ICC mulling over introduction of two-tier 'promotion and relegation' Test system
The ICC is reportedly considering bringing in a two-tiered promotion and relegation system for Test cricket in order to ensure that associate nations like Afghanistan, the Netherlands and Ireland have the chance to pit themselves against the might of South Africa or India if their form is deserving.
The proposal will also motivate struggling Test nations Zimbabwe and Bangladesh to offer more resources to the five-day format or risk dropping into the second tier.
According to News.com.au, all current full member ICC nations, including Australia, would be included within the top stratum, which would lead to long-standing commercial agreements and TV rights to be honoured and ensure the likelihood of the initiative being passed.
The report mentioned that the move might partially act as a counterweight for the expected abandonment of the World Test Championship (WTC), which is suffering from a lack of commercial appeal, questions over logistics and lingering doubts about its essential worth.
The ICC is also reportedly looking at ways of adding to the prestige of finishing each year as the top-ranked team, which is annually awarded the Test Championship Mace, including increasing prize money to lure players to choose Test cricket over accepting Twenty20 contracts across various countries.
If the initiative is passed and is a success, then it could be expanded to include international one-day cricket at a future date, the report added.
(Posted on 16-01-2014)