BCCI oppose two-tier Test revamp


The Board Of Control For Cricket In India President, Anurag Thakur, has come out in opposition of a two-tier Test cricket championship joining the dissenting voices of Sri Lanka Cricket and the Bangladesh Cricket Board.

Thakur has indicated the BCCI will oppose the proposal, which he says will harm smaller cricketing nations.

The BCCI president told the New Indian Express: "The BCCI is against the two-tier Test system because the smaller countries will lose out and the BCCI wants to take care of them,

"It is necessary to protect their interests."

The proposal which has suggested splitting Test cricket into two tiers with a promotion and relegation system was tabled at this year's ICC annual conference, in Edinburgh.

The changes have been championed by former Protea David Richardson, who serves as  ICC chief executive.

Richardson said: "Unless we can give some meaning to these series beyond the rankings and a trophy, then interest in Test cricket will continue to waver,

"The same applies if we allow uncompetitive Test cricket to take place too often."

The idea would be to have two tiers, one comprising seven nations and a second with five, including two new Test nations.

BCB vice-president Mahbubul Anam voiced his concerns: "We believe that more we play against competitive sides, the better we will get,

"If we didn't play against better-standard sides in ODIs, we wouldn't have come this far. We were given a reality check when we were promoted to the highest level. I feel that if we go backwards, our cricket will regress."

Thakur is concerned about the financial ramifications for smaller teams, adding: "In the two-tier system, they will lose out on a lot, including revenue and the opportunity to play against top teams,

"We don't want that to happen. We want to work in the best interests of world cricket and that is why our team plays against all the countries."

Cricket Australia chairman, David Peever, called for a change though saying: "There is no better community of people than the cricket community. But I have to say I think in terms of responsibility and the place that cricket needs to hold globally today and tomorrow,

"I do respect traditions but am conscious of not loving them at the expense of progress. Progress and tradition, in our view, need to have at least equal weighting.

"Cricket is the people's game. Without fans it would have little value or relevance. Fans provide the money for us to sustain the game, to invest in the pathways, to help us support the grass roots.

"We have to always be guided by what they want, but also continuing to stay ahead of the curve and keep the game relevant, in all parts of our society. We need to continue to be a sport of choice for all, men women, boys and girls and girls of all backgrounds all over the world."