Big blow for Test cricket

2011-11-14 17:10

Dubai - Cricket's world Test championship will not begin until 2017, International Cricket Council chief executive Haroon Lorgat announced on Monday.

"I am afraid that is no longer going to happen in 2013," he told reporters at the Pakistan v Sri Lanka one-day international in Dubai.

"At the last (ICC) board meeting we decided the first opportunity to play the Test championship is 2017. I am disappointed it is not going to take place sooner but it is a reality of the commitments we have already got through to 2015.

"We attempted to switch the (scheduled one-day) Champions Trophy to become a Test championship but that is not going to be possible."

Those commitments include a contract with broadcaster ESPN STAR Sports through to the end of the one-day World Cup in 2015, as well as contracts with sponsors. When those contracts were agreed, they were based on a one-day cricket event taking place in 2013. That will now be the Champions Trophy.

The announcement is a blow to Test cricket's brand, which is already struggling to draw crowds and achieve a place within many countries' schedules in the face of the new popularity of Twenty20 cricket.

Broadcasters and sponsors see more potential for recouping the money spent on their ICC contracts through a global limited-overs tournament rather than a series of five-day matches with the game's biggest revenue-generator, India, not guaranteed to qualify for what was to be a four-team Test tournament.

"We attempted to form the world Test championship which I think would have been a very good context in ensuring the primacy of Test cricket but again we will have to wait for 2017 to see that as a reality," added Lorgat.

The world Test rankings do exist with England top after deposing India with a 4-0 series triumph earlier this year.

Holding a "World Cup" of Test cricket has never been possible because the length of five-day games have made it difficult to organise.


  • colin.dovey - 2011-11-14 18:59

    What puzzles me is that these folk can plan an Indian cricket tournament in SA within 3 weeks, where MILLIONS of $ are involved, but they cannot plan something YEARS away. They are killing the best part, the soul of cricket....Tests. The match against Australia last week is a good (bad) example - - most of the players are now locked into the "tap and tickle" format, and the discipline of Test cricket is being sacrificed on the altar of cash in the pockets of the hierarchy. Shame on you!

      Nigel - 2011-11-15 09:05

      Agree 100%. The future of cricket is at stake here. If we go on like this 20/20 and ODI formats will push test cricket out completely. The shorter formats are not interesting enough to sustain audiences in the long term so the game will wither and die. I think a 2 match series between SA and Aus is ridiculous. When SA go to England next year they will play only 3 tests. Both should be 5 test series. I write as an England supporter

      stefan505 - 2011-11-15 13:12

      I agree completely with your comment. I am starting to see the wood from the trees.... when the IPL was first introduced it captured our imagination. However, some years down the line, it has become a slush-bucket lethal drug killing Cricket with a unsustainable business model. There is nothing more captivating and gripping than a good, tight Test Match. There's always intrigue, drama, ebb and flows.. It remains the heart and soul of Cricket and its place must never be undermined.

  • goyougoodthing - 2011-11-14 19:06

    "We can't figure out how to match fix every test, yet"

  • Sabiha - 2011-11-15 13:44

    damn its dissapointing so smith and all the good test players will defintely not be be able to play, wonder if any of the young guys new generation will be interested by then for test tournment, most likely they will consider going for big money, fake game IPL

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