Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC) Head Of Cricket John Stephenson has said he is 'disappointed' with the International Cricket Council's (ICC) decision to defer the World Test Championship to 2017.
The MCC's World Cricket Committee has campaigned since 2009 for the introduction of a Test Championship to add context to the longest format of the game.
In a statement released by the MCC, Stephenson said: "It is disappointing to learn that the ICC has postponed the inaugural World Test Championship from 2013 until 2017.
"MCC has been very consistent in its support for Test cricket and the need for governing bodies to give the five day game a bit of a boost.
"Today’s announcement is a setback for Test cricket, at a time when we need to work to find the optimum balance between all formats of the game."
In July 2009, the MCC issued the following statement on Test cricket: "Except for certain icon series, such as the Ashes, Test cricket throughout the world, and in particular the lower-ranked nations, is in very real danger of dying.
"A World Test Championship would reinvigorate players, spectators and broadcasters for what is the pinnacle of the game. Every series would have a meaning and every Test match would have a context."
© Cricket World 2011