Two Tier Test System?

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AngusBeef
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Two Tier Test System?

Post by AngusBeef »

Could Two Tier Test System be the answer to Zimbabwe (and associates) getting more exposure against full members in the longer format of the game?

Initially the two leagues would like something like this:
Tier 1:
South Africa, India, Australia, Pakistan, England & New Zealand
Tier 2:
Sri Lanka, West Indies, Bangladesh, Zimbabwe & two associates (Likely Ireland & Afghanistan)

The system would work by a relegation/promotion system where the top ranked team in the second tier trades places with the lowest ranked side in the first tier.

Hopefully this would ensure the long-term future of tests by insuring an even contest and keeping interest levels high.

Kriterion_BD
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Re: Two Tier Test System?

Post by Kriterion_BD »

I'm against tiers. I'm all for 12 test nations.

A de facto tier system already exists...lets just keep it that way. big 3 already play 70% of their fixtures against each other. No need to set that shit to stone.
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Re: Two Tier Test System?

Post by CrimsonAvenger »

A discussion beaten to death all over the world by cricket enthusiasts and even on this forum in the past. No debate matters, ICC does not listen anyway. I'm willing to side with William Porterfield's argument. Which other sports has sections created called full members, associates, affiliates, etc? Anyone plays anyone else as long as the two countries deem fit. Just because it is possible, Australia, India or Netherlands don't go and play Hockey with Jamica, Suriname or Kuwait. Why can't cricket be just open? Teams will chose their worthy competition.

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Re: Two Tier Test System?

Post by JHunter »

Kriterion_BD wrote:I'm against tiers. I'm all for 12 test nations.

A de facto tier system already exists...lets just keep it that way. big 3 already play 70% of their fixtures against each other. No need to set that shit to stone.
Fully agreed.
CrimsonAvenger wrote:A discussion beaten to death all over the world by cricket enthusiasts and even on this forum in the past.


Quite true.
No debate matters, ICC does not listen anyway.


They don't have to listen anymore than the IOC, FIBA or FIFA does. This is a misconception of many sports fans - thinking that just because they like a game, that the persons legitimately placed in charge of administering a sport HAVE to listen to their gripes and concerns. Unfortunately for such fans, the facts are that:

1. Administrators are people too and have just as much rights to refuse to implement any proposal brought forward to them as other people (such as the fans) do in any other matter in life. That's life. It's tough. Fans need to get over it.

2. There is no legal basis on which administrators are actually required to follow what fans say. Again it's life and it's tough. Fans need to get over it.
I'm willing to side with William Porterfield's argument. Which other sports has sections created called full members, associates, affiliates, etc?


To quote a certain author of a well known cricket book (who in turn was paraphrasing a well known English poet/writer), "What do they know of cricket who only cricket know?"

Clearly Porterfield seems to know very little about other sports. A number of other sports have differential membership including Rugby League (they have "full members" and "associates" and they also have "test matches" - that should sound very, very familiar to Mr. Porterfield), Netball (they have " full members" and "associate members" and also have "test matches" and "test series"), and Rugby Union (they have members and associates).
Anyone plays anyone else as long as the two countries deem fit. Just because it is possible, Australia, India or Netherlands don't go and play Hockey with Jamica, Suriname or Kuwait. Why can't cricket be just open? Teams will chose their worthy competition.
Given that Australia, India and the netherlands don't go and just play hockey with Jamaica, Suriname or Kuwait and that England, Germany and Argentina don't just go and play football with Bhutan, Kuwait and Dominica, what difference is there really between the informal differential membership system in hockey and football and the formalized differential membership system in cricket? In fact up until Australia/England/India bullied their way into near total control of cricket recently, the formalized system in cricket was at least in theory more fair in that ANY country which genuinely worked towards attaining full membership would have been assured a chance to play every other full member at least once. If Afghanistan had attained full membership in say...2010, they would have become a part of the Future Tours Programme and been guaranteed matches against India, Australia and England (even if only away matches due to the security environment at homes). By contrast, there is no guarantee that Rwanda will ever play Germany (they have never played each other, not even in a friendly match, during the 37 years Rwanda has been affiliated with FIFA).

