Wednesday, October 14, 2015

[cricket]Blue Print for a Test Cricket Championship.

As we know ICC nixed the plan of holding a test cricket championship every 4 years. But what if we had a chance to bring it back. How would tournament span out? How would teams Qualify? How many matches? Many such questions would have to be answered. But before moving on to answering them we would have to re-evaluate the general condition of test cricket.

Overhauling test cricket
As of now, 10 nations including the top 8 as well as Bangladesh and Zimbabwe are allowed to play test internationals. But to make Test cricket more interesting, IMO, this system should be replaced by a 2-tier system.

The 1st tier should consist of 8 teams (Originally starting with the top 8) which should be allowed to play 5-day test matches among themselves.
The 2nd teir should consist of teams such as Bangladesh, Zimbabwe, Ireland, Kenya, Netherlands, Scotland, Afghanistan etc. , with a minimum of 6 teams under this teir and add or remove more teams with time.
As, according to me the test championship should take place every 2 yrs, After the end of a 2 year cycle the teams should be re-evaluated for the tier they deserve.

Re-evaluating Teams 
To gain a chance to get promoted to 1st tier, A team should finish in top 2 in 2nd tier.
Along with this top 2 teams, the bottom 2 from 1st tier should participate in a qualifying tournament. This tournament should take place in parallel to the test championship around the same time. The fixture should be as follows-
MATCH 1 – Team 7(1st tier) v Team 2(2nd tier)
MATCH 2- Team 8(1st tier) v Team 1(2nd tier)
Both the teams who made it to the finals should be included in 1st tier irrespective of whoever wins the final.

Some Rules
As we would have to rank teams there should be some kind of system in place. But before that we have to set some rules.
1.      A team should play atleast 5 home matches and 5 away matches in a cycle of 2 year.
2.      The 2 year cycle should start immediately after the end of a test championship tournament and should end 2 months before the next championship.
3.      As we need 2 months’ time to set up the fixture and all, preferably the test championship should take place just after IPL (which means the cycle would start just before end of IPL). Thus, not making any of the test played by any nation redundant.
Awarding Points
Now, the teams should be awarded points as follows
1.      For a WIN
1.1.In Home Matches          +4
1.2.In Away Matches           +5
2.      For a LOSS
2.1.In Home Matches           -3
2.2.In Away Matches            -2
3.      For a DRAW(Home OR Away)   +2
4.      Innings WIN BONUS                    +1
5.      BONUS for Imposing follow on +1
6.      For a series WIN
6.1.   2 match series                 +2
6.2.   3 match series                 +3
6.3.   3+ matches series           +5
7.      For WHITEWASH –  1 points BONUS on each match WON.

Test Championship
Rules regarding test championship –
1.      Only the top 4 types of tier 1 at the end of an cycle should be eligible to play in test championship.
2.      The Test championship should preferably be organized with the top most team being host. Although, it is not necessary.
3.      All the pitches should be prepared by ICC such that there is a high probability of getting result within 5 days.
4.      The championship should run parallel to the qualifying tournament.
5.      Fixture-
1st match No.1 v No.4 (Day 1 to Day 5)
2nd match No.2 v No.3 (Day 6 to Day 10)
FINAL – M1 WINNER v M2 WINNER (Day 14 to Day 18)
6.      For the cases that match may be drawn, ICC should elect a judge panel of 5 neutral experts who will independently decide which team played better and should be allowed to go further. Although, it would be better if the playing conditions are result oriented.

So, there you have it. What do you think, will this system work? What may be possible drawbacks? Comment.

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