Next revenue model to allocate more money to Test-playing nations, says ICC Chairman

In a series of recommendations, the MCC’s World Cricket Committee had urged the International Cricket Council (ICC) to set up a Test fund, with the view of undertaking an audit of the amount taken to organise Test matches.

It had added in its suggestion that the audit of operational costs versus commercial return would help the ICC identify nations in need of support in order to sustain a Test match programme.

But ICC Chairman Greg Barclay believes there is no need for setting a separate Test fund, saying the recently-approved revenue distribution model will already give more money to Test-playing nations, though the exact numbers of each country’s share haven’t come out yet.

“The position of the ICC at the moment is that the next revenue distribution model is going to allocate significantly more money to each of the Test-playing countries. How they utilise that money is upto the teams when they are in a bilateral discussion. There’s a bit of a resource now to make decisions in terms of playing Test cricket and if they choose to apply some of that to playing Test cricket, they now have the means to do so.

There’s been no real discussion about creating a Test fund because there’s probably no great need to have a Test fund at the moment given the money being given now that they should utilise,” said Barclay in a select virtual media interaction, after the conclusion of the ICC Annual Conference in Durban, South Africa.

On the topic of the future of bilateral ODIs, something which has been in the talk for a long time and if the ODI Super League will be back ahead of 2027 Men’s Cricket World Cup, ICC CEO was non-committal over the issue.

“There’s been discussions about the future tours programme and structure of the calendar. We reflected on the last four years of men’s ODI cricket, with 13 teams playing 24 ODIs. Netherlands getting through to the ten-team World Cup is an outstanding achievement. In League 2, seven teams have played 36 ODIs. In the challenge leagues — Groups A and B — 12 teams played 15 50-over matches each.

In terms of commitment to the format, 50-over cricket throughout our membership is as strong as ever and the ODI World Cup will be a tremendous success in India in a couple of months’ time. What it looks like moving forward will be discussions on how we can add context to the bilateral cricket calendar. With the impact the World Test Championship is having, it can add more context to the calendar,” said Allardice.

“But we also have the understandable desire from members to have more teams in the 50-over World Cup, a decision which has been taken for the 2027 edition of the World Cup. The impact of the Super League was on the qualification and at a time when the FTP was being considered. The members felt it didn’t have the same impact in an enlarged World Cup. But the idea of getting greater context in the calendar was canvassed at these meetings, but no concrete proposals yet,” he elaborated.

Quizzed if there were thoughts over keeping overseas players cap to four for existing T20 leagues like UAE’s ILT20, USA’ MLC and GT20 Canada, Allardice said, “It’s on a case to case basis, depending on the agreements in place. The regulation changes will be implemented to new events in a good step forward for the game.”

“There are existing tournaments which are subject to existing commercial agreements and any movement towards moving in towards new regulations will be determined on a case-to-case basis. It’s not a straightforward answer as it depends on each event,” he added.

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