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Re: Two Tier Test System?

Post by foreignfield »

JHunter wrote:Given that Australia, India and the netherlands don't go and just play hockey with Jamaica, Suriname or Kuwait and that England, Germany and Argentina don't just go and play football with Bhutan, Kuwait and Dominica, what difference is there really between the informal differential membership system in hockey and football and the formalized differential membership system in cricket? In fact up until Australia/England/India bullied their way into near total control of cricket recently, the formalized system in cricket was at least in theory more fair in that ANY country which genuinely worked towards attaining full membership would have been assured a chance to play every other full member at least once. If Afghanistan had attained full membership in say...2010, they would have become a part of the Future Tours Programme and been guaranteed matches against India, Australia and England (even if only away matches due to the security environment at homes). By contrast, there is no guarantee that Rwanda will ever play Germany (they have never played each other, not even in a friendly match, during the 37 years Rwanda has been affiliated with FIFA).
We (Germany) have played Gibralta recently, we've played the Faröer Islands, we've played San Marino -- as one-sided as these matches are, in football everyone is on an equal footing as far as qualifying for major tournaments is concerned.

The FTP is an agreement, nothing more. It has been changed in the past, it will again be changed in the future.

But you are right in quoting C.L.R. James: there are more factors to making Test cricket a viable option. Already Zim is hardly playing Test cricket, and I doubt it very much that we would suddenly play a lot of Tests against Ireland because economically it doesn't make a lot of sense. However, I believe cricket is way too obsessed with the sanctity of the international records. I mean no one really cares who has scored the most goals in a football international (it must have occured in something like Australia v. Nauru), no one cares who is the most capped international player. If the Pakistani expat communities in Germany and Norway decide they want to play five-day matches against each other, can provide an adequate ground, pay for umpires and call it a "Test", who cares? Let them. No one is forced to follow the scores or keep track of the results, and no one can force the ICC to distribute its wealth differently (and that is the root of everything) only because someone plays "Tests".

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Re: Two Tier Test System?

Post by JHunter »

foreignfield wrote:
JHunter wrote:Given that Australia, India and the netherlands don't go and just play hockey with Jamaica, Suriname or Kuwait and that England, Germany and Argentina don't just go and play football with Bhutan, Kuwait and Dominica, what difference is there really between the informal differential membership system in hockey and football and the formalized differential membership system in cricket? In fact up until Australia/England/India bullied their way into near total control of cricket recently, the formalized system in cricket was at least in theory more fair in that ANY country which genuinely worked towards attaining full membership would have been assured a chance to play every other full member at least once. If Afghanistan had attained full membership in say...2010, they would have become a part of the Future Tours Programme and been guaranteed matches against India, Australia and England (even if only away matches due to the security environment at homes). By contrast, there is no guarantee that Rwanda will ever play Germany (they have never played each other, not even in a friendly match, during the 37 years Rwanda has been affiliated with FIFA).
We (Germany) have played Gibralta recently, we've played the Faröer Islands, we've played San Marino -- as one-sided as these matches are, in football everyone is on an equal footing as far as qualifying for major tournaments is concerned.
Those are all European countries though. One would expect that at some point countries like Gibraltar, the Faroes and San Marino would eventually play Germany in qualifying tournaments (either for the World Cup or the Continental competition) or in the Continental finals. And so it is - Germany has only played Gibraltar, Faroes and San Marino in qualifying matches or continental finals. Never in friendlies. Ever. So when Germany has a choice, Germany does not play against these countries, much less against countries outside of Europe like Rwanda and Bhutan. If the latter two had the same quality and structure of domestic football as say San Marino or some other very small European country, they would likely not be facing Germany or Spain in a friendly. And unless they managed to convince UEFA that they were in fact a part of the European continent then they will never face Germany or Spain in any kind of qualifying match outside of the minute possibility of an inter-confederation playoff for the World Cup.

