Will the men be separated from the boys?

HARARE - Over the last 10 years or possibly more, there has been a steady number of people who have become increasingly frustrated with the gap between Test cricket's top ranked nations, and the bottom ranked countries, who despite their best efforts, always seem to take one step forward, and then end up taking two steps back.

Australia, England, India, Pakistan, the West Indies and South Africa have dominated the game for as long as people care to remember.

The concern has always been with the likes of Zimbabwe, Bangladesh and to a lesser extent New Zealand, who have never been able to gain momentum and progress as a collective team.

Sri Lanka, on the other hand, have been a bit of an in between team for the last 15 years or so, a tough team at home, but a brittle one when traveling, especially away from the sub-continent.

The ICC have never been known for speedy decision making.

So, after many years of pondering and debate, they have finally decided to consider introducing a two-tier Test system.

How this will work, or to be more precise, if it even goes ahead remains to be seen, but the big question is, who would be relegated to the bottom tier to battle it out with the roaring Tigers of Bangladesh, and the plague riddled Zimbabwe?

Pakistan and the once mighty and all-conquering West Indies are no longer the teams they used to be when they captivated audience around the world with their flamboyant batting and devastating fast bowling 20 years ago.

It may just be that should this proposal come to pass that one of these two teams, and possibly New Zealand, may be forced to eat a slice of humble pie, and join the lower ranked nations.

Though it wouldn't be surprising if the ICC, notoriously known to have a reputation of been a toothless tiger, would play their cards safe, and allow the likes of Pakistan and the West Indies to play on in the top tier, regardless of their performances.

There is also a thought that should the two-tier system be put into place, the likes of Ireland and Afghanistan could be granted Test status, and that the lower ranked Test nations, Zimbabwe and Bangladesh, would have their performances measured against the newcomers.

All of this is only speculation and debating of course, as the ICC carefully weigh up the pros and cons of going ahead with the proposal.

Discussions will be held in February before a final decision is reached, and if the green light is given, it may not fall into place for perhaps another year.

If the bill was passed in cricket's parliament, would it damage or improve the game?

How would Zimbabwe and Bangladesh react to the idea of constantly playing against Ireland and Afghanistan?

Australian, Indian, South African and especially English supporters would be happy at the prospect of not lowering their standards and playing the so called push over teams, and in all fairness it probably would make for very attractive cricket, but is such a radical decision really necessary? Or will this inspire the teams in the second tier to up their game, and strive to run with the big dogs?

Feedback: sports@dailynews.co.zw

Post a comment

Readers are kindly requested to refrain from using abusive, vulgar, racist, tribalistic, sexist, discriminatory and hurtful language when posting their comments on the Daily News website.
Those who transgress this civilised etiquette will be barred from contributing to our online discussions.
- Editor

Your email address will not be shared.