Test cricket direction remains in balance
The direction of test cricket lies in the balance this week in Auckland as the International Cricket Council assembles its future plans.
Various committees are in session, with key decisions set for ratification by the board tomorrow.
Multiple issues will be discussed, and potentially acted on, when ICC chief executive Dave Richardson conducts his post-meeting press conference.
Installing a nine-nation test championship (presumably without Zimbabwe, Afghanistan and Ireland from those qualified to play the longest form). This will be run every two years from 2019, culminating in a final at Lord’s.
Installing a 13-nation ODI championship to be run every three years.
Work out a method to incorporate new test nations Afghanistan and Ireland into the current financial model.
Assess the geopolitical climate and how Pakistan can best be brought back into the cricketing fold as a venue after the relatively smooth running of the World XI series in Lahore.
Consider the proposed four-day test between South Africa and Zimbabwe at Port Elizabeth as a trial for whether future tests could fill those dimensions.
Establish how much emphasis the ICC wants to place on cricket earning a place in the Olympics and Commonwealth Games, and how much they are prepared to sacrifice to come under the jurisdictions of those bodies.
Tap into what can further develop the women’s game after survey results revealed the World Cup was the most engaged the public had been about that arm of the sport. Female leadership through a board directorship could also be in the offing.
— Andrew Alderson