The fact that all these countries are on an equal footing as far as qualifying tournaments are concerned is fine, except that is no different than the fact that all countries are on an equal footing as far as the FTP is concerned - after all, given a choice, most countries would not host nor tour Zimbabwe and Bangladesh among many of the other full members. The difference though is that the FTP is not a qualifying tournament, but a general program of international sport.

The FTP is an agreement, nothing more. It has been changed in the past, it will again be changed in the future.
That's true. It's also besides my point. Whether or not the FTP is an agreement or nothing more is actually neither here nor there. All international sport is based on agreements. The FIFA World Cup and European continental championships and their qualifying tournaments are based on agreements and nothing more and can likewise be changed again in the future as they were once changed in the past.

Remember the very first FIFA World Cup had no qualifiers whatsoever and was an invitation-only affair. There was also a time when there were less than 32 teams in the FIFA World Cup finals and there is no guarantee that it has to be 32 teams or more.

However, the FTP represents an agreement for what is essentially a system of international friendlies. The FTP was not set up as a qualifying tournament. The equivalent would be if FIFA had mandated that Germany must play Rwanda at least once in X number of years as part of a program of international friendlies.

And my example was to demonstrate that IF Afghanistan had qualified for full membership by say 2010, then Afghanistan would have been guaranteed games against the traditional major draw teams of England, Australia, India and South Africa. There is no possible way for Rwanda to similarly qualify for a status which would guarantee it games on a sustained basis outside of the World Cup against teams like Brazil, Germany or Spain. Short of moving the entire country to South America or Europe there is simply no way for this to happen and the only way Rwanda is likely to play any of the top draw teams is to qualify for a World Cup and thus to play the top draw teams consistently they would have to qualify for World Cups consistently.
But you are right in quoting C.L.R. James: there are more factors to making Test cricket a viable option. Already Zim is hardly playing Test cricket, and I doubt it very much that we would suddenly play a lot of Tests against Ireland because economically it doesn't make a lot of sense. However, I believe cricket is way too obsessed with the sanctity of the international records. I mean no one really cares who has scored the most goals in a football international (it must have occured in something like Australia v. Nauru), no one cares who is the most capped international player. If the Pakistani expat communities in Germany and Norway decide they want to play five-day matches against each other, can provide an adequate ground, pay for umpires and call it a "Test", who cares? Let them. No one is forced to follow the scores or keep track of the results, and no one can force the ICC to distribute its wealth differently (and that is the root of everything) only because someone plays "Tests".
This constant comparison between football (or rather association football) and cricket is tiring because the two are probably the most dissimilar of the major popular global team sports. You don't have "test" matches in football (though you do have such matches in the rugby codes and netball but people don't use them for comparison, possibly because they are not as "equitable" as association football). Yet cricket (with THREE versions played internationally, two of which are quite dissimilar to the third version) is constantly compared to a sport which has basically only ONE version that is played internationally (11-a-side football).

The sport most similar to cricket is actually baseball and anyone with even a basic familiarity with baseball in the Americas and East Asia (where it is most popular) will know it is game where statistics matters. A lot. It's not out of sheer idleness that you even have players being awarded the Triple Crown for instance based purely on stats. You even have a Hollywood movie ("Moneyball") starring Brad Pitt that is about the use of sabermetrics in baseball (sabermetrics being a stats analysis of baseball derived from reseachers at the Society of American Baseball Research or SABR (which is where the "saber" in sabermetrics comes from)). Can you imagine Brad Pitt being cast to star in a movie about association football statistics? I can't and for good reason - statistics matter a lot in baseball, but matter less in football.

