to stay on.
To Keep Tests Alive
So, if the proposal gains ground, the format will be tailor made in such a way that the current ICC Full Member nations will not face any disadvantageous position and would retain their that status and financial gains too.
As per the proposal, the associate nations will need to play well and press for slots in the Test match table on the basis of performance against the lower-ranked Full Members.
The approach may be seen as well planned as it would also give Test playing nations to improve, while it would also provide the Associate nations with a platform for amazing competition.
Though the proposal sounds exciting, it needs to be seen how ICC would put the plan for promotion and relegation into real practice. In case the ICC plans to go in for the play-offs for Test status every four years, it would bring in some good performances from teams that would want to stay on in Test cricket.
Two Platforms, One Game
There could be many a debate triggered on the plan to set Test cricket playing nations on two different platforms, but then the merits too have to be taken into consideration before being trashed.
It is also likely that the world cricket body might look at increasing the financial rewards to teams earning the No. 1 spot on the Test ranking.
Test cricket is, these days, being seen as gaining strength, after the shorter formats threatened to gobble up the game. The serious cricket fan would love to sit through the five day matches and watch the best of shots being played and best techniques used by the bowlers.
The ICC proposal is sure to be accepted considering that serious Test cricket needs to make a comeback.