ICC considering radical changes to save Test cricket by cutting down on T20 leagues

  • Every T20 league to pay a mandatory compensation of 20% of a player’s contract to their home cricket board
  • Set windows for T20 leagues so as to leave a minimum of six months of the year free for international ODI and Test cricket
  • Cricket players under the age of 32 to be restricted to playing three T20 leagues every year

With the ever-increasing popularity of domestic T20 leagues (T20 cricket) across the globe and Test cricket’s diminishing fan engagement, the International Cricket Council (ICC) is all set to consider and design a series of radical steps to stem the talent drain caused by domestic T20 leagues, and keep Test cricket relevant across all fan groups.

ICC warns against dangers to Test cricket

The recent increase in the number of T20 leagues has led to cricket administrators accepting the fact that the game is at a crossroads and if the proliferation of domestic short-form tournaments is not checked on an urgent basis, the primary international formats – Test cricket in particular – could face irreversible damage in the near future.

Keeping these things in mind, the heads of all full member national cricket boards will assemble at the next ICC meeting in Kolkata in April to debate and chalk out the possible future roadmap for various domestic T20 leagues. It is also understood that this move to bring in greater global regulation for the shortest format is being led by West Indies – the country most affected by the player T20 exodus over the past decade – and is understood to have had input and support from England and Australia.

The word coming in from the ICC also states that the basic idea is not to diminish or bring an end to the established T20 leagues but only to ensure that an optimum balance can be maintained so as to have every format of the game coexisting and thriving when the ICC introduces Test and ODI leagues from 2019.

Another argument that the governing body is likely to consider is that unless tougher rules are brought in to guarantee a fixed part of players’ contract revenue going back to their home boards, the grassroots of the sport could wither.

Compensation paid by T20 leagues to a player’s country of origin fluctuates greatly and is not mandatory. Making it so, and standardised to 20% a player’s value (paid by the tournament) would ensure money is put directly back into the systems that developed them in the first place.

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