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MCC World Cricket Committee Backs Test Championship

Ashes Test match in Melbourne
The MCC World Cricket Committee fears that Test cricket loses context without the World Test Championship
©REUTERS / Action Images

The MCC World Cricket Committee has urged the International Cricket Council to ensure a World Test Championship remains on the international calendar.

The MCC Committee has reiterated its support for the competition, which it believes provides important context for Test cricket.

Doubts surround whether a four-team tournament will now be staged in 2017 as planned but the World Cricket Committee said in a statement that even a two-team competition would be better than nothing.

"The MCC World Cricket committee is a strong supporter of the proposed World Test Championship, and urges the International Cricket Council to ensure that such a tournament - or at least a final - takes place in 2017 and beyond," the statement read.
"Since its creation in 2006, the WCC have stated that everything possible should be done to promote and protect Test cricket, which it believes is the ultimate form of the game. 

"The committee understands the commercial sensitivities and logistical issues surrounding the proposed World Test Championship, but feels that a solution must be found. 

"Whilst the committee would ultimately like to see the currently-proposed four-team knockout competition proceed, it believes that a scaled-down version involving the top two teams in either a one-off Test Final or Test Series would still provide a context that the longest form of the game currently lacks in comparison to ODI and T20 cricket.
"The committee would like to end the uncertainty for everyone in the game by pressing ahead with a WTC in 2017, as announced, and believes that Test cricket could suffer if the concept was dropped. 

"Without a WTC, the committee believes that the rankings system currently in use will lose much of its context and relevance, and that the rise of bi-lateral series between familiar foes will become the norm, to the detriment of the lower-ranked Test nations. 

"A WTC involving only two teams is not the committee’s preferred solution, but it would be better than nothing."

The World Cricket Committee, an independent voice in cricket comprising current and former players, officials and coaches, was meeting in Abu Dhabi.

They also heard from Geoff Allardice, ICC General Manager of Cricket, who updated the committee on the status of a project being run jointly by the ICC and the MCC to develop 'wearable' technology to help prevent 'throwing' in the game.

The project is making good progress and the MCC will continue to invest in it as custodians of the Laws of Cricket.

They also discussed corruption on the game and believe that all global domestic Twenty20 tournaments should be compelled to sign up to a set of minimum anti-corruption standards provided by the ICC's Anti-Corruption and Security Unit (ACSU).

In addition to their statement supporting the World Test Championship, the Committee added that they also feel it is important that the Future Tour Programme become a binding agreement.

"The MCC World Cricket committee believes that certainty of match programming is essential for the proper administration of cricket amongst ICC members, and that the Future Tours Programme (FTP) has a vital role in providing this certainty. The FTP, once agreed, must be complied with," the Committee said.
"If ICC Members and ground authorities cannot rely on the FTP in their planning, it is highly de-stabilising.  Furthermore, the committee noted that, so far, any major changes to schedules have almost invariably adversely affected Test cricket," the statement added.

© Cricket World 2014