Bangladesh~~s Test status to remain, says Mani

Published: Thursday, June 30, 2005, 23:53 [IST]
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London:The International Cricket Council (ICC) has ruled out stripping minnows Bangladesh of its Test status, saying it is looking at ways to assist non-performing countries to improve playing standards.

"Clearly, the ICC does not wish to see gaps in standards resulting in mismatches on the field, but it also does not believe that punishing teams for performing poorly provides the necessary incentive to allow them to improve," ICC president Ehsan Mani said after the business forum meeting.

He said the Bangladesh Under-19 team that visited Australia recently had performed very well, beating the host team in seven of the eight games.

"The current Bangladesh Test team is not exposed to that type of experience and it will pick up," he said.

Mani said it is a matter that was considered carefully by the Board, over the course of the year, through the "Review of the Structure of Cricket" project.

There were several options that were put forward in this project that provided alternative playing programmes for all nations.

"What was never contemplated was that any country would be punished for its playing performance by being stripped of its Test status. The ICC Board is looking at ways to assist countries improve their playing standards."

On the new rules introduced in One-day International matches, he said, "We will try it over the next 10 months and if it is good we will introduce it regularly and if it damages the game, then we will not.

"The new rules will be tried in the India-Sri Lanka-West Indies triangular series," Mani said.

Asked whether there would be changes in the rules for Tests as well, the ICC president said: "At this juncture there is no plan to make any radical change in Test cricket."

In his address at the ICC cricket business forum, Mani said Jersey, Guernsey, Mali and Slovenia were admitted as members of the ICC and Botswana, Japan, Kuwait, Belgium and Thailand were promoted from Affiliate status to Associate membership as a result of the excellent progress that is being made by cricket within those countries.

He said: "The Board is also examining in detail the option of changing the current five-year Future Tours Programme to a longer one.

"Such a change, if adopted, would ease the playing commitments on all nations, allowing them to choose how they wish to address the key issues that confront them.

"For some, this might be dealing with player workload but for others, particularly those at the bottom of the rankings, such an opportunity would allow them to identify the most effective way to improve their on-field performance. The Board will consider the issue again in October in Dubai."

He also announced the decision to formally integrate operations of ICC and the International Women's Cricket Council (IWCC) to create a single international governing body for the sport.

"This is an historic move and the willingness of both the ICC and the IWCC to work together towards a common goal is, in my view, an excellent example of what good governance is able to achieve."

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