Relief for Zim Cricket

HARARE - Zimbabwe Cricket (ZC) has welcomed the withdrawal of the proposed two-tier structure in Test cricket at an International Cricket Council (ICC) Special General Meeting of chief executives in Dubai last week.

The two-day meeting ended in Dubai last Wednesday with the delegates agreeing to abandon the proposal which would have left lower ranked nations like Zimbabwe and Bangladesh at a disadvantage.

“The two-tier tractor wasn’t adopted but they will be alternatives to be considered before the next round of meetings in October,” ZC managing director Wilfred Mukondiwa told the Daily News yesterday.

“The board had a forum sometime last month where ZC made its position clear that they were not in support of the proposed Test split which in essence would not have been in the best interests of the game. We welcome the outcome because it was consistent with the board’s position.”

At the meeting however, at least six Full Members were reportedly in support of the proposed two-tier system and for it to implemented needed at least seven boards but the ICC reportedly made a climb down after bowing down to pressure from India with the support of Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Zimbabwe. According to the proposal,  the two-tier system would comprise seven teams in the top tier and five in the bottom, with promotion and relegation between the two based on performance.

Leading Associates Afghanistan and Ireland would join the three lowest-ranked Test playing nations (Zimbabwe, Bangladesh and West Indies) in the bottom tier, with other Associates having a chance at promotion based on performance.

The Board of Control for Cricket in India president Anurag Thakur who publicly shot down the move adding that smaller nations would suffer was happy that the ICC withdrew their plans to implement the two-tier league.

“I am thankful to the members of the ICC who understood our viewpoint and agreed to take this proposal off the table,” Thakur told the international media.

“As one of the key stakeholders in world cricket, BCCI would continue to have an inclusive approach and ensure that everyone’s interest and the growth of cricket isn’t compromised.”

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