On Test Status and Full Membership

A blog by Andruid

on Bangladesh:

This morning Bangladesh take to the field against South Africa in an attempt  to gain only their second ever win in the test arena in 50? attempts.

If things take to their normal course it is likely that not only will that attempt fail miserably but so will the subsequent effort a few days later.  If worst comes to worst then Bangladesh could find themselves on the wrong end of a severe hiding that would once again have nay-sayers from all over the world criticizing their right to play test cricket.

Should Bangladesh therefore be stripped of their test status on account of their failure to be competitive at this level? Most likely no as the loss of income from these regular beatings would probably kill what little hope there was of Bangladesh becoming competitive at all.

on Ireland:

Also at the start of the month in the Ireland and Namibia contested the final of the Intercontinental Cup (a match supposedly scheduled as a 5 day game) which ended with Ireland wrapping up their 3rd consecutive title and almost certainly proving themselves as the best FC national team not playing test  cricket. 

Should Ireland therefore be granted test status? Probably not as they are unlikely to be more competitive than Bangladesh against big boys such as India and Australia in the short term and it will be a good few years before the extra income puts Irish cricketing infrastructure at a level of a proper test nation.

on ICC Boardrooms:

However at the end of the day such momentous decisions are down to a group of individuals in the ICC boardroom and given the effect that the addition or subtraction of a single member to the balance of power in the board its unlikely to happen very soon. So whilst these things go on on the field it will probably require a backroom deal that has almost nothing to do with the cricket to get either Ireland in or Bangladesh (or even the basket case that is Zimbabwe) out of test cricket ad Full membership of the ICC

This blogger feels that whilst Ireland have a real right to feel hard done by current situation with those in charge of handing out test status ,the real problem with the world of cricket is this increasingly unjustifiable tie up between Test status  (as in the right to play official test matches that contribute to a ranking in the Test championship) and full membership in the ICC.

Right now that only 10 of 100 odd members of the ICC have full member status(and with that a vote on ICC issues) makes it one pf the most undemocratic sports governing bodies in the world and it is obvious how this anomaly has been abused by England and co in the past and India of late to trample over everybody else at the expense of the game in general.

There is no real reason as seen from the state of the game in Zimbabwe and Bangladesh that indicates that full membership in the ICC must absolutely come with the right to participate in the Test championship or that the right to play in the Test championship should automatically guarantee full membership of that nation within the ICC.

Where the ICC has of late undertaken huge efforts to make sure that this current crop of associates are run professionally by financially accountable there seems little evidence that this is in the in the interests of making these countries strong enough to trouble the apple cart given the laxity over which the ICC doles out much huger amounts of cash to already existing full members(See Zimbabwe earning millions of dollars in partcipation fees for the T20 World Cup they are not participating in).

Even if Ireland or Kenya or Namibia were granted full status tomorrow the ICC would be very hard pressed to try convince anyone it was for reasons other than to be a lackey in the increasingly fractious split within the ICC’s boardroom and as the last team to be elevated to test status has shown it would largely be counterproductive to confidence levels and the performances of that team at least in the short term(See Bangladesh’s failure to win a single ODI after gaining test status up till 2005?).

This blogger is of the opinion therefore that in the interests of the global good of the game

  • that all members of the ICC that have a certain minimum number of players playing the game and and a functional board organizing domestic cricket (ie those that are already earned associate status) should be immediately granted full membership of the ICC with the right to a single vote on the ICC board same as all other ICC full members BUT NOT TEST CRICKET.
  • that the ICC should then institute post haste a qualification system to allow all national teams playing FC cricket the possibility of proving their readiness for test cricket ON THE FIELD OF PLAY.

Andruid’s forum From beyond the Test World and his own website: SportinKenya

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5 Comments to “On Test Status and Full Membership”

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I am not advocating for these nations to be granted test status per say, but rather for the ICC to take a serious look at what Test status means. Right now becoming a Full member means automatically becoming a Test playing nation as has been the case for the past 100 or so years yet nobody is questioning why?

It is true that Bangladesh ans Zimbabwe got Test status when they were not ready for it (even though with Zimbabwe it is the mismanagement of the board that has been the bigger issue) and as is none of the associates is ready for test status but as things stand now none of them have the kind of say in the ICC to leverage for the kind of resources needed to make up for the gap between themselves and the current test playing nations which is why I am advocating for a separation of Test cricket and full membership in the ICC.

Ireland have won the Intercontinental Cup three years running now and could probably win it over and over again till kingdom come but what decides whether or not they get test status ultimately is whether there are enough ICC board members who like the look of them whilst on the other hand Bangladesh can afford to lose every test match they player till kingdom come and Zimbabwe could continue to swallow millions of dollars worth of ICC money for hardly any cricket till Kingdom come but because they get to cosy up with the big boys on the ICC board Bangladesh will continue to play Tests and the credibility of Zimbabwe’s cricketing infrastructure will never be brought into question.

andruidNo Gravatar said this on November 26th, 2008 at 11:35 am

Hmm, well I am quite against these the lesser teams getting test status.

I think giving them ODI status is fine. But test status is a step that too far.

Bangladesh and Zimbabwe are degrading the level of test cricket being played.

When SL started out and got test status we showed so much more promise than any of these teams. So I am against anyone using that argument.

Honestly is right that these teams are given test status and then handed defeat after defeat. If that is to work then there is no option but for a 2 tier system which I am strongly in favor of. I will write on it soon and get it to you .

damithsNo Gravatar said this on November 26th, 2008 at 1:59 am

Thanks man. There’s has been a lot of debate among the Irish cricket fans I know online about whether or not Ireland should get test status especially since they have been pretty dominant among associate teams in the lats two years or so. It sounds very much like the lobbying that was going when when Kenya actually did apply for test status back soon after the 2003 World Cup, being as it is based along pretty much the same lines of arguments that were being used to prove Kenya deserved Test status back then.

Its is especially worrying that whilst at the time Kenya were a better O.D.I outfit than even Bangladesh at the time things have changed with Kenya going backwards as much as Bangladesh has progressed as a force in ODIS.

Since 2003 the only real changes that have been effected in the pecking order is the abolition of permanent O.D.I status, which although gave the holders a sense of stability in trying to plan to get Full members to tour did not actually carry the same cash windfall as being a full member of the ICC does.

andruidNo Gravatar said this on November 19th, 2008 at 4:18 pm

On Test Status and Full Membership | The “silly points”…

a blog by andruid - the unfair practice of ICC -
only 10 of 100 odd members of the ICC have full member status(and with that a vote on ICC issues) makes it one pf the most undemocratic sports governing bodies in the world and it is obvious how this a…

rambhai.com said this on November 19th, 2008 at 3:06 pm

Thanks andruid,
another good article on issues important to the Associate nations.

There is so much more to “cricket” than just the test nations. Most of will read the news but few will stop to think about it.

A must read - I’ll do my best to promote it.

©hinamanNo Gravatar said this on November 19th, 2008 at 12:12 pm