Extra funding to protect Test cricket and the women’s game has been proposed by the MCC’s world committee, which has also called for men’s ODIs to be “significantly reduced” after the 2027 World Cup.
The financial imbalance existing between nations is putting a squeeze on the viability of Test cricket outside of India, England and Australia, according to a panel of current and former players.
A lack of quantifiable data on the costs of staging Tests has led to a recommendation the International Cricket Council undertakes a financial audit to establish the nations who are in need of support.
The world committee – whose sole Australian member is Justin Langer – also advised a separate Test fund to address the issue and “protect the sanctity” of the format.
A “substantial and ringfenced” fund to strengthen and grow women’s cricket was another of the series of proposals to the ICC, which should be seeking a commitment from associate nations desiring Test status to invest in and field women’s teams.
With the proliferation of T20 domestic franchise leagues creating an increasing logjam, the committee has also suggested a removal of bilateral ODIs – other than in the 12-month period before 50-over World Cups – to “increase the quality” and “create much-needed space in the global cricketing calendar”.
Former England captain Mike Gatting, who chairs the committee which meets twice a year to debate the issues facing cricket, said: “It’s time for the global game to reset.
“Too often, member nations are finding themselves living hand to mouth with their cricketing operations, versus having a long-term, viable strategy in place that future-proofs the game in their country, both financially and in terms of participation.
“A more equitable approach would provide more commercial stability and continue to grow the potential of the ICC World Test Championship.
“The growth of the women’s game must also be consistent with the growth of the game as a whole. We need to ensure that nations are rewarded for their commitment to investing in both the men’s and women’s game alike.”
(Australian Associated Press)