2016 ICC Restructuring (2 Division Test League, etc)

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Kriterion_BD
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2016 ICC Restructuring (2 Division Test League, etc)

Post by Kriterion_BD » Thu Jun 23, 2016 3:17 am

The ICC's new restructuring is likely to be finalized within the next week or so...since ZCF has the most diverse membership (the next most diverse forum, Pakpassion.net is still 80% Pakistani)...I think we have a unique forum to present a very multi-angled view of this.

Initially, I was staunchly opposed to this idea as well as its previous manifestation in 2014. However, based on what has been reported in the media thus far (Cricinfo, The Guardian) I am now in favor of this plan, although I feel I have certain suggestions to make it even better.

The reason I did a 180 on it, is because I feel that my team, Bangladesh, may be in a unique position to be better off under it - at least from a cricketing perspective, if not financial - than the previous systems. Although a longshot, there is at least a mathematical chance of Bangladesh making it into the top tier outright if the cutoff period is in 2018 or later. Even still, if Bangladesh can qualify for Division 1 even occaisionally, they may be better off than they are currently.

The ICC's proposals, as reported in the media so far - and almost surely will be tweaked at least a little - are as follows:

1) 12 Test nations, with the top 7 in Division 1 and bottom 5 in Division 2. Guaranteed promotiom/relegation for teams ranked #8 and #7, respectively with the possibility of a playoff between teams ranked #6 and and #9. Promotion/relegation between #12 ranked side and Intercontinental Cup winner as well. Possible Test Championship match/series between top 2 sides to determine a winner for each 2-year cycle.

2) ODI league with 13 teams, the current top 12 nations + Nepal, due to their market potential.

3) A new TV rights deal, the details of which are so confusing I can't even summarize it here.

Now my proposals in addition to the above would be to have a full league with a playoffs to crown the Test Champion. Due to logisitics, perhaps only limit the playoffs to the top 4 sides in Division 1 (semi-final format) or even top 3 (2 vs 3, for a playoff to challenge 1) format. For ODIs, the League standings would determine World Cup qualification with the top 8 sides getting automatic qualification and the bottom 5 sides joining the top 3 from the World Cricket League for a shot at the remaining berths. The Champions Trophy could remain, but perhaps become a small tournament with just the top 6 or 8 sides teams competing (kind of redundant with a WC and an ODI league in place). Asia Cups and other other tournaments would still occur.

For Tests, I would propose that there be a small number of cross-Divisonal matchups. For example each team should play 2-3 series vs teams from the other division each cycle. This would ensure the Ashes will not be interuppted even if England and Australia find themselves in different Divisions, impossible as it may be. Teams do NOT need to play equal number of matches, but all matches would end up being weighted so that every team had the same chance to get promoted/win the Championship. All matches should count towards the respective League standings, except playoffs or World Cup/Champions Trophy matches (but including Asia Cup matches). With Nepal in the ODI league there could be a 6 team Asia Cup, without the need for having more Associates qualify.

The ICC would have the authority to coerce teams to play everyone at least once per cycle in order to maintain the intergrity of the League system. Thus India and Pakistan would be forced to play each other, on neutral venues if need be, otherwise the team refusing would forfeit the series and points. England would be forced to play Zimbabwe. Beyond that India and England can arrange as many series as they want in order to maximize profits. A window could be created for the IPL and Big Bash league...but smaller leagues would need to operate on their own times.

The ICC could offer a single broadcast bid for all member nations, world events, and various broadcasters could all broadcast certain series/tournaments. Thereby the profits of the World T20 would be sold in the same bundle as loss-making series such as Nepal vs Ireland.
Truth is on the side of the oppressed; its against the oppressor. Time is on the side of the oppressed; its against the oppressor. You don't need anything else.
[Malcolm X]

JHunter
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Re: 2016 ICC Restructuring (2 Division Test League, etc)

Post by JHunter » Sun Sep 04, 2016 6:32 am

It was a bad idea then and is a bad idea now.