Now perhaps you don't care about the international records, but it's a fallacy to assume you speak for most fans (perhaps most fans actually don't care about the stats, but there is no proof either way). It's also a fallacy to assume that the reason for the difference in membership classes is actually about preserving international records - it is not; that international records tend to be conservative is a byproduct of the membership classes, not a reason for it. You are confusing cause with effect. The history of international cricket shows that the membership classes only first arose in 1965 when the first associates were admitted. This was decades after the ICC was founded in 1909 and expanded at various times when the existing members (since there were only members and non-members at the time) determined that a potential member (which had to be a Commonwealth member) had cricket sufficiently grounded in its society and was producing players likely to be competitive. When membership was restricted to only the Empire and Commonwealth from 1909 to 1965 it meant realistically that only England, Ireland, Scotland, Australia, New Zealand, India (and from India you got Pakistan and later Bangladesh), Ceylon/Sri Lanka, West Indies, South Africa, Rhodesia, East Africa, West Africa, Malaysia, the Trucial States and Canada would have been eligible. That right away means most of the rest of the world is excluded for over 40 years worth of records. And out of the eligible members, you had some which for historical reasons frowned on cricket (Ireland for a long time) or had not much interest in cricket since cricket had been introduced much later (East Africa, where the British only arrived in the late 1880s; compare that to South Africa where the British began to take it over between 1795 and 1815 with the first cricket match there in 1808 - basically 80 years before the British even began to colonize East Africa). Canada had the competition with baseball as well as problems with its cricket season if I remember correctly which stifled cricket's development in that country. The only major place where cricket was played outside the Empire was in the United States (Philadelphia especially) but the US was not eligible for membership until 1965 by which time cricket was nowhere near what is was in the US for almost 100 years. And since membership in the ICC was restricted to the Empire/Commonwealth until 1965 (not for the purposes of maintaining records but strictly because of outright imperial bias) then there would have been no incentive for cricket to be developed beyond an occasional recreational activity outside of the Empire in places like France, China, Brazil, etc.

International football was not restricted to the Empire based on political preference (in fact it was the British football bodies which initially rejected the proposed body because it didn't reflect the British role in football history strongly enough) and when FIFA was founded, association football was already well established in South America and Europe and the original membership included countries which had nothing else in common other than being European and playing football (France (a republic), the Netherlands (a monarchy), Switzerland (a republic), etc). Thus it was relatively easy for them to admit countries like South Africa, Argentina, Chile, the USA and Canada shortly thereafter. As a clue to what the equivalent of FIFA would likely have been like had the British nations got their way, one needs only look at IFAB - the International Football Association Board. This was founded long before FIFA (in 1886) and is responsible for the rules of the game worldwide. It's membership consist of FIFA and the 4 British associations (and FIFA only became a member in 1913 after it was founded in 1904 and at the time of its own founding declared it would recognize the rules of the game as laid down by IFAB even though none of the British associations joined FIFA until 1905). IFAB's structure means that you essentially have 2 membership classes: the British associations and the rest of the world. Yet nobody seems to gripe about Brazil, Germany, Argentina, the USA, India and China not being equally represented in the membership of IFAB. Somehow, nobody seems to be bothered too much with just the 4 British associations having a controlling role in the formation and governance of the rules of the game as played in Brazil, Argentina, Ivory Coast, Tanzania, China, Germany, the Netherlands and Japan.
I mean no one really cares who has scored the most goals in a football international (it must have occured in something like Australia v. Nauru),
It was Australia v American Samoa by the way, with Australia scoring 31 to American Samoa's 0. That match by the way was one of the reasons why Australia left the Oceania confederation and joined the Asian football confederation. They did not like the quality of football represented by their opponents and felt that Australia would stand a better chance of qualifying for World Cups by playing in Asia. Here Australia chose to stop playing against teams which would be the cricketing equivalent of affiliates (American Samoa's team included some 15 year olds and persons who had never played a full 90 minutes of football in their lives). The result is little different than what pertains in cricket - teams like Nauru, American Samoa and Tonga are essentially the unofficial affiliates of the FIFA world despite being theoretically equal to Argentina, the USA and Japan.
If the Pakistani expat communities in Germany and Norway decide they want to play five-day matches against each other, can provide an adequate ground, pay for umpires and call it a "Test", who cares? Let them.
They can. But just as how, if the European expat communities in Hong Kong and the UAE, were to play a football match against each other and find adequate grounds and pay for officials that doesn't actually make it an official UAE v Hong Kong match, then neither does your example constitute an official Germany v Norway test match. The theoretical UAE v Hong Kong match will never be recorded by FIFA as an official international friendly and will never be reported as such in any news media. What you are referring to is little different to Packer's old Super Tests which were 5 day matches but not recognized by the ICC. Nothing stops such people from doing so now actually (what is the ICC going to do? Imprison them? The ICC will ignore them just as how FIFA would ignore the "UAE" v "Hong Kong" match). Anyone can go play a 5 day match if they want to (they could even play a timeless match). The key though is if they want to and have the available time. Most people don't have the time to play a 5 day amateur match without taking days off from their actual work. And if you only have say 15-25 days of vacation available are you really going to spend 3 (or even 5!) of them on a 5 day cricket match when instead maybe you could do what other people around the world do and just play a single cricket match over the span of 2-3 weekends (so Saturday, Sunday, Saturday, Sunday and maybe a final Saturday)?
Last edited by JHunter on Sun Jan 03, 2016 4:15 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Two Tier Test System?

