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MCC Committee recommends minimum of 3-match Test series, wants hosts to bear travel costs of away teams

The World Cricket Committee (WCC) of the Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC), the custodians of the laws of the game, held a meeting in Cape Town on the sidelines of the ongoing SA20 2024 in a bid to devise strategies that could benefit the beautiful sport.

The Committee expressed their disappointment with the lack of a series decider after West Indies’ two-match Test tour of Australia ended in a 1-1 draw. The hosts won the first Test in Adelaide before the Caribbean side bounced back miraculously to register a memorable win in Brisbane in the second Test. Also, India’s two-match Test series against South Africa ended in a 1-1 draw after Rohit Sharma’s men secured a historic victory in the Cape Town Test to share the spoils.

“In support of the thrilling Test cricket currently being played and the importance of sustaining the traditional format of the game, the WCC recommends men’s Test series be played across a minimum of three matches from the next ICC Future Tours Programme from 2028 (next cycle) onwards,” said the Committee as per News18.

Our World Cricket committee is currently meeting in South Africa.

A number of important topics are being discussed to help influence the global game.#CricketTwitter pic.twitter.com/jQOQBQd79I

— Marylebone Cricket Club (@MCCOfficial) February 3, 2024

The game owes a debt of gratitude to India, with its insatiable thirst for cricket driving the wealth in the global game: WCC

The WCC of the MCC acknowledged India’s contribution to generating revenue for the sport. However, they explained the importance of new markets to be identified in order to ensure the global growth of the game.

“The game owes a debt of gratitude to India, with its insatiable thirst for cricket driving the wealth in the global game. However, this reliance upon India belies the fact that the game needs to identify new markets to ensure its global growth, at a time when media rights beyond the current cycle are by no means guaranteed,” the Committee stated.

“With this uncertainty identified and on the back of the momentum built through this year’s ICC Men’s T20 World Cup in the USA and Caribbean and the build-up to the 2028 Olympics in the USA, the acceleration of the USA as a growth market for cricket would seem a natural consideration,” it added.

Currently, former Sri Lanka captain Kumar Sangakkara is the chair of the WCC, while the other members include Clare Connor, Kumar Dharmasena, Sourav Ganguly, Jhulan Goswami, Heather Knight, Justin Langer, Eoin Morgan, Ramiz Raja, Ricky Skerritt and Graeme Smith.

Also Read: Tania Mallick disappointed after PCB fails to keep women’s T20 league commitment

The West Indies Cricket CEO recently pointed out that the travel expenses of its team account for a major amount of the board’s budget. In the current model, the home team gets to keep the media rights revenue generated from a series. The WCC wants this model to be revised so that touring teams can also receive a share of the revenue.

“The WCC has long been aware of the game’s global economics being heavily imbalanced and detrimental to touring teams who bear the cost of travel, whilst all revenue is retained by the host body based upon a historical expectation of quid pro quo’ touring arrangements,” the Committee mentioned.

“With evidence emerging of this now creating inequalities the committee calls for this model to be reconsidered, with analysis to be conducted on the impact of home bodies absorbing these touring team costs as a way of redistributing income and adding greater context to all future bilateral cricket,” it added.

Another topic of discussion in the meeting was the need for distributing games more evenly between nations from the next FTP cycle, starting in 2028.

“The committee also feels the imbalance of the current FTP unfairly impacts some nations by restricting where valuable content can be played in calendar windows. From the commencement of the next cycle in 2028, it would be preferable for a more equitable split of matches to provide a more balanced opportunity for nations to access key dates and opposition,” the WCC added.

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