Points system for proposed Test cricket championship

June 10th, 2008 - 3:39 pm ICT by IANS  

Melbourne, June 10 (IANS) Cricket Australia’s (CA) proposed Test championship of cricket could include a quadrennial trophy presentation ceremony and a points system, with allowances for bonuses. CA has been pushing hard to revive the sanctity of Test cricket and has proposed the global Test Championship. This has gathered a momentum after state teams Victoria and Western Australia qualified to would play for the $5 million (US) inaugural Twenty20 Champions League in September or October.

And now steps are being taken for a Test Championship and discussions have also taken place about the viability of a bonus points system, which would provide incentive for teams to perform and discourage negative cricket from the popularity of Twenty20, said a report in The Age.

The move might rankle traditionalists, but administrators believe it could help enliven the game, giving context to each match played.

“There is still a lot of spadework that needs to be done,” former Indian cricket board president Inderjit Singh Bindra, who next month will assume the newly created role of principal adviser to the International Cricket Council (ICC), was was quoted as saying in the daily.

“The form, the format and the frequency are all part of the discussion at the moment. It has been discussed by a number of countries, and there is hope that this might work,” he added.

But there are several stumbling blocks before the Test Championship takes final shape.

One of them being, Australia’s uncertainty over the proposed format that could effect its “icon series”, including the Ashes and the Border-Gavaskar Trophy. Some fear that such a Championship would lead to more series against rivals with little commercial appeal.

But in the present scenario, the Championship will only gain approval after the conclusion of the current Future Tours program in 2012.

The concept of a Test Championship was first mooted by a Chicago-based consultancy firm and promoted by CA. There have been discussed at ICC-level for the past six months, and most member nations seems to have thrown their weight behind it.

Though details have yet to be agreed upon, the competition model is unlikely to take the form of a World Cup-style tournament, but rather a four-yearly home-and-away series, with points awarded for each match and a winner crowned at the conclusion.

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