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

Pakistan vs Australia in UAE, 2014

Oct 30, 2014 (11:30 IST)   at Abu Dhabi

Sri Lanka tour of India, 2014

Nov 2, 2014 (13:30 IST)   at Cuttack

Zimbabwe tour of Bangladesh, 2014

Nov 3, 2014 (09:00 IST)   at Khulna

South Africa tour of Australia, 2014

Nov 5, 2014 (14:05 IST)   at Adelaide

Sri Lanka tour of India, 2014

Nov 6, 2014 (13:30 IST)   at Ahmedabad


West Indies tour of India, 2014

Nov 15, 2014  at Ahmedabad

Match cancelled

West Indies tour of India, 2014

Nov 7, 2014  at Bengaluru

Match cancelled

West Indies tour of India, 2014

Oct 30, 2014  at Hyderabad

Match cancelled

South Africa tour of New Zealand, 2014

Oct 27, 2014  at Hamilton

No result

Zimbabwe tour of Bangladesh, 2014

Oct 25, 2014  at Dhaka

Bangladesh won by 3 wkts


Pakistan vs Australia, 2nd Test


Tendulkar provides teaser on upcoming book

Live Cricket Score Duleep Trophy Central Zone vs South Zone, final at Delhi Day 4:

Live Cricket Score: Pakistan vs Australia, 2nd Test, Day 3 at Abu Dhabi

Don Bradman dismissed twice on the same day

Rohit Sharma looks to strengthen career after an inconsistent year

Yuvraj Singh — have we seen the last of the man who won India three World Cups?

Australia Australia tour of UAE 2014 Australia vs Pakistan Australia vs Pakistan 2014 Central Zone Duleep Trophy Duleep Trophy 2014-15 India Pakistan Pakistan vs Australia Pakistan vs Australia 2014 South Zone South Zone vs Central Zone Sri Lanka Sri Lanka tour of India 2014

Live Scorecard: Pakistan vs Australia, 2nd Test Day 3 at Abu Dhabi

Pakistan vs Australia Live Cricket Score, 2nd Test at Abu Dhabi Day 3

Pakistan vs Australia 2014: Brad Haddin feels he will be able to bat despite injury

India vs Sri Lanka 1st ODI at Cuttack, Preview: Teams aim for winning start

WICB officials should visit India to minimize damage: Andy Roberts

Don Bradman dismissed twice on the same day

Virat Kohli’s captaincy opportunities important in context of India’s succession plans

Rohit Sharma looks to strengthen career after an inconsistent year

Younis Khan equals Javed Miandad’s record of most 150+ scores by Pakistan batsman

India vs Sri Lanka 2014: Manish Pandey showing signs of fulfilling potential

Fan of the Day

Niharika Shah

Niharika Shah

678 Posts | 6 Fans

Video Highlights: Younis Khan century during Pakistan vs Australia 1st Test at Dubai

India A vs Sri Lanka: Fringe players look to impress

NGOs pursue education for all

Dance Basanti from Ungli: Put on your dancing shoes and practice the Basanti move!

Weight Loss Tip #59: Eat oranges to lose weight

Sensex surges 150 points in early trade to regain 27,000-mark

PricewaterhouseCoopers partners Google to offer business solutions to clients

Google X Lab working on nanoparticles to help detect diseases early

Priyanka Chopra has the best no make-up selfie on Instagram, think fans!

Lisa Haydon: I slept off midway while watching the original Shaukeen!

International programme in Animal Husbandry

Also on cricketcountry.com

Play Fantasy Cricket & Win

Cash Daily! Click here