ICC says no world test championship until 2017

DUBAI, (Reuters) – Cricket’s world test  championship will not begin until 2017, International Cricket  Council chief executive Haroon Lorgat announced today.

“I am afraid that is no longer going to happen in 2013,” he  told reporters at the Pakistan v Sri Lanka one-day international  in Dubai.

“At the last (ICC) board meeting we decided the first  opportunity to play the test championship is 2017. I am  disappointed it is not going to take place sooner but it is a  reality of the commitments we have already got through to 2015.

“We attempted to switch the (scheduled one-day) Champions  Trophy to become a test championship but that is not going to be  possible.”

Those commitments include a contract with broadcaster ESPN  STAR Sports through to the end of the one-day World Cup in 2015,  as well as contracts with sponsors. When those contracts were  agreed, they were based on a one-day cricket event taking place  in 2013. That will now be the Champions Trophy.

The announcement is a blow to test cricket’s brand, which is  already struggling to draw crowds and achieve a place within  many countries’ schedules in the face of the new popularity of  Twenty20 cricket.

Broadcasters and sponsors see more potential for recouping  the money spent on their ICC contracts through a global  limited-overs tournament rather than a series of five-day  matches with the game’s biggest revenue-generator, India, not  guaranteed to qualify for what was to be a four-team test  tournament.

“We attempted to form the world test championship which I  think would have been a very good context in ensuring the  primacy of test cricket but again we will have to wait for 2017  to see that as a reality,” added Mr Lorgat.

The world test rankings do exist with England top after  deposing India with a 4-0 series triumph earlier this year.

Holding a “World Cup” of test cricket has never been  possible because the length of five-day games have made it  difficult to organise.

 

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