The Lord’s, the Mecca of cricket, is likely to host the final of the proposed two-tier Test Championship. ICC will possible host the tournament next year.
Dave Richardson, the chief executive of the ICC, recently confirmed that ICC in the way to revamp the longest format of the game in a two-tier system where relegation will be key.
The tournament originally considered for 2019, but the willingness of the Test countries prompted ICC to start the champions as early as possible.
In a two-tier system, seven teams will be in the top tier and five teams in the second tier. ICC chief executive Richardson and general manager Geoff Allardice would forward the date next year to see the league system in a four-year cycle. This course of the system would take adjustment as the current international schedule is packed till 2019.
The principal of giving bilateral series greater meaning and structure in future as cited by Richardson when first discussing the World Test Championship was endorsed by the ICC’s cricket committee last week and now the proposals are set to be debated at the governing body’s annual conference in Edinburgh that begins on June 27.
Whichever format is adopted, there is a growing demand that the completion has a marquee Test final in 2021, with Lord’s considered the natural host venue given its history and enduring attraction for all international touring sides.
In addition to this, it is believed that the ground’s ability to tap into London’s cosmopolitan population, should England not be one of the two teams competing, increases the prospect of the final being a sellout, something deemed essential if the World Test Championship is to be a success. This preferred status will be welcomed by the MCC, who have become extremely anxious about their prospect of hosting two Tests per summer beyond 2019 as the England and Walse Cricket Board considers trimming the number of home fixtures.
From 2020 onwards, England could see the seven home Tests they now play cut to six or possibly five, as the ECB looks to introduce a new domestic Twenty20 competition that would rival the Indian Premier League or Australia’s Big Bash League.
Lord’s was originally slated to host the final of a four-team knockout Test championship under a plan drawn up by ICC and MCC in 2009, before the tournament was postponed in 2013 and then cancelled for 2017 due to a lack of interest from broadcasters, with the 50-over Champions Trophy replacing it both times.