ICC open to Ganguly~~s 2-tier Test plan

Published: Tuesday, May 18, 2004, 23:53 [IST]
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London:International Cricket Council (ICC), which is planning to expand the number of Test playing nations to 16, is considering Indian captain Sourav Ganguly's suggestion of having a two-tier Test format, ICC president Ehsan Mani has said.

"ICC is considering suggestions like that of Ganguly's with an open mind. We have received many suggestions like these. A decision on having a two-tier Test format can be taken by June next year," Mani said in an interview to BBC Hindi.

Mani said, "ICC is having a strategic review of International Cricket these days where we will definitely review and analyse all these things. We are trying to find out a better way of running cricket competitions in the world.

"We shall probably make a decision on this by June 2005 when the final document should be ready. You should understand that this would have far reaching implications," he said.

Ganguly had recently suggested introducing a two-tier Test format so that the world's strongest team did not compete against the game's minnows as the ICC expected six more affiliated member countries to gain full membership by the year 2007. At present there are 10 Test playing nations.

Ganguly had said that globalisation of cricket was fine, but it shouldn't destroy the competitive edge of Test cricket.

The categorisation was essential because there was an "appreciable gap" among the current 10 Test-playing nations, he said.

Bangladesh, for instance, has struggled to compete against the other nine Test playing countries -- drawing just two Tests and losing all other matches out of 28 since gaining Test status in 2000.

The ICC is spending millions of dollars to popularise the game in countries like the USA, which has also qualified for the Champions Trophy to be played in England in September this year.

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