Post by foreignfield »

And my example was to demonstrate that IF Afghanistan had qualified for full membership by say 2010, then Afghanistan would have been guaranteed games against the traditional major draw teams of England, Australia, India and South Africa.
I doubt that, as far as Tests are concerned. Zim has not played any Tests against any of the big four since coming back into the fray, and it's not likely that we ever will again. Full membership is a different kettle of fish really: I have no doubt that should full membership ever be awarded to the likes of Afghanistan or Ireland, the big four would make sure the already informally tiered membership (Gold: the big 4; Silver: NZ, WI, SL; Bronze: BD; Copper: Zim) is kept in place.
JHunter wrote:
If the Pakistani expat communities in Germany and Norway decide they want to play five-day matches against each other, can provide an adequate ground, pay for umpires and call it a "Test", who cares? Let them.
They can. But just as how, if the European expat communities in Hong Kong and the UAE, were to play a football match against each other and find adequate grounds and pay for officials that doesn't actually make it an official UAE v Hong Kong match, then neither does your example constitute an official Germany v Norway test match. The theoretical UAE v Hong Kong match will never be recorded by FIFA as an official international friendly and will never be reported as such in any news media. What you are referring to is little different to Packer's old Super Tests which were 5 day matches but not recognized by the ICC. Nothing stops such people from doing so now actually (what is the ICC going to do? Imprison them? The ICC will ignore them just as how FIFA would ignore the "UAE" v "Hong Kong" match). Anyone can go play a 5 day match if they want to (they could even play a timeless match). The key though is if they want to and have the available time. Most people don't have the time to play a 5 day amateur match without taking days off from their actual work. And if you only have say 15-25 days of vacation available are you really going to spend 3 (or even 5!) of them on a 5 day cricket match when instead maybe you could do what other people around the world do and just play a single cricket match over the span of 2-3 weekends (so Saturday, Sunday, Saturday, Sunday and maybe a final Saturday)?
"Pakistani expat communities" was tongue in cheek for DCB (Deutscher Cricket Bund) and its Norwegian equivalent -- although our national team also features the odd Sri Lankan and an Englishman. And what you say was actually my point: they probably woulnd't play "Tests" against each other anyway.

The comparison with Rugby is a valid one: the IRB was, for a long time, just as imperialistic and concerned about its exclusivity as cricket. Thing shave changed a bit since the start of the pro era. (I'm not much of an expert on Rugby, though.)

I have to admit that I've been maybe a tad too flippant about the sanctity of Test crickets statistics -- after all the statistical side of things and the sport's rich heritage was one thing which drew me towards it. On the other hand, things have always changed, and while some marvel at the batting feats of today they forget the days of uncovered pitches and facing the Windies' quicks with no helmets ...

But I think we've already moved off topic a lot. Basically I would wish to see more competitive Test cricket played worldwide. The sad truth is that's not going to happen.

