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ICC hints Test Championship could be delayed

October 11, 2011 17:48 IST

The proposed ICC Test Championship could be delayed with the world body, on Tuesday, conceding that it faced commercial challenges to start the ambitious tournament in 2013.

After its fourth and final Executive Board meeting in Dubai, the ICC hinted that the Test Championship could be delayed till 2017 as it will have to take all stakeholders on board including, broadcast rights owners and member Boards, before deciding on a final date.

"The ICC Executive Board confirmed their preference to host an ICC Test Championship in 2013 but recognized the significant commercial challenge in trying to replace the Champions Trophy," ICC chief executive Haroon Lorgat said.

"Without the support and consent of the ICC's broadcast partner, ESPN Star Sports, the financial implications on the Members and the development of the game would be significant," it said.

"It would be unfortunate if the Test Championship is delayed to 2017 but the board needs to balance several objectives."

In other decisions, the ICC Executive Board has asked the Cricket Boards of Pakistan (PCB) and Bangladesh (BCB) to submit their nomination for the vice-Presidency post for 2012-14, in accordance with its current constitution.

The Executive Board had also approved the new Associates and Affiliates' qualifying system for the 2015 World Cup while also agreeing to make the findings of the independent governance review panel public.

Regarding the qualifying system for the next World Cup, the top two teams from the current eight-team Associates and Affiliates ODI 50-over League that is being played until October 2013 will progress automatically to the quadrennial mega event.

The remaining six Associates and Affiliates will then join four other teams from the World Cricket League (the teams placed 3rd and 4th in Division 2 and teams placed 1st and 2nd in Division 3) in a second 10-team qualifying event. The two finalists from that event will also progress to the World Cup.

The independent governance review, headed by Lord Woolf, hopes to submit the report to the ICC early next year, after which it will be made public.

The review is part of the ICC's new Strategic Plan for 2011-15 and its scope includes the constitutional framework of the ICC, the election process for the president, the criteria for membership and clarifying the role and structure of the ICC and its committees to ensure that strategic goals are met effectively and that decision-making is made in the best interests of the game.

Commenting on the independent governance review, ICC President Sharad Pawar said, "Lord Woolf is a very eminent member of the judiciary in the United Kingdom and he has a clear picture of what is required of him and his support team. He was very open and frank with the Board and that was appreciated.

"Lord Woolf has made a positive start to his work and while acknowledging that cricket has already achieved many great things, he noted that there were challenges and important decisions to make to ensure that we continue to succeed in the future. I am also pleased that the Board has agreed to make the report public after it has met with Lord Woolf in February 2012."

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