For long now, the ICC has been working to develop a structure in order to undertake a World Test Championship sometime in 2019. A two day meeting with all the Cricket boards in the world was going to speed up the process and set the World Test Championship in motion, but all of ICCs efforts seem to have hit a roadblock, with the BCCI categorically dismissing the idea of the Test Championship.
The idea of the Test Championship had come along as the ICC wanted to provide more context to Test matches. The bilateral series’ did not serve the purpose and all those bilateral series would need to ultimately culminate in a World Championship, something that happens in the other two formats. They wanted teams to participate in bilateral series’ keeping in mind the larger goal of a Test Championship.
Earlier the ICC had proposed a two tier Test Championship, but it was met with severe resistance from a lot of Test playing nations.
And that is why the ICC wanted to discuss and formulate a new structure that would help make Tests a far more entertaining affair. But the BCCI had other ideas.
“How can a nine-plus-three structure be proposed in the first place when the ICC Board is yet to ratify Ireland and Afghanistan’s full membership status? They (certain ICC board members) are just trying to test the waters and gauge the mood of members. In the process, they’re still thinking that a “weak” BCCI may not resist,” a BCCI source said while speaking to the Times of India.
The major driving point for BCCIs disapproval is the fact that nation’s like Afghanistan would make it to the Test Championship without even having full Test membership yet. While that being a very fair, the problem lies a bit deeper.
ICC and BCCI have been at loggerheads regarding various issues over the past two years, with the ‘revenue sharing’ issue topping the list. In February, the ICC had proposed changes in the revenue sharing model, something that BCCI was not in favour of as it receives the highest amount of revenue in the current model(along with Australia and England).
The next meeting is scheduled for April and BCCI are confident that they will be in a strong position to oppose all the changes via a vote count at that point.
The ICC is very right in pointing out that there needs to be a Test Championship to make teams prepare for a global event, to make them take every Test match as a preparation for that one event that takes place once every 4 years, only then will teams push themselves more. But till the revenue sharing dispute isn’t solved, we don’t see BCCI shying away from their present stance.