Even if Bangladesh makes it to the top tier the real problem is that if Bangladesh ever slips into the bottom tier it might not make it out again. Ages ago when this kind of madness was proposed I looked at what happened to all the English teams that had ever been in the Premier League - the end result is that quite a few make a one-time splash and have never returned and many that fell out simply never returned. Proponents of the idea always claim it is (somehow magically and mystically) going to "grow the game" but can never point to another international sport where such a system is in place and supposedly grows the game. And of course a major difference is that in domestic games you have full freedom of movement between teams. If top quality players are in a team that gets relegated they can be picked up by other teams. Not so in international cricket except for a precious few players who happen to have dual nationality. In a relegated team, top quality players or those with the potential to do so will be stuck in the relegation league and have very little exposure to play against good opposition and thus become true top class talent themselves.

Had the system been in place in the 1980s, I'm fairly confident that Sri Lanka and Bangladesh would not be where they are now. That the Irish might like the idea is due to the their traditional (in cricketing terms) support of short-term gains over long-term gains - they would have gotten away with never implementing their own domestic 3-day competition if they could have (and for many years tried to until they realized that the ICC wasn't listening to their griping).

Thankfully it seems that the Sri Lankan and Bangladeshi boards oppose this and the BCCI president has been very vocal in his opposition to this (so much for the idea that the BCCI only cares about itself - that the Aussie, English, Kiwi and Saffer boards support the proposal though speaks volumes).

Kriterion_BD
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Re: 2016 ICC Restructuring (2 Division Test League, etc)

Post by Kriterion_BD » Mon Sep 05, 2016 4:03 am

The idea is neither bad nor good. But its idiotic to have games outside the league points table. Glad the BCCI is squashing that bullshit. Otherwise it would have been OK. As a BD fan i obviously dont want to get relegated, but if you're not good enough, you can't really complain.
Truth is on the side of the oppressed; its against the oppressor. Time is on the side of the oppressed; its against the oppressor. You don't need anything else.
[Malcolm X]

JHunter
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Re: 2016 ICC Restructuring (2 Division Test League, etc)

Post by JHunter » Mon Sep 05, 2016 6:13 pm

Kriterion_BD wrote:The idea is neither bad nor good. But its idiotic to have games outside the league points table. Glad the BCCI is squashing that bullshit. Otherwise it would have been OK. As a BD fan i obviously dont want to get relegated, but if you're not good enough, you can't really complain.
No. If you aren't good enough you can't complain when you lose and other teams' national boards schedule to play shorter series against you. However you can complain and should if other teams' national boards want to treat international sport as if it were domestic sport and subordinate the entire sport to the very short-term interest of some media companies. Relegation as the BCCI head noted would basically cripple the teams subjected to it. That's essentially double punishment - the teams are already punished financially as it is by having less lucractive media rights deals and they already (fairly) suffer defeat on the field. But relegation extends the effects not just to the teams on the field but to entire sets of players that haven't even properly made it into or through the system yet as it would in essence destroy the infrastructure that would be the only means by which future players for that country might come up the ranks and may lead to good performances (as happened with Bangladesh - had there been promotion and relegation before then Bangladesh would have either never been promoted or would have been relegated long ago; the upshot being that the board would have had even less resources to work with and there would have been fewer financial incentives for up and coming players).

Kriterion_BD
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Re: 2016 ICC Restructuring (2 Division Test League, etc)

Post by Kriterion_BD » Tue Sep 06, 2016 12:39 am

JHunter wrote:
Kriterion_BD wrote:The idea is neither bad nor good. But its idiotic to have games outside the league points table. Glad the BCCI is squashing that bullshit. Otherwise it would have been OK. As a BD fan i obviously dont want to get relegated, but if you're not good enough, you can't really complain.
No. If you aren't good enough you can't complain when you lose and other teams' national boards schedule to play shorter series against you. However you can complain and should if other teams' national boards want to treat international sport as if it were domestic sport and subordinate the entire sport to the very short-term interest of some media companies. Relegation as the BCCI head noted would basically cripple the teams subjected to it. That's essentially double punishment - the teams are already punished financially as it is by having less lucractive media rights deals and they already (fairly) suffer defeat on the field. But relegation extends the effects not just to the teams on the field but to entire sets of players that haven't even properly made it into or through the system yet as it would in essence destroy the infrastructure that would be the only means by which future players for that country might come up the ranks and may lead to good performances (as happened with Bangladesh - had there been promotion and relegation before then Bangladesh would have either never been promoted or would have been relegated long ago; the upshot being that the board would have had even less resources to work with and there would have been fewer financial incentives for up and coming players).
I cannot disagree with those points. I was initially vehemently against it because i felt it was against Bangladeshi interests. But once I started feeling like we needed a league tl guarantee us fixtures I felt Bangladesh could exploit the system to its advantage. And if we cant beat the Windies and gain promotion we should be content to play with associates.

