LETTER OF THE DAY - Structure cricket equitably for players
THE EDITOR, Sir: Cricket, in general, is run like an amateur sport. However, professional sport is about money and therein lies the conundrum. I believe that cricket needs to be structured so that players can play world tournaments for their countries (for pride) and be allowed to play T20 leagues county cricket, regional cricket for their livelihoods. The moment you mix the two, i.e., nationalism and money, you create a combustible concoction, since both are in conflict with each other. Until the region recognises this, and the ICC in particular acknowledges this dilemma, respective boards will continue to fight with their players about pay packages when they should be solely focused on how well they represent their countries' colours. So I propose the following gentle reforms:
a) Create a master schedule for all T20 leagues.
b) Create Test playing windows two times a year (June to July) and (November to December).
c) Create a four-year Test playing cycle/fixtures with a World Champion declared.
d) Scrap Odis forever. This is quite redundant when T20 exists as the more lucrative shorter form.
e) Increase the number of T20 between countries, I propose a series architecture of five T20 plus three Tests per series - this will generate more TV income and better attendances at venues.
f) Only three Tests should be played between countries per series with a maximum of nine per year.
g) Create two Test divisions of six teams each, with one team promoted every four years and one demoted.
h) Scrap World T20 since this can be done by means of the Test match schedule.
Common sense says this is the only way the sport can be made truly professional, but vested interests of the dinosaurs in ICC and the Trinity of England, Australia and South Africa will do anything to maintain the status quo.
For West Indies (WI), specifically, they need to remove the rule mandating players to play in the inferior regional league to be eligible for selection to the Senior WI Test team. That's like telling Brazilian players that they must play in the Brazil League in order to play for the country. The best players should be allowed to ply their trade anywhere and be picked on merit.