Home > Features >

ICC Revamp: Giving Intercontinental Cup champions a shot at Test cricket may be hurried

Afghanistan are a strong Associate team and may come into the Test fold © AFP
Afghanistan are a strong Associate team and may come into the Test fold © AFP

The International Cricket Council revamp introduces a chance for the teams from the lower divisions to have a shot at Test cricket. Nishad Pai Vaidya examines the potential of this move.

The International Cricket Council’s (ICC) recent revamp has caused quite a storm. The takeover by the “Big Three” has disappointed most cricket lovers as they lament at the risk of losing the pristine charm of their game. It is that very facet that has caused quite a bit of heartburn, some fearing for the future of Test cricket. However, one of the most interesting features is the one that helps the Associate teams have a shot at Test cricket. The winner of the ICC Intercontinental Cup will now compete with the lower ranked Test sides in a bid to don the whites.

Firstly, such a jump would be a giant leap for some of these sides. These teams, however competitive they may be in limited-overs cricket, do not have an established First-Class structure. The only First-Class cricket they play is against the fellow Associates in tournaments such as the Intercontinental Cup. Thus, by winning such competitions, they will then directly battle for Test status. And, if they are able to succeed, they will get it. A rapid promotion may entail a quick establishment of a First-Class structure in those nations.

One thing that strikes you is that only two sides have dominated the Intercontinental Cup in the recent past. While Kenya has declined as a force, Afghanistan has emerged as a strong team. Ireland though are the champions of the Associate world and these two sides are a cut above the rest. Yet, when they face the bigger sides, there is a clear gulf in quality. As mentioned earlier, they can be competitive on occasions and may lack the class to maintain consistency at the highest level.

The Associates and Affiliate nations do have a future, but they need to take it step by step to get through to the highest level. Kenya had impressed one and all, especially when they reached the semi-final of the 2003 World Cup. Yet, their structure deteriorated and they fell by the wayside, languishing in the lower division as of today. It is that case which does serve as a warning as attempts to fast-track a side may not get the necessary results.

Plus, one must also ask the question, what if there is an expansion in the Test pool? Afghanistan may come into the fold and may even beat the lower ranked Test sides. The next year, you will have another country coming through and if they too are successful, it may open the door for others. Thus, there may be a danger of diluting Test cricket. While you do want more countries to play the classical format, getting them to come in one after the other may be a recipe for disaster.

The ICC may have to be very cautious while taking the move of blending in the Associates for higher honours. It would be encouraging to see them develop, but with the passage of enough time.

(Nishad Pai Vaidya is a Correspondent with CricketCountry and anchor for the site’s YouTube Channel. His Twitter handle is @nishad_44)

Catch all the stories related to ICC’s Big Three Proposal

World T20 League 2014

Oct 2, 2014 (16:00 IST)   at Hyderabad

World T20 League 2014

Oct 2, 2014 (20:00 IST)   at Hyderabad

West Indies tour of India 2014, Practice match

Oct 3, 2014 (09:00 IST)   at Mumbai

Matador BBQs One-Day Cup, 2014

Oct 4, 2014 (05:00 IST)   at Woolloongabba, Brisbane

Matador BBQs One-Day Cup, 2014

Oct 4, 2014 (05:00 IST)   at Brisbane

More

World T20 League 2014

Sep 30, 2014  at Bengaluru

Barbados won by 6 wkts (D/L method)

World T20 League 2014

Sep 30, 2014  at Bengaluru

Perth Scorchers won by 3 wkts

World T20 League 2014

Sep 29, 2014  at Hyderabad

Kolkata Knight Riders won by 36 runs

World T20 League 2014

Sep 28, 2014  at Mohali

Kings XI Punjab won by 7 wkts

World T20 League 2014

Sep 28, 2014  at Mohali

Hobart Hurricanes won by 6 wkts

Photos

Barbados Tridents vs Hobart Hurricanes, CLT20 2014

Videos

Arjuna Ranatunga shares his views on U-19 cricket

Mitchell Marsh helps Perth Scorchers clinch 3-wicket victory against Lahore Lions in CLT20 2014

Live Cricket Score Barbados Tridents vs Northern Knights CLT20 2014 Match 20: Barbados Tridents win by 6 wickets

Gautam Gambhir becomes second player after MS Dhoni to captain in 100 T20 matches

Consecutive century opening partnerships in ODIs for each team

Have Manish Pandey’s T20 performances eclipsed his impressive First-Class record?

Asian Games Asian Games 2014 Cape Cobras Champions League T20 2014 Chennai Super Kings CLT20 CLT20 2014 Dolphins India at Asian Games 2014 Kings XI Punjab Lahore Lions Perth Scorchers

Afghanistan through to semi-finals in Asian Games 2014; beat Nepal by 8 runs

Matthew Maynard named new director of Somerset

New Zealand announce squad for Pakistan series in UAE in November

Yorkshire duo Adam Lyth. Alex Lees eye England honours after awards

Barbados Tridents vs Northern Knights, Match 20, CLT20 2014: Barbados register 6-wicket win in final group match

Nawaz Sharif’s only First-Class appearance

Ernie Jones — the man who sent a ball through the beard of WG Grace

Top score by a batsman whose teammates scored less than 10 each in a T20

Gautam Gambhir becomes second player after MS Dhoni to captain in 100 T20 matches

Lahore Lions vs Perth Scorchers Match 19 CLT20 2014: Lahore likely XI

Fan of the Day

Niharika Shah

Niharika Shah

671 Posts | 6 Fans

Kolkata Knight Riders vs Kings XI Punjab- Final Match Highlights from IPL 2014

Sex after pregnancy — how to get her in the mood

US say hackers targeted Microsoft, game makers

Shah Rukh Khan, Deepika Padukone and Abhishek Bachchan back in the city after SLAM! The Tour

Asian Games 2014 Live Updates: Aarti Khakal crashes out in Round of 32 of Women’s 57kg Taekwondo event

Anil Kapoor to build his own film studio?

Microsoft’s Windows 10 unveiled

Health Minister says UHAM to be world’s largest public health insurance programme

Asian Games 2014 Medal Table: Japan 3rd in the Medal Tally with 38 Gold Medals

Also on cricketcountry.com

Play Fantasy Cricket & Win

Cash Daily! Click here