Smith wants Test Champs
Graeme Smith (Gallo Images)
Cape Town - South Africa captain Graeme Smith wants the International Cricket Council (ICC) to introduce a new "Test Championship" at next week's annual general meeting in Singapore.
Smith, whose team will take a 1-0 lead into Saturday's third and final Test against West Indies in Barbados, is concerned about the future of the five-day game with most series increasingly struggling to attract a significant audience.
"All our senior players support a formal Test Championship," he told Reuters by email from Bridgetown.
"Such a championship would give context and value to every Test match and would stimulate interest in the five-day game worldwide."
The opening batsman offered a comparison with English Premier League soccer.
"It is important all Test matches should have equal value and that is what a championship would do," said Smith.
"If you look at the Premiership in England, for example, Manchester United pick up three points for a win whether it is against (champions) Chelsea or one of the relegation strugglers.
"I believe a Test Championship is a matter of urgency to stimulate the five-day game."
The ICC's member nations have previously rejected several suggested Test Championship formats but the latest, a watered-down compromise, could be adopted.
If it is introduced, the top-four ranked Test teams would play semi-finals and a final every four years over 18 days to decide the winners.