Int'l Cricket Council Shelves Plans For Two-Division Test Championship
The Int'l Cricket Council has been "forced to shelve plans for the creation of a two-division Test championship following opposition from Zimbabwe, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and, most significantly, India," according to Ali Martin of the London GUARDIAN. ICC CEO Dave Richardson had been "behind a proposal" that would have seen promotion and relegation between a seven-team top division and a second-tier of five -- that would have been played "over a two-year period and possibly featured a Lord's final." While the boards of England, Australia, South Africa, New Zealand and Pakistan were "all understood to have been in support of the plan," pressure from the Board of Control for Cricket in India has seen it withdrawn from the agenda during an ICC "workshop" in Dubai this week that has been discussing future structures. The BCCI opposed the system "due to a belief that it would have been detrimental to sides" outside of the top division, with BCCI President Anurag Thakur saying, "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" (GUARDIAN, 9/7). ESPN.com's Nagraj Gollapudi reported one proposal was to "bring back the World Test Championship, but many board representatives including strong members like BCCI were not in favour of it." Another proposal was "for the top-two teams in the ICC rankings to have a play-off for the Test Championship." It was decided that the CEOs "would discuss that plan with their own boards before deliberating further" (ESPN.com, 9/7). The TIMES OF INDIA reported the "tussle" between the ICC and the BCCI has "taken a new turn" with the Indian cricket board "now mulling" whether to pull out of next year's Champions Trophy, scheduled to be held in England "after being excluded from the ICC's finance committee meeting." BCCI Secretary Ajay Shirke "reacted angrily to the latest ICC snub" and termed it as "humiliating" (TIMES OF INDIA, 9/7).