New Zealand Cricket’s chief executive David White has revealed that they are in favour of the proposed two-tier system in Tests. In an interview with ESPNcricinfo, White,who is also the Full-Member representative on the ICC Cricket Committee, said that the concept of promotion and relegation will make the longest format of the game interesting.
“We are big supporters [of the two-tier system],” White said. “There’s already a lot of interest in New Zealand in Test cricket, but if we had a competition with promotion and relegation and a winner at the end, it would really increase interest, no doubt about that.
“Everyone agrees we need context, we need something that’s aspirational. [But] the countries who don’t make the top division in the first instance [should not be] not disadvantaged financially – that’s really important.”
A lot of teams were against the two-tier Test for various reasons. While Bangladesh Cricket Board’s vice-president Mahbubul Anam said that the new system will hinder the progress of his country in the game as they will get less chance to play against the top teams, Sri Lanka Cricket president Thilanga Sumathipala said that the system might affect the board financially.
According to the system, the teams will be divided into two divisions. The top seven teams will be in division one while the division two will consist the bottom five sides.Currently, New Zealand is ranked No. 5 in Tests, which will see them in division one should the proposal be passed.
White said NZC would support the proposal even if it meant New Zealand were relegated to division two. “We support meritocracy. If you’re good enough, you’re good enough – if you’re not good enough you shouldn’t be there,” White said. “It’s incumbent upon us to make sure we are good enough.
“It will make people look at their high-performance programmes and their systems, so the product of Test cricket will improve as well.”
White was also impressed by the concept of four-day Test.
“One of the challenges at the moment is if you play a three-Test series it has to be played over four weeks: four weeks is a long time,” White said. “But if you play a three-Test series of four-day cricket it can be played over three weeks, so you save a week. And, as we know, the calendar is very congested. There’s a lot of work to be done around this but it’s certainly a concept that’s worth exploring further.”