The Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC) is worried about the future of international cricket with a new T20 league mushrooming every second day. The apex cricket club held a meeting in Dubai in the same regard and concluded that an “urgent intervention” is needed in order to protect international cricket. MCC also looked worried about the lack of exposure smaller cricket-playing nations are getting with new leagues cropping.
The committee comprising former England captain Sir Alastair Cook, ex-India skipper Sourav Ganguly, former Australia coach Justin Langer and Sri Lanka legend Kumar Sangakkara, meets twice a year to debate and provide opinions on the global game. The committee reckoned a better balance between international and franchise men's cricket must be found. An "alarming" disparity in the number of matches played by nations is neither "equitable nor sustainable", it added.
Sourav Ganguly and Justin Langer echoed the thought that Test cricket is the supreme format and countries need to find a balance between Test cricket and franchise cricket.
“I still believe that Test cricket is the biggest platform for cricket. That is where you find the great players, and that is why it is called a Test. It is a test of skill. That should always continue to be the pinnacle and I am sure that countries will give importance to it and find the right balance between franchise cricket and Test cricket,” said Ganguly.
Meanwhile, the MCC, in a statement said that out of all T20 leagues being played across the globe it is only the Indian Premier League (IPL) that avoids a clash with ICC’s Future Tour Programme.
“The men’s cricket schedule in 2023 is saturated with franchise competitions, which overlay and compete with the ICC Future Tours Programme (FTP) of bilateral international cricket, recently released until 2027. The only gap in the combined schedules this year is in October and November, when the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup takes place in India,” said MCC.
“This trend is repeated annually, with constant overlap between international and franchise cricket, and the only clear air created for ICC Global tournaments. Of the domestic tournaments, only the Indian Premier League commands anything like a window to avoid international clashes.”