Significant changes to the way international cricket is run were agreed in principle by the ICC although they were toned down from a set of radical proposals put forward by the game’s big three – India, England and Australia.
'Key principles' that had 'unanimous support' from the board at its meeting in Dubai, according to the ICC, included the dumping of the troubled Test championship, which will be replaced in 2017 by the limited-overs Champions Trophy.
The ICC also said a new executive committee would be set up consisting of representatives from India, England and Australia and two other representatives taken from the board. The fact that those proposals were softened suggests they were opposed by members of the ICC board.
Pakistan and South Africa, two of the leading opponents of the original sweeping changes, stressed the principles laid out Tuesday had to be passed by their own national boards before they would back them at next month's ICC meeting.
“The PCB clearly stated at the (Tuesday) meeting that the guiding principles were subject to PCB’s governing board’s approval,” the PCB said.
Cricket South Africa said its board would carefully consider the changes before the follow-up meeting on February 8.
The BCCI, ECB and CA had proposed a four-member executive committee, with those three countries deciding who joined them and rotating the chair between them.
The ICC said anyone from its board, which is made up of the 10 Test-playing nations and three representatives of smaller cricket countries, could eventually be elected to chair the board and anyone on the executive committee or influential finance and commercial affairs committee could chair those, but only after a “transitional period” ends in 2016.
It was also agreed in principle that smaller countries would also have the chance to play Test cricket, but no one would lose their Test status.
India, England and Australia had suggested a reduced eight-team top tier for Tests with two countries immediately relegated, regular promotion and relegation, but immunity from relegation for the big three.