But you raise very good points that I agree with.
Truth is on the side of the oppressed; its against the oppressor. Time is on the side of the oppressed; its against the oppressor. You don't need anything else.
[Malcolm X]

JHunter
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Re: 2016 ICC Restructuring (2 Division Test League, etc)

Post by JHunter » Wed Sep 07, 2016 3:39 pm

Kriterion_BD wrote:
JHunter wrote:
Kriterion_BD wrote:The idea is neither bad nor good. But its idiotic to have games outside the league points table. Glad the BCCI is squashing that bullshit. Otherwise it would have been OK. As a BD fan i obviously dont want to get relegated, but if you're not good enough, you can't really complain.
No. If you aren't good enough you can't complain when you lose and other teams' national boards schedule to play shorter series against you. However you can complain and should if other teams' national boards want to treat international sport as if it were domestic sport and subordinate the entire sport to the very short-term interest of some media companies. Relegation as the BCCI head noted would basically cripple the teams subjected to it. That's essentially double punishment - the teams are already punished financially as it is by having less lucractive media rights deals and they already (fairly) suffer defeat on the field. But relegation extends the effects not just to the teams on the field but to entire sets of players that haven't even properly made it into or through the system yet as it would in essence destroy the infrastructure that would be the only means by which future players for that country might come up the ranks and may lead to good performances (as happened with Bangladesh - had there been promotion and relegation before then Bangladesh would have either never been promoted or would have been relegated long ago; the upshot being that the board would have had even less resources to work with and there would have been fewer financial incentives for up and coming players).
I cannot disagree with those points. I was initially vehemently against it because i felt it was against Bangladeshi interests. But once I started feeling like we needed a league tl guarantee us fixtures I felt Bangladesh could exploit the system to its advantage. And if we cant beat the Windies and gain promotion we should be content to play with associates.

But you raise very good points that I agree with.
That's understandable in terms of wanting to guarantee fixtures. But there are other ways to guarantee fixtures. One way is to simply extend the future tours programme and whatever replaces it. The current calender is too packed. Sri Lanka v India becomes so commonplace as to be boring. And that is what will happen with a two-tier system: Australia v England, England v South Africa, India v Pakistan will become so commonplace that fans will not be as interested. The media companies want it because they are approaching it from the angle that they get more eyes on the tube for those kinds of fixtures but what they aren't factoring in is that over time they will get diminishing returns. And they don't have to factor it in, because when people eventually become bored of the limited number of repeating fixtures the media companies will simply focus on other sports to provide their viewers with the excitement and variety they want, leaving the ICC and world cricket to pick up the pieces of a game which has probably now irrevocably lost long-standing fans in some of cricket's strongest fan bases in the Caribbean, New Zealand, Africa and South Asia.

If short-term interests dominate long-term planning the end result is always suboptimal and quite likely outright failure.

And if Bangladesh can't beat Windies to gain promotion then Bangladesh should NOT be content to play with associates. That is a defeatist mentality that has no place in sport and does a great disservice to to the many Bangladeshi players, administrators, ground staff, clubs and fans who built up Bangladeshi cricket from the 1970s. The associates are associates for a reason - because they haven't built up cricket in their own country sufficiently to have the ability to host first-class matches. The ONLY associates who now have a claim to asking for full membership are Afghanistan and Ireland (and maybe Nepal). Singapore and Malaysia could be in a similar position if they wanted to (they have the facilities and ability to host multi-day domestic matches if they so desired, but they aren't interested). And out of those two, Afghanistan have the better claim as they actually want to play multi-day domestic cricket and started up a 3-day tournament on their own initiative (even if they needed Pakistani support and assistance) and then converted that 3-day tournament into a 4-day tournament. Ireland meanwhile for a long time were attempting to get into the full membership class while leaching off the English domestic system. That, thankfully wasn't allowed to happen as it would have set a bad precedent. They now have a 3-day tournament after realizing that their griping was not going to get them anywhere but that hard work was needed instead.

