BCCI, ECB and CA propose four-nation tournament to ICC next year
The three boards are planning a T20 series just before the T20 World Cup for preparations.
Updated - Dec 22, 2019 3:20 pm
The ICC has been trying to keep the traditional two formats of the game Tests and ODIs from being gobbled up by the popularity of the new forms like T20 and T10. Though, T20 has now become the more popular of the formats with two back-to-back T20 World Cups scheduled in 2020 and 2021. However, there are a few cricket boards that see more viability in playing a compact multi-nation event next year and have approached the ICC with the idea.
ICC or the International Cricket Council, the guardians of the game at the international level have been planning to have one global even every year as opposed to the ODI World Cup, which happens every four years and the T20 World which usually takes place every two years. Next year’s WT20 in Australia and the one to be hosted by India in 2021 are exceptions, as the latter was supposed to be the Champions Trophy.
ECB, CA and BCCI oppose ICC’s global event in every year
The new ICC Members Playing Agreement (MPA) has not gone down well with the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB), Cricket Australia (CA) and the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) opposing it and are still to sign on the MPA for years 2023-2030. These boards feel that ICC holding one global event every year is detrimental to their finances and see bilateral series as better alternatives.
Therefore, they have come up with a plan of holding four-nation tournaments with BCCI wanting to utilize the festive period of October-November for doing so, the English board has been told to explore the possibility of accommodating the series towards the end of their summer. Australia has the option of choosing the start of their summer in November or at the end of it in February-March.
“Initial discussions have gone well and everyone involved is excited at the prospect of such a series happening. There is a window in October-November which all three want to make use of. While BCCI has made it the start of its home season, England and Australia very rarely play during this period. So when the opportunity is there, why use it,” a BCCI official was quoted as saying by Newindianexpress.
Three boards prepared to hold the tournament with or without ICC approval
However, they need approval from ICC as they capped the number of teams in a non-ICC event to three, with only Asia Cup being the exception. “After the Hero Cup in 1992, the ICC put a cap on four-nation events. So, a formal proposal has to be sent to the ICC for approval,” the official added. Sources also mentioned that three boards are prepared to hold the tournament even if they don’t get approval and ICC has been kept in the loop for the sake of it.
The three boards are planning a T20 series just before the T20 World Cup for preparations, but these might clash with the warmup games and if the three teams pull out of these warmup games, ICC believes it would be a bad advertisement for the event.