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MCC: International cricket must be protected



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|| CF DESK ||

The Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC) has urged ICC and cricket boards to protect international cricket amidst the increase of franchise leagues worldwide.

MCC has also urged them to work on a possible formula where international and franchise-based T20 cricket leagues can thrive together harmoniously.

“The WCC unanimously concluded that the game has reached an important crossroads, recommending urgent intervention from the game's leaders to ensure international and franchise cricket can thrive together harmoniously,” the MCC said in a statement.

The increase of leagues, including the latest offering of SAT20 and ILT20, is putting a lot of stress on the ICC's Future Tours Programme (FTP).

While the Big Three -- India, Australia and England -- get the lion's share of international assignments, smaller Test-playing nations such as Afghanistan, Ireland and Zimbabwe, among others, get a raw deal because of the extremely tight FTP.

MCC said the purpose of the meeting held in Dubai was to examine how international cricket can be protected, amidst a global cricketing schedule that is increasingly filled with short-form franchise tournaments and what global cricket might look like in 10 years’ time should it be left to evolve organically.

“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,” 

"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,"

"Also notable in the new men's FTP is an alarming and growing disparity in the amount of international cricket played by a minority of member nations compared to others; a situation which is clearly neither equitable nor sustainable," the statement added.