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

West Indies tour of India, 2014

Oct 20, 2014 (14:30 IST)   at Kolkata

Pakistan vs Australia in UAE, 2014

Oct 22, 2014 (11:30 IST)   at Dubai

West Indies tour of India, 2014

Oct 22, 2014 (19:00 IST)   at Cuttack

South Africa tour of New Zealand, 2014

Oct 24, 2014 (03:00 IST)   at Mount Maunganui

Zimbabwe tour of Bangladesh, 2014

Oct 25, 2014 (09:00 IST)   at Dhaka

More

South Africa tour of New Zealand, 2014

Oct 21, 2014  at Mount Maunganui

South Africa won by 6 wkts

West Indies tour of India, 2014

Oct 17, 2014  at Dharamsala

India won by 59 runs

West Indies tour of India, 2014

Oct 14, 2014  at Visakhapatnam

Match cancelled

Pakistan vs Australia in UAE, 2014

Oct 12, 2014  at Abu Dhabi

Australia won by 1 run

West Indies tour of India, 2014

Oct 11, 2014  at Delhi

India won by 48 runs

Photos

Pakistan vs Australia, 1st Test at Dubai

Videos

AB de Villiers praises team after win in 1st ODI

Saeed Ajmal’s action to be assessed after two more weeks of remedial work under Saqlain Mushtaq

Pakistan vs Australia, 1st Test, Day 1 highlights: Younis Khan’s ton, Mitchell Johnson’s riveting spell

Steve O’Keefe and other Test cricketers with apostrophes in their surnames

Mitchell Marsh, Shaun Marsh, Geoff Marsh and other Father-Son trios to have played Test cricket

Pakistan vs Australia 2014: Why did Mohammad Hafeez go for a shocking review?

Australia Australia tour of UAE 2014 Australia vs Pakistan Australia vs Pakistan 2014 India New Zealand New Zealand vs South Africa New Zealand vs South Africa 2014 Pakistan Pakistan vs Australia Pakistan vs Australia 2014 South Africa South Africa tour of New Zealand 2014 South Africa vs New Zealand South Africa vs New Zealand 2014

Saeed Ajmal’s action to be assessed after two more weeks of remedial work under Saqlain Mushtaq

Nepal to host world’s first blind women’s cricket series

All India Public Sector Cricket Tournament to be held in Mumbai

Mitchell Johnson: We need to use new ball well tomorrow

Pakistan vs Australia 2014: Younis Khan proud at scoring record 25th Test ton

South Africa vs New Zealand 2014: Vital for Brendon McCullum to find form quickly

Younis Khan: First Pakistani and 12th overall to score a century against all 9 Test nations

Pakistan vs Australia, 1st Test, Day 1 highlights: Younis Khan’s ton, Mitchell Johnson’s riveting spell

Younis Khan becomes first Pakistan batsman to score a ton against each of the Test-playing nations

Steve O’Keefe and other Test cricketers with apostrophes in their surnames

Fan of the Day

Suraj Gowda

Suraj Gowda

642 Posts | 9 Fans

Virat Kohli's Family Meets Anushka Sharma

Box Cricket League anthem: Surbhi Jyoti, Rithvik Dhanjani, Kishwer Merchant ready to hit a sixer

Bigg Boss 8 Highlights: Ali Quli Mirza loses his cool and threatens to poke Gautam Gulati’s eye out

For Every Busy Bee, Get a Powerful Workout in Under an Hour

इबोला से संक्रमित अमेरिकी फोटोग्राफर विषाणु मुक्त घोषित

Google’s new Inbox app is the Google Now of Gmail

इबोला : अंतर्राष्ट्रीय लड़ाई में क्यूबा का साथ देगा अमेरिका

Canada Shooting: Ottawa shooting adds Canada to the dreaded terrorist attack list

Lenovo RocStar music-focused Android KitKat smartphone with Dolby Digital Plus audio launched in India, priced at Rs 6,499

Also on cricketcountry.com

Play Fantasy Cricket & Win

Cash Daily! Click here