Big decisions to be made as the ICC’s annual conference gets underway in Edinburgh
Delegates from more than 50 cricket nations will arrive in Scotland for six days of talks, with topics to be covered including a revamping of the world Test championship, changes to one-day international cricket, the use of technology and changes to the scheduling of World T20 tournaments.
Here are four of the hot topics which will be covered over the next six days:
A two-tier Test system
A revamp of Test cricket could see the top seven Test nations competing in division one for the title of world Test champion.
The second tier would be expanded to five teams (with inclusion in that division earned by the best performed associate nations) with promotion and relegation opportunities being decided across the concept’s two-year playing cycle.
It could be played over two or four years, with a final to possibly be held at Lord’s.
Test series could still be scheduled outside of mandatory league fixtures, meaning the Ashes would still be possible should England and Australia end up in different divisions.
A major revamp for one-day cricket
One-day international cricket could be completely revamped under a proposal from the ICC, which would see a new league of 13 teams introduced to give greater context and relevance to 50-over contests.
Under the proposal, which could begin as soon as 2019, each of the 13 teams would play a three-match series, either home or away, against every other country over a three-year period. At the end of the championship, the top two teams could play off in a final.
Should the proposal go ahead, it could see Australia play more regular matches against associate nations including Afghanistan and Ireland.
The current ICC one-day rankings table features 12 teams – the 10 full member nations plus Ireland and Afghanistan. The 13th side could be determined by the outcome of the 2015-17 World Cricket League Championship – the second tier of one-day cricket – a competition currently led by the Netherlands, while other teams include Scotland, Nepal, Hong Kong and Papua New Guinea.
The league would also be used to determine qualification for the World Cup, as well as the seedings of teams. The team finishing on the bottom of the table could also face relegation to the WCLC.
Changes to playing regulations, including DRS
The ICC cricket committee have put forward a number of proposals from their meeting at Lord’s earlier this month, including key changes to the decision review system.
They are recommending the benefit of the doubt given to the batsman be reduced by half.
Currently, 50 per cent of the ball has to be striking the stumps for a batsman to be given out lbw and overturn a not-out verdict by the on-field umpire.
Under the new rules, only 25 per cent of the ball would need to be hitting the stump for a decision to be overturned.
Research conducted by the ICC has shown that by changing it to 25 per cent, 80 per cent more batsmen would be given out on review.
It was an issue that raised its head again at Lord’s earlier this month, when Sri Lanka legend Kumar Sangakkara vented his frustration after England batsman Jonny Bairstow survived a review by the narrowest of margins in the third Test.
Extra World Twenty20 tournaments
The popularity of the recent World T20 tournament in India islikely to result in the ICC continuing to hold the event every two years, as opposed to the scheduled four.
Australia is set to host the next World T20 event in 2020, however the ICC is considering extra tournaments in 2018 and 2022, continuing the recent biennial trend.
The locations and dates for the additional tournaments are yet to be determined, but South Africa, the West Indies and the United Arab Emirates are thought to be in the running.
Such a move would also mean the ICC continue hosting a global cricket tournament each year, with the 2017 Champions Trophy and the 2019 World Cup – both 50-over showpiece events – to each be staged in England.
The 2018 women’s World T20 is already set to be hosted in the Caribbean, and the 2022 tournament in South Africa.