The plan proposed to create a two-tier Test system has been scrapped by the International Cricket Council at a meeting of chief executives’ committee (CEC) in Dubai on Wednesday after strong opposition from few boards.
There was no vote but a consensus to remove the proposal, despite six Full Members supporting the idea. Both the president of the Indian and Bangladeshi boards confirmed on Thursday that the discussion for two divisions is now over.
Dave Cameron’s West Indies Cricket Board (WICB), reports suggest, joined boards of Australia, England, South Africa, New Zealand, and Pakistan in backing the proposal for a two-tier structure for Test cricket, opposed by India, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, and Zimbabwe. There was a significant compromise and it was subsequently decided to withdraw the two-tier proposal.
According to the proposal, the two-tier system would involve seven teams in the top tier and five in the bottom, with promotion and relegation based on performance. The top seven teams would join a de facto premier league in a move designed to boost interest in Test cricket.
Afghanistan and Ireland, as the leading Associate teams, would join the three lowest-ranked Test playing nations in the bottom tier. This would mean West Indies, Bangladesh and Zimbabwe, with other Associates having a chance at promotion based on performance.
“The officials at the meeting shot down the two-tier proposal.The BCCI could have benefited financially from the two-tier system but morally we wanted to stand with the countries which would have been badly affected.” said Anurag Thakur, president of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI).
Nazmul Hassan, who is president of the Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB), confirmed that the plan had been taken off the table.
“It’s good news for us, I would say,” said Hassan, whose board had been fiercely critical of the plan which would have effectively deprived Bangladesh of the opportunity to play cricket’s major Test teams.
The two-day CEC meeting in Dubai was specially convened for Member Board representatives to discuss international cricket structures in all three formats.