* And how I would wish to see the Windies re-emerge as a force in Test cricket :)

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Re: Two Tier Test System?

Post by JHunter »

foreignfield wrote:
And my example was to demonstrate that IF Afghanistan had qualified for full membership by say 2010, then Afghanistan would have been guaranteed games against the traditional major draw teams of England, Australia, India and South Africa.
I doubt that, as far as Tests are concerned. Zim has not played any Tests against any of the big four since coming back into the fray,
Zimbabwe only came back into the fray in 2011 though. That was not that long ago....
and it's not likely that we ever will again.


Kind of odd to make such a prediction based on just 4 years and a few months of cricket really. In any case, for the future tours programme, Zimbabwe is scheduled to play 1 test against India in June 2016 at home and 2 tests against Australia and 1 against South Africa in 2018. The Australia tour might well depend on if the Aussies decide to tour or if they are barred from travelling to Zimbabwe over the politics surrounding Mugabe. The Indian and South African tests would be more likely than the Aussie tests while Mugabe yet lives and only as long as the boards involved don't decide to convert the test matches into ODIs and T20s instead.

I wouldn't be so quick to declare that it's not likely Zimbabwe will ever play test cricket against these teams again.

JHunter wrote:
If the Pakistani expat communities in Germany and Norway decide they want to play five-day matches against each other, can provide an adequate ground, pay for umpires and call it a "Test", who cares? Let them.
They can. But just as how, if the European expat communities in Hong Kong and the UAE, were to play a football match against each other and find adequate grounds and pay for officials that doesn't actually make it an official UAE v Hong Kong match, then neither does your example constitute an official Germany v Norway test match. The theoretical UAE v Hong Kong match will never be recorded by FIFA as an official international friendly and will never be reported as such in any news media. What you are referring to is little different to Packer's old Super Tests which were 5 day matches but not recognized by the ICC. Nothing stops such people from doing so now actually (what is the ICC going to do? Imprison them? The ICC will ignore them just as how FIFA would ignore the "UAE" v "Hong Kong" match). Anyone can go play a 5 day match if they want to (they could even play a timeless match). The key though is if they want to and have the available time. Most people don't have the time to play a 5 day amateur match without taking days off from their actual work. And if you only have say 15-25 days of vacation available are you really going to spend 3 (or even 5!) of them on a 5 day cricket match when instead maybe you could do what other people around the world do and just play a single cricket match over the span of 2-3 weekends (so Saturday, Sunday, Saturday, Sunday and maybe a final Saturday)?
"Pakistani expat communities" was tongue in cheek for DCB (Deutscher Cricket Bund) and its Norwegian equivalent -- although our national team also features the odd Sri Lankan and an Englishman. And what you say was actually my point: they probably woulnd't play "Tests" against each other anyway.

The comparison with Rugby is a valid one: the IRB was, for a long time, just as imperialistic and concerned about its exclusivity as cricket. Thing shave changed a bit since the start of the pro era. (I'm not much of an expert on Rugby, though.)

I have to admit that I've been maybe a tad too flippant about the sanctity of Test crickets statistics -- after all the statistical side of things and the sport's rich heritage was one thing which drew me towards it. On the other hand, things have always changed, and while some marvel at the batting feats of today they forget the days of uncovered pitches and facing the Windies' quicks with no helmets ...

But I think we've already moved off topic a lot. Basically I would wish to see more competitive Test cricket played worldwide. The sad truth is that's not going to happen.

