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.
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.