The future of Test cricket has been discussed far too many times in the past but the longest format of the game has not seen any concrete behavioral change at all. Except, the introduction of Decision Review System –which has yet not been accepted by India- and Pink ball cricket, nothing major has happened as far as promotion of Test match cricket is concerned.
When ICC chief executive David Richardson shared the idea of introducing divisions system in Test matches, it seemed Test cricket would finally get what it lacked over the past so many years- substance and quality.
One thing which this system would guarantee is meritocracy which was enjoyed presently by the top 8 Test nations. Each of ICC’s 105 members would have equal chance to gain the top ranking through this system.
In the coming meeting later this June, ICC might give the new system the green signal.
But the question that would hover around every cricketer’s mind is – how is the new division system going to work?
We’ve got the answer for you.
There would be two divisions – seven teams in Division One and 5 in Division Two respectively. The 7 teams in Division One would be the best 7 teams in the world and the Division Two teams will be playing under a league system to determine promotion and relegation every two years.
- Division two will have two new test playing nations.
- Each team in Division One would play every other side home or away over a two-year cycle. These would probably be three-match series. It means that nine Tests at home and nine away every two years which makes 18 Test matches in total.
- A certain number of points would be allocated. These points will decide the overall standings.
- At the end of each two-year cycle, there would be a winner of Division One. The side which will hang at the bottom would automatically be relegated.
- Division Two would look similar to Division One. The only difference being that it would only include five teams. Each team will be playing the other home or away, perhaps in two-Test series which will amount to eight Tests each every two years.
- The top-ranked team will automatically be promoted. On the other hand, the side finishing second might have a playoff, against the team finishing sixth in Division One, to determine who would be in Division One for the next cycle.