* And how I would wish to see the Windies re-emerge as a force in Test cricket :)
More competitive test cricket being played worldwide is definitely possible. However I have sincere doubts that the popular arguments and suggestions of today are going to lead to that, as few of those arguments and suggestions are actually based off what actually occurs in domestic cricket or in international cricket's past but instead seem to love to focus on copying association football lock, stock and barrel. For a long time I've thought that many cricket commentators actually would prefer to be doing commentary on football rather than cricket. The same applies to many supposed cricket fans. If those commentators and fans love football so much, they should just watch football and stop trying to make cricket into something it isn't. Yes there are certain broad lessons that football can teach cricket (and efficient administration is NOT one of those lessons if the FIFA drama is anything to go by). But some of things that would likely REALLY lead to competitive cricket are rather sedate:

- longer tours; Clive Lloyd alluded to this just recently when he noted that gone were the days when a team would arrive in October and then leave by February. Instead a team will arrive in late November and then be gone by mid January. I noted elsewhere that if I were planning the West Indies tour of Australia and had the resources available I would attempt to tweak things so that there would be a West Indies A team tour of Australia in early November with the A team including some of the current members of the test squad AND I would attempt to squeeze in two tour games (a 2 day game and a 4 day game) BEFORE the first test. I theorized that if such a schedule were done then the West Indians would likely have performed better for the first test (not that they would have necessarily won that test; but performed more competitively). And now 4 matches into the current West Indies tour (after a first-class tour match, the first test and a 2 day tour match and now the second test), we see the West Indians performing better in the second test (scoring over 250 runs in each innings) than in the first test. If they perform as competitively in the third test this might well be confirmation that having more time and games to acclimatize and experiment before the first official match could well help the weaker teams to perform better. More tour matches though usually means longer tours which means stretching the FTP cycle. That's anathema to folks who want to see tons of ODIs and T20s and tests in a given calendar year.

- more A team matches (see above)

- having double round-robin (and longer) first-class domestic seasons where possible

- stop mollycoddling players. There is a kind of hero worship for the players which has gone to such extremes that some fans seem to believe that players who earn 5 to 10 times the average salary of persons in a relatively impoverished region (basically earning a Canadian average salary while living in a Third World country...and all without paying income tax) are being unfairly treated when their salaries are cut from being exorbitant to being merely lavish. It's rather sad that so many players chase money with such ridiculous excuses when the groundskeepers who are crucial to enabling them to actually earn their money are paid relative pittances in comparison around the world. No groundskeepers = no suitable venues = no cricket. Yet I've never heard of fans taking up the plight of the poor groundskeepers. Likewise nobody seems to care much about the scorers and umpires and other officials. Instead there seems to be a kind of universal view of players = good guys; board members = evil baddies; all others = "wait, there are other people? I thought that was just the background." If we end up losing players like Kevin "you can't trust me, mate" Pietersen; and Christopher "I'll show up four hours late for an interview and shrug it off laconically" Gayle or the old Kenyan "stars" then that is actually not such a bad thing since cricket is supposed to be a professional sport, not a clown show. In the long term it should encourage true professionals to come to the fore, while talented jokers become disinterested.

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Re: Two Tier Test System?

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foreignfield wrote:I doubt that, as far as Tests are concerned. Zim has not played any Tests against any of the big four since coming back into the fray.
Who is the fourth of the big four?
Because we have played a Test against South Africa. And Pakistan and New Zealand too.
JHunter wrote:The Australia tour might well depend on if the Aussies decide to tour or if they are barred from travelling to Zimbabwe over the politics surrounding Mugabe. The Indian and South African tests would be more likely than the Aussie tests while Mugabe yet lives and only as long as the boards involved don't decide to convert the test matches into ODIs and T20s instead.
While the status quo is maintained I can't see Australia not touring on political grounds. We had no problem touring in 2014 for ODIs.
I think England is the only team that still worries about that.

I bet the players would much rather spend a week or two in Zim than in Pakistan or Bangladesh.

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Re: Two Tier Test System?

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The ICC are scared that a fragile 'Test Cricket' will loose it 'prestige' if just handed out to anyone, I feel they're still gun shy after giving BD test status then watching them get ass raped for 10 years and they don't want to make the same mistake again. I actually think giving Afghanistan and Ireland Test status will actually strengthen Test cricket as it will give lesser sides like Zim and BD more options for matches, at this point Zimbabwe are too scared to play the big teams even at home so by giving them more suitable opponents to play they'll be able to better their skills and maybe one day feel safe enough to play the big teams ......
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