Cricket’s world governing body, the ICC, is working on a proposal to restructure the 50-over form of the game in the years to come.
According to reports in the British press, if the proposal is implemented, an ODI league structure will be created with 13 teams playing each other for the championship title from the 2019 season.
The 10 ICC member countries that play Test cricket will be joined by three associate members in the league. Analysts believe the ICC is certain to pick Afghanistan and Ireland, but it is still undecided about the 13th side. The report will be presented before the ICC’s AGM scheduled for next month.
Analysts believe the ICC is certain to pick Afghanistan and Ireland, but it is still undecided about the 13th side.
The league, which will be organised on a three-year cycle, is to be played on home and away basis. Each team will have to play 36 ODI matches every year. Top two teams will play each other in the final, and the winning team will be crowned champions.
Reports say the ICC is well aware of the popularity of the game in Nepal, and it is in favour of granting Nepal place in the top league. The ICC knows that more popularity equates to more TV revenues, and more funding for the game.
The ICC knows that more popularity equates to more TV revenues, and more funding for the game.
Nepal are currently sixth in the points table in the World Cricket League (the ICC’s second tier league). While the Netherlands lead the league table, Hong Kong, PNG, Scotland and Kenya complete the top 5.
The decision could go in Nepal’s favour as the ICC is going to discuss the proposal before the World Cricket League season ends, analysts say.
During the latest round of the World Cricket League, played in Nepal, the ICC, in an unprecedented move, had organised the Nepal vs Namibia matches on its own, as Nepal’s cricket association remains suspended. ICC officials themselves have publicly said that this was done because of the popularity of the game in Nepal, and the fans deserved home matches to be played here. Chances are that this factor could open new avenues for Nepal this time also.
But regardless of the fate of the proposal, cricket administrators and players should understand that fan following can only help to a certain extent, and at the end of the day, it’s the wins (both home and abroad) that count.