The International Cricket Council has called a meeting with MCC, custodian of the game’s law, to discuss the possibility of hosting a World Test Championship, according to media reports.
With dwindling crowd and early retirements among players signalling that the longer version of the game is not in good health, the MCC Cricket Committee last month called for a Test tournament that can rivals ODI and Twenty20 World Cups.
“A summit between the MCC’s world cricket committee and the ICC will be held in Dubai in November, where the proposal to bring in a radical new championship will be explored,” said a report in The Daily Telegraph.
The daily quoted MCC world cricket committee chairman Tony Lewis as saying that Test cricket was not in the pink of its health and the administrators should do everything to restore it as the pinnacle of the game.
“Test match cricket must fight back to ensure it survives around the world. All of the player surveys conducted in recent years say Test cricket is under threat, which is something we simply can’t ignore.
“By the time of our meeting in November, we hope to have more evidence that Test match cricket is under threat and to have conducted research into the issue,” he said.
“We are looking at two potential formats (for a world championship) at the moment but we can’t just put them into the public domain because people will shoot them down and say they cannot work, which is why we have to commit to proper research,” Lewis added.
Pointing out that England’s home series against the West Indies went almost unnoticed and Lewis, a former England captain, said the overwhelming turnout at the ongoing Ashes should not be a reason to get complacent.
“We have all accepted that Test cricket is the art of the game and we must protect it but we have to rebrand, market and merchandise it properly so it can survive,” he said.
“We perhaps relax during an Ashes series about he future of Test cricket, but it has shown that it is the ultimate test of temperament and skill. It is the pinnacle of the game,” he added.