MCC’s World Cricket Committee Proposes Major Changes To Cricket Calendar After 2027 World Cup – Reports

MCC’s World Cricket Committee Proposes Changes to Cricket Calendar
The Marylebone Cricket Club’s (MCC) World Cricket Committee, led by former England captain Mike Gatting, has made recommendations regarding the congested cricket calendar, particularly addressing the role of One Day International (ODI) cricket and the commercial viability of Test matches. These suggestions were discussed during the committee’s recent meeting in Dubai.

The MCC committee has questioned the role of bilateral ODI cricket outside of ICC World Cups and recommended a significant reduction in the format following the completion of the 2027 World Cup. The proposal suggests that reducing the number of bilateral ODIs would increase the overall quality of the matches. The committee believes limiting bilateral ODIs, except in the year preceding each World Cup, would create much-needed space in the global cricketing calendar.

“The suggestion is that a scarcity of ODI cricket would increase the quality, achieved by removing bilateral ODIs, other than in the one-year preceding each World Cup. This would, as a consequence, also create much-needed space in the global cricketing calendar,” MCC has said in one of its recommendations to the International Cricket Council (ICC).

To address the commercial viability of Test cricket and promote inclusivity, the MCC has proposed the creation of a strategic Test fund for nations other than the “Big Three” (India, England, and Australia). The objective is to identify nations that require support to sustain their Test match programs. A financial audit comparing operational costs and commercial returns would provide a clearer picture of the financial situation. This audit would assist the ICC in allocating resources through a separate Test fund, ensuring the sustainability and sanctity of Test cricket.

“This audit of operational costs versus commercial return would help the ICC identify nations in need of support to sustain a Test match program. This need could be subsequently addressed via a separate Test fund, established to protect the sanctity of Test match cricket,” MCC said.

The MCC committee expressed concerns about the concentration of power and financial resources in a few cricketing nations, which can create an imbalance in the sport. The focus on a select group undermines the democratic and inclusive nature of cricket. The committee believes it is time for the global game to reset and adopt a more balanced and inclusive approach to benefit the sport.

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“In many ways, cricket is growing and, on the surface, seems financially strong. However, we are increasingly seeing a game that focuses on a powerful few, as opposed to a democratic and inclusive approach for the benefit of the whole sport. It’s time for the global game to reset,” Gatting, outgoing Chair of the MCC committee, said in a statement.

These recommendations from the MCC committee coincide with the ongoing ICC quarterly board meeting in South Africa. The board will deliberate on many pressing issues, including the role of bilateral ODIs, the commercial sustainability of Test cricket, and the need for a more inclusive cricketing landscape. The insights and proposals the MCC committee put forth, including esteemed individuals like Sourav Ganguly, Graeme Smith, Kumar Sangakkara, and Ramiz Raja, will contribute to the discussions on shaping the game’s future.

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