World cricket was set for a shake-up after the first day of the International Cricket Council (ICC) board meeting in Dubai on Tuesday gave “unanimous support” for a set of principles relating to the future structure, governance and financial models of the ICC.
Leaked draft proposals from the sport’s most financially powerful ‘Big Three’ nations argued for more power to be placed in the hands of cricket boards in India, England and Australia.
However, the ICC appeared to end talk of a two-tier system for Test cricket in which India, England and Australia were insulated from relegation because of their commercial importance.
“There will be an opportunity for all Members to play all formats of cricket on merit, with participation based on meritocracy; no immunity to any country, and no change to membership status,” the ICC statement said.
But in a move long thought likely, the statement also signalled the end of the proposed World Test Championship, whose delayed launch was supposed to take place in England in 2017 and its replacement by the one-day Champions Trophy, the ‘mini’ World Cup whose final edition was meant to have been staged in England last year.
While resistance from the the other seven of the sport’s leading 10 Test nations appears to have seen some of these plans watered down, a core plan to give the ‘Big Three’ a greater say in the running of the world game remains on course to take effect.
These include the formation of a new five-man executive committee, with three seats reserved for the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) and Cricket Australia (CA).