Tuesday, 21 June 2016

Big Shake up of International ODI Cricket Expected from 2019

A big shake up of ODI cricket would seem to be not that far away. At the annual meeting of the ICC to be held in Edinburgh next month (July 2016) It is being reported that one of the main proposals is that the ODI game will have a new league system with 13 teams. 

Australia, Bangladesh, England, India, New Zealand, Pakistan, South Africa, Sri Lanka, West Indies and Zimbabwe.  And also adding  Afghanistan, Ireland and Scotland. 

What the new idea means is that England (for instance) would have to play a three match series against all the other 12 teams either home or away within a three year cycle. 

The top two would then play off to find a winner. This would mean a total of 36 formal ODI fixtures for every country. (However any country can also play additional games that would not count towards this league) The bottom team would be subject to possible relegation, to be decided. 

The league table would then also be used to determine seedings for the World Cup and I have to say for that purpose this is a good idea. The current seedings all seem a bit unreal as it really depends who you play, this would even that out completely. 

Fitting in all the fixtures however might prove to be quite difficult and quite a few bridges to cross when it comes to arranging fixtures such as New Zealand and Scotland, and questions such as where  Afghanistan will play? Will the BCCI agree with it all? Remarkable if they do. Not insurmountable issues I have to say, but it is obviously going to take quite a bit of planning to get it to work. Trying to arrange all 13 countries fixtures is going to be very complicated indeed. Would some of them be financial risks, well possibly, but the added edge of competition might well improve attendances.

The powers that be seem to think that this would give the ODI form of the game more relevance, and I have to say that is a very fair point. 

Also included in the talks will be the Two Tier Test match league which would have a promotion and a relegation every two years. Which again will give an added edge to some games. Clearly being in the top division is critical to the top sides, slipping into the lower league would be very bad news indeed. In fact that would be a real problem for a country such as England India or Australia if they did have a bad run and got relegated!  

The other main proposal on the agenda is the staging of a T20 World Cup every two years from 2018. 

So quite a shake up, and really Cricket does need a bit of shake up internationally, at the moment we seem to amble along playing each other willy nilly. This will at least bring some point to it all. It can never be perfect because the difference in facilities and finances available to each county is vast and varied, but it is an attempt to try and give the Cricketing World a bit more structure. What do you think?

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