Cricket chiefs consider Test Championship

LONDON: A world Test championship aimed at protecting the future of the five-day game will be discussed at a meeting of cricket's lawmakers in November, according to a report in England on Wednesday.

The International Cricket Council will meet with the MCC's world cricket committee to look at proposals to boost the popularity of Test cricket amid fears the increasing number of Twenty20 tournaments are eroding the popularity of the sport's longer form.

One suggestion is believed to be an eight-nation Test competition in which teams play a best-of-three-match series, with the top-ranked sides progressing to the semi-finals and a final to be staged at Lord's.

Although the current Ashes series has demonstrated that Test cricket at the very top level can still pull in the crowds, Tony Lewis, the chairman of the MCC's world cricket committee, believes something needs to be done to protect the five-day format in general.

"Test match cricket must fight back to ensure it survives around the world," he told the Daily Telegraph.

"All of the player surveys conducted in recent years say Test cricket is under threat, which is something we simply can't ignore.

"By the time of our meeting in November, we hope to have more evidence that Test match cricket is under threat and to have conducted research into the issue.

"We must protect Test cricket, but we have to rebrand, market and merchandise it properly so it can survive."