MCC recommends limiting bilateral ODIs

MCC recommends limiting bilateral ODIs

The Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC) has recommended limiting the number of one-day internationals after the 2027 World Cup to improve quality and create space in the calendar, as well as establishing a fund to help smaller nations play Test cricket. The 13-member MCC's World Cricket Committee, led by former England skipper Mike Gatting, held a meeting on the sidelines of the second Ashes Test at Lord's and decided that with franchise-level T20 cricket across the world growing rapidly, something has to give.

The custodian of the game's laws also called for more funds to be directed to women's cricket, saying "significant transformation" was needed to protect the sport overall. "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," the MCC said in a statement on Tuesday. "This would, as a consequence, also create much-needed space in the global cricketing calendar." The suggestions would only be able to be accommodated after cricket's 2023-27 cycle. While the MCC's World Cricket Committee (WCC) panel welcomed more money flowing into the game, it noted the financial disparity among members and voiced "particular concern" for the survival of Test cricket outside India, Australia and England. The committee, which met during the second Ashes Test at Lord's, acknowledged the "growing unaffordability to host men’s Test match cricket in many nations" and recommended a financial audit. "This audit of operational costs versus commercial return would help the ICC identify nations in need of support in order to sustain a Test match programme," it said. "This need could be subsequently addressed via a separate Test fund, established to protect the sanctity of test match cricket." ICC established a Test fund back in 2014 when the 'Big Three' boards, Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) and Cricket Australia (CA) took administrative control of the sport. But it did not last long. Gatting, who is meanwhile on his way out as chairman of the committee, added, "In many ways, cricket is growing and, on the surface, seems financially strong. However, we are increasingly seeing a game which focuses on a powerful few, as opposed to a democratic and inclusive approach for the benefit of the whole sport." "It is time for the global game to reset. Too often, member nations are finding themselves living hand to mouth with their cricketing operations, versus having a long-term, viable strategy in place that future-proofs the game in their country, both financially and in terms of participation." "We are currently at the commencement of a new ICC Future Tours Programme and financing cycle, and we would recommend further evidence of the requisite funding being directly apportioned to the strategic needs of cricket." The WCC also recommended a strategic fund to aid growth of women's cricket. "It's time for the global game to reset," panel chairman Mike Gatting said. "The WCC firmly believes that if we are to protect the game of cricket as a whole, immediate action must be taken to bring about significant transformation in the sport," added the former England captain.

The 13-member committee, led by former England skipper Mike Gatting, is hopeful that '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.

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