ICC receives support to hold Test championship

July 4th, 2008 - 9:46 pm ICT by IANS  

By Aroonim Bhuyan
Dubai, July 4 (IANS) The International Cricket Council Friday said it was overwhelmed by the response of the member countries to preserve the sanctity of the Test cricket and holding a Test Championship could be a way to that. ICC’s new chief executive Haroon Lorgat said there has to be a balance between the three formats of cricket — Tests, one-dayers and Twenty20.

“It is at the top of the mind of all our administrators not just at the ICC level, but also at the members level.”

“It is very interesting to look at the various surveys that come through, including the FICA’s (Federation of International Cricketers Associations), which have a very clear message from the players that you need to keep Test cricket at the top and endorse in that fashion It is for us to keep it attractive enough.”

He added that the proposal of a Test championship culminating in a Test final has been put on the table.

“But it is very early days. In course of the next few months a fair amount of work will be done about it, which includes obtaining what other available options are.”

He added that there were many interesting ideas in the various proposals that ICC has received for promoting Test cricket.

“As for balancing the three formats, I am personally very excited about keeping the game attractive to spectators.”

Talking about the security situation in Pakistan where the Champions Trophy is scheduled in September this year, Lorgat said, “It is at the top of our priorities to ensure the safety and security of our players, the administrators and the media as well. From our perspective, everybody’s safety and security is of equal relevance.”

To a question as to what changes could be expected now that Clive Lloyd has taken over as the chairman of the ICC cricket committee from Sunil Gavaskar, he said, “Changes are never a bad thing. And Clive Lloyd is a great former international player. He has a long association with cricket as a match referee and I am sure he will bring equal stature to the cricket committee.”

As for accommodating tournaments like the cash-rich Indian Premier League (IPL) in the ICC’s Future Tours Programme, he said that it was open to debate.

“We need to be cognisant to the fact that the IPL exists and bring it back to the executive board level to understand what that means to both international cricket and domestic cricket. And if we can find solutions to these, then there is no reason why should we not have a window for the IPL. But it has to be debated and you have to find the right answer.”

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