In a major bombshell, the Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC), the guardian of the laws of the game, has suggested the International Cricket Council (ICC) remove bilateral ODIs from the calendar, except for the World Cup year. The World Cricket Committee (WCC) questioned the role of one-day cricket outside of the ICC Men’s World Cup year to make its recommendation about reducing the matches in the format after the completion of the 2027 edition of the quadrennial tournament. This is in view of ensuring an equitable number of matches on the FTP for all member countries in the next four years.
Ahead of the second Ashes Test match between England and Australia from July 6 onwards, the WCC got together for a meet at Lord’s in London to continue their “assessment of the state of the world game,” after their first meeting of 2023, which had concluded in Dubai on June 27.
Some of the prominent cricketers involved in the committee are the former England captain Mike Gatting, who heads the committee, Sourav Ganguly, the former India captain, Jhulan Goswami, Justin Langer, Suzie Bates, Eoin Morgan, and Kumar Sangakkara, among others.
In their press release, the MCC committee “questioned the role men’s One Day International (ODI) cricket now plays outside of ICC World Cups, and recommended it be significantly reduced following the completion of the 2027 ICC Men’s World Cup. The suggestion is that a scarcity of ODI cricket would increase the quality, achieved by removing bilateral ODIs, other than in the one year preceding each World Cup. This would, as a consequence, also create much-needed space in the global cricketing calendar.”
Furthermore, the MCC suggested ICC “undertake a Test match financial audit, to subsequently create a “Test fund” for protecting the sanctity of the format. Also, the WCC discussed ways to “protect, grow and strengthen women’s cricket globally” by creating a “substantial and ringfenced ICC Strategic Fund.”
The WCC chair Mike Gatting advises ICC to take “a democratic and inclusive approach”
After the conclusion of the two-day meeting of the WCC in Dubai on June 27, the chair Mike Gatting, made the point about ICC needing to take “a democratic and inclusive approach” to ensure that the game of cricket maximises the generational opportunity to grow in the next five years. Recently, the governing body of world cricket has secured a record sale of their media rights for all global events, set to happen in the coming years.