London: In a bid to secure the future of Tests, the International Cricket Council (ICC) is mulling introducing two divisions in the longest version of the game to make it more competitive.
ICC’s chief executive David Richardson on Wednesday said the world body, which will meet at the Lord’s ground here this week, will discuss introduction of two divisions in Tests as a way of reviving fading interest.
“There’s a general realisation now that, if we’re going to keep Test cricket going well into the future, we can’t just say it’s going to survive on its own,” Richardson was quoted as saying by a sports website on Thursday.
“Unless we can give some meaning to these series beyond the rankings and a trophy, then interest in Test cricket will continue to waiver. The same applies if we allow uncompetitive Test cricket to take place too often.”
“If we really want Test cricket to survive, we can’t have the number of Test teams diminishing. We have to create a proper competition structure which provides promotion and relegation and opportunities to get to the top,” he added.
Richardson admitted that Tests required added “meaning and context” if it is to survive in the long run.
“A number of member countries are finding that they’re not getting as much from their TV rights for bilateral cricket and they see the need to change and introduce some meaningful context,” he said.
“The beauty of leagues is that, in theory, you will have a more competitive competition and teams playing each other that are of a more equal standard.”
“They will all be striving for something. There’s something at stake. Hopefully that will inspire performance and make the matches more competitive,” the former South African keeper-batsman added.