If I ran ICC
If I ran the ICC, this is how I would restructure the international schedule and address some key items:
• Focus on globalization via this format
• Try to make this an Olympic sport
• Look into commercial expansions into untapped nations such as USA and China
• Divide the world into 3 zones (Asia, North & South) for regional tournaments
• World Cup to be held every four years
• Olympic format to follow World cup every four year so every even year will either have a T20 WC or Olympic winner
Regions (Based on current rankings the top 10 teams. Special exception to China first time around):
ASIA : India, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Afghanistan, UAE, Hong Kong, Oman, Nepal, China
NORTH : England, West Indies, Ireland, Netherlands, Scotland, Canada, Italy, Denmark, Bermuda, USA
SOUTH : Australia, South Africa, New Zealand, Zimbabwe, Kenya, Namibia, Papua New Guinea, Uganda, Tanzania, Argentina
Year 1 : Regional championships. Top 5 qualify to world cup. If host country is a qualifier then the 6th team from that region also qualifies.
Year 2 : World cup with 16 teams (3x5 qualifiers + host). Non qualifying countries play in separate tournament with lower ranked affiliate nations in their regions to qualify for next years regional tournament.
Year 3 : Repeat of Year 1 with qualifications for Olympics.
Year 4 : Repeat of Year 2 with Olympics replacing World Cup.
• Expansion of the sport
• Additional revenue for ICC for the regional tournaments.
• Exposure of lesser nations to the top teams.
• The showcase of talent from lesser known countries as an audition for domestic T20 leagues
• Limited but predefined scheduling of International schedule. Reduces conflict with domestic leagues
Limit official ODI series’ by removing bi-lateral series from FTP. If needed, boards can schedule at their own will as long as it is not in conflict with ICC international schedule.
World Cup to remain every 4 years (odd year 2015, 2019 etc.) with 14 teams. Automatic entry for full status members and qualification for all other nations for 4 spots.
Change WC format to the following:
• 2 groups of 7
• Group winners automatically qualify to Semi Final
• Playoffs between A2 vs. B3 and B2 vs. A3 for the remaining SF spots
In between Odd years (2017, 2021 etc.) an ODI League Title to be introduced:
• Automatic inclusion of full member nations (10)
• Inclusion of next highest 2 ranking associates
• Full league (each team plays each other once)… no playoffs
Make the tough choice and limit expansion of this format and preserve as a ‘privileged/historical’ format. Create the following Test tournament structure. Any series out of this (Ashes for example) structure will be per the boards themselves and will not be considered towards the tournament. Some tweaks (DN, jersey [could stay white but with player names at the least and something unique like a colored stripe to distinguish between teams])
Year 1 :
• [Group C] Teams ranked 7,8,9,10 play each other home and away in 2 test series’. (Total of 4 against each other).
• [Group A] Teams ranked 1,3,5 play each other home and away in 3 test series’ (Total of 6 against each other)
• [Group B] Teams ranked 2,4,6 play each other home and away in 3 test series’ (Total of 6 against each other)
Year 2 :
• B1 plays A2 in a home and away series of 4 tests (total 8) as does A1 vs. B2
• Winners play in a 5 test series in a pre-determined host country for the Test crown
• Losers play in home/away 3 test series to determine ranks 3 & 4
• A3 , C1 and C3 will play each other in 3 test series’ home and away. B3, C2 and C4 will do the same. Winners in each group will qualify to Group A and B in the next cycle and the bottom two will be part of Group C.
• Other nations need not invest in first class structures that ICC will have to fund at the end of the day anyways. [If countries like IRE and AFG (or any other country for that matter) does wish to enter the Test fray, they must set up a domestic first class structure and will be allowed to get a few Tests against the lower ranked full nations outside of the tournament to monitor progress. If there is noteworthy improvement a decision will be made later on]
• All Test matches will regain meaning and should draw interest
• Boards can schedule warm up or lucrative series’ (Ashes, IND/AUS etc.) outside of the calendar as they see fit. Lets say IND is to host the Final 5 series, that might entice AUS & SA (lets say they will play the finals) to come play BD in a warm up series to get used to the weather/conditions etc.
• Revenue from tournament can have a more equal distribution to improve the FC structure in the ‘poorer’ ICC nations
Follow you I will but you have to give me something to look forward to as well.