BCCI boss repeats strong opposition to two-tier Test plan
NEW DELHI, India (CMC):
President of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) Anurag Thakur has again voiced strong opposition to a proposal to split Test cricket into a two-tier structure.
Thakur was voicing his concerns ahead of a meeting of the International Cricket Council (ICC) in Dubai next week to discuss the proposal.
The BCCI president said the proposal was "fundamentally against the basic purpose and identity of the ICC."
"As the governing body of the game, the ICC's job is to popularise the game and increase its global reach," Thakur said in an interview with ESPN cricinfo.
"On the contrary, this system may be good for the top five countries, but apart from that, everyone else will suffer. On the one hand, we say we need to support teams like West Indies, Bangladesh and Zimbabwe, while on the other, by bringing up something like this, we will cut their legs."
This is the third time in a month that Thakur has voiced his opposition to the proposed two-tier system.
Early in August he said the split would hurt the smaller countries and last week he repeated his opposition to the system during the two T20s between West Indies and India in Florida.
"Currently, these teams make good revenue from TV rights when bigger nations like India and other countries go and play against them," he said.
"Their revenues will nose dive and they will struggle further to support their cricket at the grassroots level."
The proposal, which has the backing of the cricket boards of Australia, England, South Africa and New Zealand, calls for the two-tier system to comprise seven teams in the top tier and five in the bottom.
Afghanistan and Ireland, as the leading Associate teams, will join the three regular Test playing nations in the bottom tier.
The Sri Lanka Cricket Board and the Bangladesh Cricket board have already voiced their opposition to the split while Zimbabwe and the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) are unlikely to back the move.
"We oppose the system despite knowing that it will result in a financial windfall for the BCCI if implemented," said the BCCI president.
" But, as one of the key stakeholders of the game, we can't be shortsighted and we need to take everyone along."