At the moment only Afghanistan and Ireland have the long-term potential to compete consistently with Zimbabwe, Bangladesh, West Indies, Pakistan etc in multi-day matches. The one time a Zimbabwe A squad played in the Intercontinental Cup (2009-2010) they showed that there was still quite a gulf between Zimbabwe and even the leading associates like Afghanistan and Ireland. In that edition the final should have been between Afghanistan and Zimbabwe XI, except that Zimbabwe forfeited the match after Scotland refused to go to Zimbabwe and Zimbabwe refused to play at a neutral venue.

The solution is to accept Afghanistan and Ireland to full membership now that they are putting in place what is necessary as Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, etc once laboured to do for many years.

Kriterion_BD
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Re: 2016 ICC Restructuring (2 Division Test League, etc)

Post by Kriterion_BD » Sat Sep 10, 2016 5:17 am

Well the 10 team Test status quo will be maintained. The only addition is a Test Championship which is certainly a welcome move. Would be better if it was a 4 team playoff. But with the current FTP in place ZIM will play at most 4-5 Tests per year and Bangladesh will have to endure 6 plus month dry spells. Still probably better than playing solely against Associates in a 2nd tier.

But this is a good sign for a true Test league to be formed in the near future and also add Ireland and Afghanistan to the fold.

An ODI league would be awesome but I think 12 ODIs a year is too few to be honest. Although the ICC has mandated that to be the minimum so I am sure teams will organize more ODIs. I just hope those extra matches are still counted in the league points system.
Truth is on the side of the oppressed; its against the oppressor. Time is on the side of the oppressed; its against the oppressor. You don't need anything else.
[Malcolm X]

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Re: 2016 ICC Restructuring (2 Division Test League, etc)

Post by brmtaylor.com admin » Sat Oct 01, 2016 1:20 pm

Should be a 4 year Test championship, with the rankings used for seedings.
Not sure how you do it with 10 teams. Might have to be the top 8 teams only, maybe 6 day Tests (or Timeless if a whole month is dedicated to the tournament) to ensure results.
Week 1:

A: 1 v 8
B: 2 v 7
C: 3 v 6
D: 4 v 5

Week 2

E: Winner A v Winner D
F: Winner B v Winner C

Week 3

Grand Final: Winner E v Winner F
I'd personally prefer to see all Teams have a chance, with higher seeded teams given second chances like:
Week 1

A: 1 v 2
B: 3 v 4

C: 5 v 10 (loser eliminated)
D: 6 v 9 (loser eliminated)
E: 7 v 8 (loser eliminated)

Week 2:

F: Loser of A v Winner of E
G: Winner of B v Winner of D
H: Loser of B v Winner of C

Bye: Winner of A

Week 3:

I: Winner of A v Winner of H
J: Winner of F v Winner of G

Week 4:

Grand Final: Winner of I v Winner of J
Something like that anyway.

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Re: 2016 ICC Restructuring (2 Division Test League, etc)

Post by foreignfield » Thu Oct 20, 2016 12:23 pm

The newest proposal : A conference-style format for 12 Test teams (inlcuding Ireland and Afghanistan) in two groups and a play-off between the group winners.
http://www.espncricinfo.com/ci-icc/cont ... 62376.html

An interesting idea for sure, but will the big guns really commit to such a scheme? I just don't see it happening.

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Re: 2016 ICC Restructuring (2 Division Test League, etc)

Post by Jemisi » Mon Oct 24, 2016 3:09 am

the conference takes away some of the divisional issues, but will still be a problem for little countries and games actually being kept in the calendar

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